Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 11: Ice Cube, "The Predator"

Artist: Ice Cube
Album: The Predator
Year: 1992
Label: Priority

Before Dr. Dre blew the doors open with The Chronic, fellow N.W.A. alum Ice Cube paved the way with his monster album, The Predator. The record is a dark, gritty, and unrelenting peek into the culture and life of South Central Los Angeles.

At the time of its release, Ice Cube hadn't even thought of an acting career, and his lyrics are brutal and brilliant. The production on the record is perfect and the beats are supurb as The Predator represents one of the final "West Coast" rap records before the "bass explosion" hit. The record takes aim at the LA Police, halfway crooks, and more LA cops. Cube delivers flawless lyrical stylings on every track on the record.

The Predator spawned two singles in "Check Yo Self" which is a collaboration with Dax Efx as well as the gangsta rap classic, "It Was A Good Day." The latter has become almost cliche and it is amazing that the "public" were so willing to accept such a "hardcore" rap artist at the time of the albums' release.

In modern times, Ice Cube may be most well known for his acting roles. However, from the lat 80's and early 90's, he was easily one of the most brutally honest rappers in the music world. Though he had reached notoriety whilst with N.W.A., it was 1992's The Predator that catapulted Cube to the top of the rap game. Not for the faint of heart or easily offended, this record stands today as one of the most "real" insights into the dangerous world of gangs and "rough" inner city living.

Standout Tracks: "When Will They Shoot," "It Was A Good Day," and "The Predator."

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