Ice Cube Readies New Album, Links With Microsoft

After helping to pioneer West Coast gangsta rap, trailblazing rapper  is out to prove he's still as raw as ever with the release of his new LP, Raw Footage. The disc, which is set to hit shelves on June 17, will be the follow-up to Cube's 2006 release Laugh Now, Cry Later and will be the rapper's ninth solo project. The set will feature the current single "Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It" and will see guest spots from Musiq Soulchild, Nas, Scarface and former Westside Connection group member WC. Production on the album is set to be handled by several West Coast beat makers including Fred Wreck and DJ Crazy Toones.

In an effort to promote the release of Raw Footage, Cube is scheduled to headline a show at this year's South By Southwest indie music festival in Austin, TX. The concert will be held on March 15 at 9pm EST and is expected to be attended by an estimated 20,000 fans.

For fans unable to see the show in person, the entire concert will be streamed live exclusively on UVNTV.com, the first live streaming online TV network started by Cube and longtime collaborator, DJ Pooh. The live stream is the result of a partnership between the rapper and the Microsoft Corporation, as the live feed will also feature Microsoft's Silverlight technology, which enhances the quality of the video.

"We are excited to partner with UVNTV.com and SXSW to bring this live concert into the homes of people globally, using our Silverlight technology which delivers the high-def experiences that Ice Cube's fans will love," said Rob Pulciani, Microsoft's senior marketing manager.

The concert is expected to be attended by an estimated 20,000 fans.

For ticket info, log onto www.sxsw.com

Raw Footage will hit stores on June 17 on Lench Mob Records.