AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990)—Ice Cube
When I left N.W.A., I got the chance to rap on the Bomb Squad’s beats. I always loved their work on those Public Enemy records. On AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted I thought I was getting the chance to do something that not too many people had done: bridge the gap between the East and West with just one record. These motherfuckers were mad scientist when it came to sampling and layering beats. I was on cloud nine. You had the Eric Sadler on the bottom beats; Chuck D on the scratching and anything that you heard flying in and out; and Hank and Keith Shocklee were just adding and stacking sounds. I knew I was going to have a great record, despite all the shit that the guys from N.W.A. were talking about how my album was going to be trash. All I heard was, ‘You going out to New York to work on your record? That’s dumb!’ All that shit they hit me with, I was like, ‘Whatever…watch this.’ Me and Sir Jinx put together our preliminary plan and had some songs we took with us to New York. Jinx produced “Once Upon A Time In The Projects,” “You Can’t Fade Me,” and helped put together those skits. I call Jinx my crazy producer [laughs]. He’s a mad scientist his damn self.
I think “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate” was the perfect opening song. But originally it caused a huge argument in the studio. The crew thought that I was dissing myself on that track. No rapper had ever told the listener to literally tell them, ‘Fuck you.’ But I explained to them that because the song is called “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate” that means it was about the hate I was receiving because of the dope shit I was giving to the [masses]. It was back and forth until I let the guys feel what I was trying to do—they just bit into it totally. That’s how we knew we were making a record that was beyond the boundaries of anything that was done.
And then you have a song like “Endangered Species,” which was extremely powerful. For one thing, Chuck is rhyming on the track with me, which was just incredible. To me it’s a straight Public Enemy beat. We had some crazy ass distortion going through that song. It actually pierces your ears. And the end of the song is equally powerful. The whole chase down by the police dogs. Every black person that hears that can feel it in their chromosomes like it was happening to them. It was just a great record.