Ice Cube, Trick Trick, AwkQuarius

There was a time when Ice Cube was known as one of the fiercest lyricists in music. And the NWA co-founder's four-album solo run of AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Death Certificate, The Predator and Lethal Injection ranks with some of the best four-album runs in history. But then he traded in his menacing scowl and music career to focus on being the family-friendly Everyman in movies like Are We There, Yet? Add in a few critically and commercially disappointing albums, and it seemed that Ice Cube may have lost his musical credibility. Thankfully, he's returned to form with the earlier-this-year-released Raw Footage, an album the gangsta rap pioneer says he made for his "true fans."

It all raises the question: Can you take a "gangsta" seriously once he's starred in Barbershop? When Cube takes to The Door's stage with classic cuts like "It Was a Good Day," " Wicked" and "Really Doe" in tow, I wouldn't be against him.

Detroit's Trick Trick, who's worked with Eminem in addition to Cube, and Dallas' own AwkQuarius, the new hip-hop duo from Tahiti and Pikahsso of PPT, open.


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