In a time where racial stress flexes through the ages, America needs a leader; someone to take the reigns and lead in the correct direction. Someone that stands up for the people and that will look out for his fellow man, Ice Cube is that leader. With his debut record, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted steps into the shoes of Da Lench Mob and see a new America through Ice Cube’s eyes, one that he still spells with the triple K.
After a short skit where Ice Cube is put to death by the electric chair for his actions, “The Nigga Ya Love To Hate” bursts onto the scene and puts the gaze of the socially aware Cube onto the microphone with more than enough to say. He mentions his past, the present, and the future he foresees in AmeriKKKa, almost warning the population of the incoming doom that both he and the overarching government, police, and media will bring. He explains early on, “When I’m shooting, let’s see who drop, the police, the media, and suckers that went pop. And motherfuckers that say they too black, put ‘em overseas they be begging to come back…” Ice Cube then moves on to say, “Kicking shit called street knowledge, why more niggas in the pen than in college?”. While an aggressive front through lyrical power, Ice Cube does hold a true heightened intelligence behind his words and says what many think, but are afraid to display. Where Ice Cube comes off as brash, is instead just merely what he and Da Lench Mob would call “Common Sense”, the funk samples and quick wordplay is just an overlay of the truth that Cube wants to present.
This is especially present in the following self-titled track “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted”, where Cube unleashes a full-frontal assault of lyrical wisdom towards the end of the track, but focuses more on his personal accounts in the opening where he moves to explain his past ways and how he has changed his movement now. Ice Cube begins, “The way I’m talking I’m scaring ya, I’m daring ya to raise hell and bail and brag and sag, or beat down for ya flag”. It is hostile and could be taken for terroristic, but when paired up with Kool & The Gang, Bob James, and James Brown samples, it appears to bring in an additional layer of dance behind his words. Even as rough as his lyrics are, Ice Cube still delivers a sense of truth as he explains on the final words of “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted”, that he had “start[ed] robbing the white folks, Now I’m in the pen with the soap on a rope, I said it before and I’ll still taught it, every motherfucker with a color is most wanted”. Over the course of AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Ice Cube does not always speak as an activist or to try and deliver some almighty truth, on following tracks, “Once Upon A Time In The Projects”, “A Gangsta’s Fairytale”, and “Rollin’ Wit The Lench Mob”, Cube used these as steps away from the anti-political style that Cube represents.
These steps away are subliminal changes and do make the political tracks stand out more, but they also allow for a better insight into the lyrical style that Ice Cube presents so well on AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and the track “Turn Off The Radio” is still a piece of art that is still relevant to society today and how some see the Black Man in America. The social commentary that Cube displays is one of despair, but holds a true event of how America looks in through a filtered glass at the African-American community and Ice Cube displays his side of the equation where he describes, “Turn on the radio, take a listen, what you’re missing. Personally, I’m sick of the ass-kissing, what I’m kicking to you won’t get in rotation, nowhere in the nation”. This is then a seguing power to the following track “Endangered Species (Tales From The Darkside)” which has a feature from Public Enemy’s own Chuck D who is a pivotal point and ally in Ice Cube’s destructive lyrical style. The sample that starts the annihilation begins, “At the bottom of our news tonight, there’s been a new animal aimed at falling off the face of our Earth. Yes, young black teenagers are reported to be the oldest, and the newest creatures added to the endangered species list…” The woman newscaster then continues to describe, “As of now, no efforts have been made to preserve the Blacks. When asked why, a top law official adds, ‘Because they make good game.’”.
Ice Cube then samples his own track, “Fuck Tha Police” and begins with “Peace? Don’t make me laugh…Every cop killer goes ignored, they just send another nigga to the morgue, a point scored. They could give a fuck about us, they rather catch us with guns and white powder”. This is where Ice Cube takes the training wheels off and completely lets a stream of consciousness begin to flow, acting like a deadly cobra with lyrical venom. He then continues on through “Endangered Species (Tales From The Darkside)” with the same agenda as before, to instill the most truth and fear behind his words. Through a simple beat transition, Ice Cube delivers “You wanna free Africa? I’ll stare at ya, cause we ain’t got it too good in AmeriKKKa… I told you last album, ‘When I got a sawed-off, bodies are hauled off’, it’s a shame, that niggas die young, but to the light side it don’t matter none.” The microphone is then passed on to Chuck D where he can deliver his statements and it is a gasoline-fueled power trip where he explains, “Run, run, run, their ass off, they can not hide. Yeah, Cube, they can’t fuck with the Darkside.” There is then several tracks that act as skits and are not nearly as lyrically progressive as the past tracks, but the final track, “The Bomb” needs to be mentioned only for the way that Ice Cube leaves an open-ended ending to his next saga.
Not the perfect staple activist, but he is not afraid to put his opinion out there and to display his true feelings. Unable to be phased but what stands in his way, Ice Cube is the one that AmeriKKKa still has as a monument of personal expression and as an understanding individual of racial justice. To move swift, to act just, and to see AmeriKKKa for what it truly is, Ice Cube is truly a national treasure.