Ice Cube Tribute
Ice Cube was the best rapper from 1990-1992. I don’t feel that’s up for debate. Some may point out his work on Straight Outta Compton, but it’s hard to overlook Slick Rick in 1988. In 89, while Cube was prepping the release of his debut album with The Bomb Squad, The D.O.C. took home both the MVP and Rookie of The Year honors. But after that, it was all Ice Cube and he had one hellava run.
That 3-year run solidified him among the very best in hip-hop history. If you’re wondering who took the honors of after that, I’d have to give it to Snoop (93), then Nasty Nas (94), then Big (95). But let’s get back to Ice Cube, aiight? Ice Cube released 3 consecutive classic albums, 4 if you want to count his EP (Kill at Will). And it’s not like he just put out consecutive classics like Redman, Scarface, Jay-Z or ATCQ, I’d argue that AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and Death Certificate are the TWO best back-to-back debut and sophomore releases by any rapper, ever. The magnitude of those releases can’t properly be articulated. They were flawless. They were influential. The had this tremendous impact too, and not just in hip-hop, but in the world we live in. These album helped mold us, even shape the way we think about certain things. It gave us insight on issues we had no idea about.
Ice Cube, like Slick Rick, was as fantastic storyteller and his ability to carry a story was truly special. The Predator is classic material, but not in the same vein as the previous efforts. Lethal Injection was the last really great Cube album. I know nostalgic is a muthafucka and we always have a soft spot for our favorites but if we’re being honest with ourselves, the Ice Cube we knew and loved had taken a great detour after 1993. After his movie dominance, it only made sense Hollywood would take him away from music, which explains why his next album didn’t drop until half a decade later.
You have great rappers but if they don’t have the right producer their work can fall on deaf ears (see what I did there?). The Bomb Squad and Sir Jinx were monumental in making Ice Cube as great as he was during this era. We don’t cover everything on this mix outside of those prime years and while this was originally featured on West Coast Classic II (Episode 15), there was plenty more Ice Cube played throughout our 17+ hour West Coast Classic tribute series. I know people are quick to say Dr. Dre, Snoop and Pac, but in my eyes, Ice Cube is the most important rapper to come from the west coast. If he isn’t among your top 10 rappers of all-time, you either don’t know (new jack Hype Beast sissy) or simply forgot. After you listen to our Ice Cube Tribute Mix, you’ll have no other choice but to include him in your list.