Ice Cube Updates N.W.A.’s Message To Police. But Not Much Has Changed (Audio)
Ice Cube is preparing to release the 25th anniversary edition of Death Certificate this week. Cube’s sophomore solo album (which actually dropped in 1991) featured Da Lench Mob MC calling out everything he believed was wrong: in his community, in government, and in the Rap industry–including his former group N.W.A.
Since Death Certificate, Cube has become a media mogul. The MC on the independent label has made handfuls of film blockbusters, founded a 3-on-3 basketball league, and helped a number of artists, comedians, and entertainers make industry careers. When it comes to album-making, the South Central, Los Angeles, California native has never softened his message either. Whether the sarcastic “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It,” “All The Critics In New York,” or last week’s “Only One Me,” Cube is the same brash MC he’s always been.
No statement feels as powerful as the just-released “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” In 1988, Cube and N.W.A. released “F*ck Tha Police.” The song (which began as a Cube solo track demo) outraged many, while it made millions aware of the understated racism, prejudice and brutality that Cube witnessed and received from police. This was portrayed in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton film, which the rapper co-produced. Some of those iconic lyrics, about racist cops, are integrated into the chorus to today’s song.
However, it’s the verses that may be more significant. With a brassy, charged Funk track, Cube portrays two cops on patrol together, one good and one bad. The MC spits, “West Coast warlord, blacker than the black night / F*ck a black-and-white / When they ain’t actin’ right,” and later, “The Trojan horse / Is full of excessive force / When they try to get aggressive ni**as off the porch.” He attacks the code of support police officers use with each other, condoning the same things condemned on “F*ck Tha Police.” Talking about police searches in his home, Cube details that law enforcement still believes he’s got narcotics, when all he has are sky-box tickets to sporting events. He compares cops to Friday‘s “Deebo” character and says the same line he said in ’88.
Additionally, Cube will be on Real Time With Bill Maher this coming Friday, confronting the host’s use of the term “house-ni**a” when referring to himself. Maher has since issued an apology.