Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ice Cube - Amerikkkas Most Wanted LP


Priority (1990)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

This seemed like a somewhat appropriate record with all of the insane bullshit going on right now, though maybe it isn't and I'm being completely tone deaf.  Apologies if that's the case.  I'm not going to pretend that I have anything enlightening or profoundly deep to say, but I can say that it's a really depressing time to be in America right now.  One of the things that really jumps out at me about this record is that it came out in 1990, which is thirty years ago.  How things haven't gotten better is a real downer.

Ice Cube's debut is one of the more celebrated debuts in the history of hip hop.  Even if he never put out another record after the equally excellent Death Certificate, that album and this one would have been plenty to cement Cube's legacy.  Lyrically, not everything has aged well, though you could say that about plenty of albums from the 80s and 90s, but when Ice Cube gets political and tells stories about day to day living, he paints a hell of a picture.

The beats were primarily done by the Bomb Squad, mostly known for their work with Public Enemy.  They captured the perfect blend of hard hitting east coast beats to complement Ice Cube's west coast delivery.  It bridged a gap and you could argue that it was one of the only albums of the era that couldn't easily be pinned down to the geographic region of the artist.

I'm not entirely sure what version of this LP I bought.  Per Discogs, the catalog number, barcode and all that matches the original 1990 pressing, but it's in way too good condition to actually be that old.  There must have been a repress at some point that wasn't tied into the Respect The Classics series and I assume this is one of those, but I'm not entirely positive.

Ice Cube - Amerikka's Most Wanted LP (YouTube full album playlist):

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