Interscope Records · December 7, 2018
Despite the antiquated production style, Ice Cube gets his point across through emotional, simple, easy-to-remember lyrics.
Fame is a high that few artists are equipped to leave behind. But some don’t have to. Whether or not it is better for the music world; Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, and Paul Simon still have enough of a following to tour and produce new music. So they do!
It is no secret that Neil Diamond’s glory days have come and gone; but my mom is still going to see him in concert on her birthday, so there must be some value to be found in the music. Ice Cube’s December release Everythang’s Corrupt is the most recent example of artists past their prime trying their hand at the digital streaming age of music. Although the album isn’t Ice Cube’s best work, he is just as blatant and pot-stirring as he was while leading N.W.A.
“Fuck the police comin’ straight from the underground…
They have the authority to kill a minority” – ‘Fuck Tha Police’
I did not anticipate the value in this Ice Cube’s album would be easy to find. I presumed that surely the rapper-gone-movie star-gone-movie producer had lost some talent since his last significant release, Death Certificate, in 1991. However, since 1991 Ice Cube has remained an active political figure in pop culture. He has played an important role in advocating for black rights, persistently spoken out against the ever-growing drug culture in hip hop, and remained a father-like role model for many black men and women growing up since the late 1980’s.
So it makes sense that as a father, he would have a hard time letting go of his child—Gangsta rap. Along with Eazy E and Dr. Dre, Ice Cube helped to create this transformative sub-genre of hip hop when N.W.A. released Straight Outta Compton in 1988. Gangsta rap took over the 90’s, but hip hop evolved with culture and a more modern style of rap grew out of artists like Eminem and Wiz Khalifa. And with this new style rap came a drug-addicted hip hop culture. Ice Cube directly attacks this drug-dependent group of modern rappers on the 5th and 6th tracks of the album, ‘Bad Dope’ and ‘On Them Pills’ respectively.
“Crackheads are blackheads
Meth heads are left dead” – ‘Bad Dope’
The first single for the album, ‘Everythang’s Corrupt,’ came out in October of 2012, just in time for the 2012 presidential election. He must have anticipated a worsening of the political climate as it took another 6 years for the second single, ‘Arrest the President’ to drop in November of 2018. This drawn out production schedule speaks to the gravity Ice Cube places on the unfortunate decisions made by the current president. But the president isn’t the only one at fault for ongoing racial tensions and rising drug abuse. On ‘Good Cop Bad Cop’ he reminds his fans that “Black lives matter, it’s not chit chatter.”
Each song on this 16 track studio album places emphasis on one of the social or political issues that Ice Cube has taken upon himself to speak up about. Thus, this album succeeds in making a statement. Despite the antiquated production style, Ice Cube gets his point across through emotional, simple, easy-to-remember lyrics: Trump needs to leave, and everyone needs to stop abusing drugs… except for weed.