Tokyo Damage Report

BEST RAPPER EVER

Allright, kids, I’m going to wrap up Rock Rant October with a mega-rant about the BEST RAPPER EVER.

 

ICE CUBE.

Best rapper of all time. You can make fun of his movies or his rap career  since the Lethal Injection album  (on his new album he’s got a whole verse about how downloading songs is illegal and stop it now, you damn kids and your crime!) Make fun if you want, but dude has a legacy, back in his day he set a standard which rappers couldn’t and still can’t match.
 
Let’s break it down:
 
Rappers like Busta Rhymes have really unique flows, but nothing to say.
Uncle Murda dropped a mix-tape with so much shit-talking on it that you’re like "I can’t believe he said that shit!" .  .. but then he re-did that one song 100 times on 6 more albums.
Public Enemy has unique flows, plus  really strong messages in the lyrics, but the lyrics make no sense.
Immortal Technique’s new album  has lyrics that make sense, but are not funny.
 
Ice cube has the whole package: he’ll hit you with a song that is full of messages, articulate, but also funny as hell and he talks mad shit. Dude was the inventor – nay, the pioneer – of the Negative Message song. (CAVE BITCH,  MAN’S BEST FRIEND, WANNA KILL SAM, SUPER-STAR (with westside connection), etc.)

Fuckin’ A.
 
His first album – Amerikkka’s Most Wanted –  had the best production –the Bomb Squad, no less! But for lyrics and sheer balls, Death Certificate was the best. Other rappers were considered radical if they even mentioned Whitey. Cube was simultaneously taking on Whitey, gays, jews, sell-out black people, nasty bitches, inter-racial couples, AND Asians. 
 
Holy shit! Who is doing that now, besides Don Rickles?
 
I half-expected his next album to be slams on Greeks, Eskimos, handicapped Navajos and Rosicrucians, all ADJETIVE NOUN style:
 
Motherfuck a bronze-age Hittite!
or
Ice Cube straight bustin’ at a dolphin or an orca! 
or maybe more like. . .
Acidopholous milk? Fuck you, bitch /  Cube don’t need microbes all up in my dairy shit /Plot by Whitey to poison the Black / with a little bit of germs / but Jack can eat my sperms/  . . .
 
Anyway, I seriously thought that’s the direction he was gonna go in.
 
But on his next album, THE PREDATOR, he started doing less punchlines and less argument-based raps, and relying more on cadence. Like the line from "Wicked", “buck! Buck! Buck! And it’s a must / to duck! Duck! Duck! When I bust.” . . .. Basically he is not saying anything, but the WAY he’s not saying it sticks in your head for years.
 
In later albums, his cadence-up, lyrics-down approach would be so pronounced his word choices would become almost telegraphic, or haiku-like, with so much left out that the listener had to spend a lot of effort to reconstruct his meaning, making deceptively simple rhymes turn complex. (for example, "with concrete Nikes/ you gets no strikes!")  He still wasn’t talking about shit though, which makes it kind of not worth the effort. But anyway.
 
My point:  Cube is versatile. He can do songs where he does nothing but talk shit, but he can do songs about important issues (bitches, whitey, uncle sam (vengeance-worthiness of)), Plus his story-telling skills are just as good, he’s funny as fuck,  he breaks down issues with nitty-gritty examples,  AND you can actually hear what he says, unlike mumble-mouths like Biggie or mush-mouths like every Dirty South guy.
 

While most rappers are content to rap about the same shit over and over, Cube has more of a punk rock approach – he’s planning an album out as if he was f-f-frikkin’ Jello: “I got room for ten songs on this album, so I’ll think of ten things I hate, and then write ten songs with ten reasons each why I hate those things.”

 
Not only did his songs have actual topics, but he was totally articulate! Most rappers are comfortable saying the same thing over and over, only changing the slang words like some kind of hardcore mad-lib:
 
“I’ll gat you / with my Ay Kay/ I’ll cap you / with my Tray eight / I’ll peel you / with the heater / I’ll kill you/ with the street-sweeper / I’ll hit you / with the biscut / I’ll clip you / with the fo-fifth / I’ll. . . .”
 
OK, sure you’re a scary guy, but you just said the same exact thing 8 times. You didn’t advance the story or explain anything or even talk any shit.
 
But with Cube, you’re going to get an articulate rap. . . Perhaps a good example  is MAN’S BEST FRIEND. I don’t agree with the message, or even think it’s one of his best songs – even his raddest albums are half filler – but as an example of rapper-as-captain-of-debate-team it can’t be beat. Every verse has a different reason why dudes should have guns for protection, as opposed to dogs.  Every argument is backed up with real examples, shit is broken down to the nitty-gritty, plus he makes it funny. He doesn’t repeat himself once.
 
 

 
Here’s another topic I’m addressin
so learn a quick lesson, about your Smith and Wesson
Sit your ass back and comprehend
as I let you know about man’s best friend
Now remember: it used to be a dog like Lassie
but now in ninety-one it’s a gun if you asked me
Just like a jimmy hat’s used for protection
I use my nine when suckers start to flexin
Cause if you run up and try to play mine
I’d rather have a AK than a fuckin canine
Cause if you shot your gun, and my dog tried to fetch her
me and the dog’s goin out on a stretcher
And I ain’t with that, so I gotta get that
big black gat, aim and I hit that
Forget about a dog fool, he’ll shit in the den
Nowadays.. a gat is man’s best friend

Here is the reason why Ice Cube pack
Just in case the little punks try to jack
I can’t put a motherfuckin pitbull
under a coat, in the small of my back
So I gotta take my beretta, and I betcha
it’ll probably work, a 100 percent better
Cause it’ll keep me out of danger
with sixteen in the clip and one in the chamber
So this goes to all y’all intruders
Beware of the owner, cause the owner is a shooter
I don’t just wanna give your ass rabies
I’d rather have your ass pushing up daisies
And I can’t do that with Benji,
Rin Tin Tin, or Spuds McKenzie
Forget about a dog fool, he’ll shit in the den
Nowadays, a gat is man’s best friend

 

You see that shit? He was articulate, AND funny.  Every line had a different reason.

or this one. . .

 

US
Could you tell me who released our animal instinct?
Got the white man sittin’ there tickled pink.
Laughin’ at us on the avenue
Bustin’ caps at each other after havin’ brew
We can’t enjoy ourselves
Too busy jealous… Of each other’s wealth
Commin’ up is just in me
But the Black community is full of envy
Too much back stabbin’
While I look up the street I see all the japs grabbin’
Every vacant lot in my neighborhood
Build a store, and sell their goods
To the county of sips (?)
You know us po niggas: nappy hair and big lips?
Four or five babies on your crotch
And you expect Uncle Sam to help us out?
We ain’t nothin’ but porch-monkeys
To the average bigot, redneck honky
You say comin’ up is a must
But before we can come up, take a look at US

US … will always sing the blues
‘Cause all we care about is hairstyles and tennis shoes
But if ya step on mine ya pushed a button
"Cause I’ll beat you down like it ain’t nothin’
Just like a beast
But I’m the first nigga ta holler out {PEACE, BLACK MAN}
I beat my wife and children to a pulp
When I get drunk and smoke dope
Got a bad heart condition
Still eat hog-mogs an’ chitlin’s
Bet my money on the dice and the horses
Jobless, so I’m a hope for the armed forces
Go to church but they tease us
Wit’ a picture of a blue-eyed Jesus
They used to call me Negro
After all this time I’m still bustin up the chiffarobe
No respect and didn’t know it
And I’m havin’ more babies than I really can afford
In jail ’cause I can’t pay the mother
Held back in life because of my color
Now this is just a little summary
Of US, but yall think it’s dumb of me
To put a mirror to ya face, but trust
Nobody gives a fuck about…

 
Damn! And don’t even get me started about BITCH IS A BITCH, FUCK THAT POLICE, NO VASELINE,  CAVE BITCH, and all his other hits.
 

 COMING TOMORROW:

the nerdly best/worst cube lyric lists.

10 comments Tags: ,

10 Comments so far

  1. Liz October 31st, 2009 9:57 pm

    What a genius/cunt.

  2. dan November 1st, 2009 5:30 am

    “Motherfuck a bronze-age Hittite!”

    i ‘laughed out loud,’ you had me going back to my days playing age of empires

  3. Steve November 1st, 2009 9:03 pm

    I totally agree… with the criteria you present for the best rapper ever. The thing is that they all apply to Big Punisher as well. I’m a little too young to remember Ice Cube in his prime, but Pun had the whole package as well: Incredible flow, clever and funny lines, and articulate and versatile raps (despite barely having the breath to get them out).

    Maybe the one place he fell a little short was in his messages. Still, he might have been too busy elevating Latino gangster-rap to mainstream status.. who on earth would have ever thought that possible?

    But for two things, I’d gladly call him the best rapper ever:
    1. He died. No chance to know if he was a step away from creating another classic or flopping.
    2. He was a wife-beater. Didn’t affect his rap skills, but I don’t want to hold a guy in too high regards if he spent a lot of time attacking the person who supported him the most.

  4. Finky November 2nd, 2009 12:05 am

    Other than “today was a good day”, the predator might be one of the best albums ever written….EVER

    meaner than a muthafuckin’ hyena
    chasin’ antelope
    Put my chrome to ya’ dome watch it bust
    like a cantalope
    I can’t stand a rope,
    so don’t try to hang em’
    Talk about dogs,
    Boy I can slang em’
    Rat-a-tat-tat on your noggin
    Cause Ice’ll cream yo’ ass like Haagen Dazs Chocolate

  5. 23 Wolves November 3rd, 2009 9:05 am

    Have you ever listened to Willie D, from the Geto Boys? I think you would dig his first album heavily…and fuckin’ AMG’s “Bitch Betta Have My Money” rules start to finish too.

  6. admin November 3rd, 2009 5:32 pm

    @23 wolves: I was almost gonna mention Willie D because he also had that punk-rock “10 songs about 10 different things that piss me off” album-writing approach. I think Cosmic Hearse still has that willie d album up – everyone go ride the hearse here:

    http://cosmichearse.blogspot.com/2008/11/explicit-lyricsstreet-raps.html

  7. 23 Wolves November 4th, 2009 7:48 pm

    And he’s got a lisp that won’t quit, and he makes good points about the plight of the black man and then completely undermines them with crazy bullshit and insanity. And he invented the phrase “Trip Across to Mexico,” which has many daily applications.

  8. Hassle March 3rd, 2010 3:22 am

    ゴーストファイス・キッラー一番だぞ!

  9. Robin Lench April 23rd, 2010 5:20 am

    For the second time…the line with the question mark in US is :-
    " To the county recips….." as in recipients…..(recipents of county aid/welfare checks)…..I'm givin you the correct lyrics so correct it…..just looks silly otherwise….pontificating on Ice Cube lyrics and they're not even correct…..lemme know if you need any other help…….

  10. admin April 27th, 2010 5:27 am

    @ robin lench: Yeah i need help getting your mom off my nuts. Bring pliers and a poncho.

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