Ice Cube Hosts "Niggaz With Gunz"
Spawned by executive producer Mike Johns, the "Listen N Learn" mixtape series is centered on spreading educational messages that promote social consciousness and focus on compelling issues within the Black community.
The first two installments of the "Listen N Learn" mixtape series were hosted by Talib Kweli and Ray Benzino, respectively.
Niggaz with Gunz, which is the first mixtape that Cube has ever hosted, pays tribute to controversial Civil Rights leader Robert Franklin Williams, who authored the book Negroes with Guns which was published in 1962.
Williams (1925-1996) is best known for his militant leadership of the Civil Rights Movement in the South, where he urged Blacks to arm themselves in the name of self-defense against the Ku Klux Klan. His refusal to be bound by the doctrine of non-violence helped form a path to end Jim Crow segregation.
"Today's generation does not want to be preached to -- hip-hop used correctly is a good method to educate our youth," said Mike Johns via a statement. "Gun violence is a steady problem in the Black community, and Ice Cube urges listeners to "put the gun away and use your brain".
Niggaz with Gunz will feature music from 2Pac Mobb Deep, Baby Sham and include exclusive remixes of Cube's singles; "Why We Thugs" and "Chrome & Paint".
In addition, the mixtape will debut original music made available as ringtones from three unsigned emerging hip-hop artists - Swing from Chicago, Illinois; Spaide R.I.P.P.E.R. from St. Louis, Missouri; Choir Boy of Newark, New Jersey, and motivational speaker Mac McGee from Chicago.
In celebration of Black Music Month in June, Urban World Wireless will be the first to debut the mixtape on its website, www.urbanworldwireless.com, before it hits the streets on May 22nd.
The company will donate a portion of the ringtone revenue generated from the mixtape to support the Darfur region of Sudan, in Northern Africa, which due to the extensive violence, rape and killings has been named the first genocide of the 21st century.
In related news, Ice Cube is currently on tour promoting his upcoming album Laugh Now, Cry Later. Due June 6, the album will be released through Cube's own label, Lench Mob Records and boasts production from Scott Storch, Swizz Beatz and Lil' Jon.
Laugh Now, Cry Later also features appearances from West Coast rappers Snoop Dogg and WC.