Around the time of the recording of Cypress Hill’s 3rd album “Temple’s Of Boom,” fellow west coast rapper and long time Cypress Hill fan Ice Cube, approached B-Real with an offer to star in the first installment of his Friday trilogy. But due to pre scheduled tour commitments, B-Real had to decline Cubes offer.
As B-Real was a close friend of Ice Cube, and had even attended his wedding ceremony, he offered to donate a song to Cube as a goodwill gesture.
“I felt bad about it so I said, hey I can’t be in the movie, my manager fucked up, I apologize, but we can give you some music for the movie if you want? and he was like…. hell yeah” B-Real
Cypress Hill started working on the track, “Roll It Up, Light It Up,” which they managed to squeeze in while working on their studio album. Once the track was finished they asked Ice Cube if he would like to come over and have a listen. They wanted to get his approval before fully submitting it.
“We didn’t want to give him something that he didn’t like. It’s Ice Cube for fucks sake, we wanted to give him something he felt strongly about” B-Real
Ice Cube passed by the studio and during the listening session, B-Real told Cube they had been working on their album and would he like to hear a few tracks, to which Ice Cube was more than happy to. They played Cube 3 or 4 songs from the album with the last one being “Throw Your Set In The Air,“. According to B-Real, Cube really liked the song and asked if he could use it for the movie instead of the other one. B-Real told him it wouldn’t be possible because Sony already had it marked as their lead single.
A few months later Cypress Hill went on tour, and while out on the road, friends of the group were calling and asking if they had given the “Throw Your Set” song to Ice Cube. Obviously the Cypress Hill members were all confused by the reports as the song hadn’t even been released. B-Real found it especially inconceivable that Cube would steal the songs chorus concept so he initially took a neutral stance believing Cube must have a good explanation for the situation. However, fellow Cypress Hill members Sen Dog and DJ Muggs didn’t take the same view and almost immediately reacted by going on the radio and publicly exposing Ice Cubes “alleged” betrayal live on air.
“Sen Dog and Muggs went on the radio and dissed the fuck out of him.”
Not long after Sen Dog and Muggs appeared on Power 106 calling out Cube, B-Real received a call from Cube at 3 in the morning, telling him he’d heard Sen and Muggs dissing him on air. B-Real told him that the rest of the guys were pissed because they felt he stole their shit and that was their reaction. B-Real said that during their telephone conversation Cube was implicit that he never stole their hook and had nothing but love for Cypress Hill, claiming that these types of misunderstandings happen all the time in hip hop, people come up with similar choruses. Given their history, B-Real felt Cube was sincere with his explanation and was pretty much willing to put the whole thing down to an unintentional coincidence.
I’m like, aight cool, let me talk to the other homies and try to square this away. Cos’ i wanted to believe him. I mean this is one of my favourite rappers, this is one of my homies, this is the guy who inspired me to make me a better rapper here on the west coast. He was like the best out here, you know what I’m sayin?”
Apparently not long after their conversation, Cube asked B-Real to pass by the studio as there were a couple of lines he would like him to drop on his “Kaution” project, which he was working on at the time. Ice Cube didn’t want to sample the lines due to Sony charging too much for a Cypress Hill sample, so Cube requested for B-Real to come over and say a couple of words instead. During the session, B-Real claimed he recognized some lyrics being used in the Kaution track that were taken from Cypress Hill’s “Throw Your Set In The Air.”
“When I heard those words I was like, man he straight lied to my face”
To make absolutely certain his ears weren’t deceiving him B-Real asked if they could play the track back and re-do his part, claiming he could do it better. B-Real claims that somebody must have picked up on his reaction on hearing the verse the first time round because when the track was played back a second time the section with the stolen lyrics had gone.
“The engineer had muted those fuckin phrases out of the song because I think he figured that I recognized them. I couldn’t believe that it was coincidence at that point.”
Interestingly B-Real didn’t confront Cube during the session. The call out came when Cypress Hill released their Temples Of Boom album, with the Ice Cube diss track “No Rest For The Wicked.” The song title is a reference to Ice Cube’s 1993 single “Wicked,” which was another track that Cube allegedly bit from New Jersey emcee King Sun.
No Rest For The Wicked was the catalyst that would see Ice Cube resurrect his acclaimed diss track writing abilities as he and his newly formed West Coast Connection partner Mack 10 came back hard with “King Of The Hill”.
“Even though we was dog’s, I felt like they should be dealt with the worst” -Ice Cube
Cypress Hill returned with a stronger response than their previous effort with “Ice Cube Killa,” an underground release that flipped the same beat as Cube’s King Of The Hill and featured rapper LC (Shag) who sounds uncannily similar to Ice Cube.
Although Ice Cube Killa was a great diss record it was (in my opinion) no match for the man who penned the lyrics to arguably the greatest diss record in hip hop history, “No Vaseline.”
Thankfully, like the majority of hip hop beefs, this one didn’t become anything serious, although it almost did when split loyalties between LA’s black and Latino communities came close to erupting. Fortunately this was quickly squashed when Ice Cube got on the phone to B-Real to smooth things out and bring the beef to an end.
Who won the beef on wax?
Cypress Hill (mainly B-Real) held their own against a rap icon but as always it boils down to which rapper you like best. Drop a comment below