Ice Cube & Chuck D Recall The Transition From N.W.A To Amerikkka’s Most Wanted
In the spring of 1990, Ice Cube broke out in his solo career with Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. The controversially-titled Priority Records release found the South Central, California MC out of N.W.A, and amicably so at that point. A would-be platinum album, in many circles, it contends as Cube’s finest work.
At a time when Hip-Hop was starting to go beyond regional (Marley Marl remixing King T, Luke’s addition/relocation to the 2 Live Crew), Cube made one of the biggest leaps yet. The angered mouthpiece sought out Public Enemy front man Chuck D’s help in his days of leaving N.W.A, Eazy-E, and Ruthless Records. Along the way, Cube decided that he liked P.E.’s sound, and deduced that he wanted The Bomb Squad (Chuck D, Eric Sadler, Hank & Keith Shocklee, G-Wiz, etc.) to produce his solo set.
In an excerpt from Brian Coleman’s upcoming, Check The Technique, Vol. 2 book of lost Hip-Hop album liner notes, Cube, Chuck, The Bomb Squad, and Sir Jinx chime in on the LP. The whole chapter on Amerikkka’s Most is available to read on Medium’s Cuepoint, but here’s some cool points from the discussion before the track-by-track breakdown.
– Before N.W.A, before even C.I.A (Cube’s outfit with Sir Jinx), Ice Cube was signed to Epic Records with Stereo Posse (with K-Dee and Jinx). Here’s the Electro-dissed single, “She’s A Skag”:
– Ice Cube used Dre and Eazy’s alleged belief that Bomb Squad wasn’t hot/could not sell as well as Dre & Yella’s produced-albums to lure Hank Shocklee and co. into agreeing to produce.
– If Priority Records would not offer Cube the desired contract, he planned on going to Def Jam (four years before Warren G, and later Richie Rich, Jayo Felony, and WC signed).
– Sir Jinx, despite his tremendous role producing for Cube, Xzibit, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, etc., had a menial role with N.W.A.
– The Bomb Squad asked Cube and Jinx to dig into their famed vaults of records and select the samples they wanted for Amerikkka’s Most Wanted.
– “No Vaseline” was never intended to be made, as Cube deliberately did not diss his former band-mates on the LP.
In the track-by-track breakdown, Heads can learn which verses where intended to be N.W.A songs, how Son Of Berzerk played a factor in the release, how Snoop Dogg’s “WBALLZ” skits were born out of this album, why they got sued by Mr. Rogers and more.