Before he was hanging with Mack 10, selling malt liquor and "acting" in Anaconda, Ice Cube was THE shit. NWA front man (yeah I said it), Boyz in the Hood star, Jehri Curl shaver, and West Coast Public Enemy affiliate, Ice Cube kept it real before it was a catch phrase. Ice Cube albums are scandalously rare on vinyl, and here we have an official double LP reissue, finally. Death Certificate is Cube's greatest (and angriest) album, and in retrospect it was a dead-on picture of the conditions that led to the LA riots. Lots of hate was spit: "Black Korea" and "Horny Lil Devil" get special mentions in Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism, and "No Vaseline" calls all of NWA homos. Women also get it bad on "Look Who's Burning" and "Nappy Dugout." "14 niggas in line ready to bang your/pride and joy, I mean daddy's little angel/Tell the little bitch to bring her ass out the house/cuz your daughter is known for givin up the nappy dugout." But PC or not, Cube was calling it as he saw it and nobody questioned how violent and fucked up South Central LA was. "Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit" is hardcore rap the way it was supposed to sound, before "The Chronic" pushed everyone to get smoked out and slowed down. "Bird in the Hand" is a personal favorite with that huge "Chains and Thangs" loop. Oh, and Cube continues the NWA tradition of great skits throughout. 20 tracks, plus the bonus “How To Survive In South Central.” This is essential listening (and impossible to find on OG vinyl).
- sophomore album originally released in 1991
- part of the Respect The Classics reissue series
- music label: Priority 2015
reviewed by Ayres 05/2005
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