A long long time ago, in a time when the internet didn’t exist, when our only source of information was the idiot box or heavily censored magazines, i turned to Ice Cube for an education on black culture in the States.
With the impending release of the N.W.A biopic i came across a few video posts that Ice Cube has recently released on Youtube discussing the making of his album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. This album is still relevant today with the recent outbreak of racial police brutality etc.
Now imagine a shielded young brown boy in the desert that is listening to shit like Run DMC and the Fat Boys when suddenly he comes across an N.W.A album called Straight Outta Compton, basically i was mind raped by this shit. It was unreal, almost like i was exposed to a drug that opened up areas of my brain i didn’t know existed. I may be exaggerating a little here but i didn’t know jack shit about black culture and the shit these guys were talking about. I struggled to understand the slang, the violence, and the true value of what i was exposed to at the time. I was still a baby, a very lucky baby.
I would never have the money to buy the magazines (we actually used to get Rap Pages here for some reason) and i would read as much as i could while standing in the magazine isle at the local Supermarket. This is also the place i picked up my first comic, Spiderman Vs The Punisher, which i read till the pages fell apart. Fml, it was 6 Dirhams at the time.
Now back to the music, obviously information was limited and i was young so i didn’t even know that Ice Cube split from N.W.A. I’m not sure how my brother and i ended up with a copy of AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted but i played the fuck out the album and was intrigued by the messages this angry man was spewing all over it. It was like he was painting pictures in my mind and i was absorbing it as much as possible. I even remember writing down the lyrics bar by bar, rewinding and stopping the cassette to give me a chance to catch up. This process was made much easier when we eventually got an AKAI CD player.
Ice Cubes ability to tell a story and communicate with the listener is almost unparalleled even today. His work on Death Certificate was so dope and is still one of my favorite albums today. Predator, Lethal Injection, Bootlegs and B-Sides were all dope in their own right but to me, Death Certificate is his magnum opus.
Fml, even Westside Connections – Bow Down is an amazing piece of work that came at the height of the so called East-West wars. He went in on Common (Who came back hard as fuck though in the bitch in you) and even B-Real. The supporting cast on this project didn’t disappoint either with Mack 10 and WC, two hip hop household names too.
Who remembers when Cube and Dre were supposed to work on an entire project together called Heltah Skeltah like the track from the Murder Was The Case soundtrack. That’s a dream that never materialized.
Oh, also look up Hand of the Dead Body with Scarface…incredible. Scarface is another great.
The N.W.A reunion project with Snoop instead of Easy could have been an instant classic but again, nada.
His later work is not as dope as the older material but kept his name relevant and had spurts of genius too.
Regardless of the above disappointments, Ice Cube has and will always be one of the greatest to ever do it and if you haven’t listened to his catalog, do yourself a favor and go do it now.
Almost forgot, i had Kill At Will on a cassette tape where Cube was brandishing i gun, think it was a glock or some shit…can’t get away with that shit today unless your on a movie poster for some reason.
All my albums are in storage so i’ll have to buy this shit on iTunes if i want to listen to it again.
FUCK YOU ICE CUBE!