Magazine article New Internationalist

(Ice Cube. the Predator)

Magazine article New Internationalist

(Ice Cube. the Predator)

Article excerpt

Alarm bells, gunshots, a panicking crowd and the sounds of a cop conducting a search: if this collage didn't open Ice Cube's new album, then it could just as easily have been snatched from some gangster movie. Cube - one of LA's most contentious rap stars -- has never been one for under - statement. Death Certificate, his last album, was marked by some appalling out - bursts against Koreans and Jews.

Ice Cube's America is an ugly one, painted with the broadest strokes. Cops get shot, the Ku Klux Klan are ascendant. Black America is the impoverished, brutalized flipside to white civilization. A good day is defined as a day when 'I didn't even have to use my AK' (the AK 47 gun). Cube's language -- the album comes with a discreet warning sticker for parents of impressionable children -- is equally blunt. His sleeve notes read like a j'accuse of contemporary America; the album lyrics throw out warnings to trespassers.

Although last year's riots in South Central LA showed that such views are not excessively paranoid, one wonders what merit there is in endless albums telling us 'how it is'. …

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