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The Underrated: Ice Cube's The Predator



By @TrueGodImmortal 



Tracklist 
1. The First Day of School(Intro)
2. When Will They Shoot 
3. I'm Scared (Interlude)
4. Wicked 
5. Now I Gotta Wet Cha
6. The Predator
7. It Was A Good Day 
8. We Had To Tear This Muthafucka Up
9. Fuck Em (Interlude)
10. Dirty Mack 
11. Don't Trust Em
12. Gangstas Fairytale 2
13. Check Yo Self
14. Who Got The Camera
15. Integration 
16. Say Hi To The Bad Guy 

In the early 90s, if you ask me who was the best solo hip hop artist, I'm going with Ice Cube. While Rakim, Kool G, and many others still remained viable in the 90s, I feel like Cube was completely untouchable. There was no further proof of this than the streak of albums he released from 1990-1992, which was like a surefire triple threat of great to classic albums. His first two are certified classics, and solidified his standing as a hip hop legend, but his third solo is often slept on in many ways.

The Predator, released in November 1992 is extremely angry, aggressive, at times contradictory, but musically it is flawless. Cube managed to weave between conscious street nigga and gangsta rapper perfectly to provide the right amount of balance with his albums and to me, he perfected the formula on The Predator. On tracks like "When Will They Shoot", and one of his singles from the album "Wicked", Cube manages to touch on topics relevant to the time. With the LA Riots, the police brutality issues being out of hand, a lot of what Cube spoke about was in response to it all.

The Rodney King incident and the LA Riots had a lot of rappers from the West Coast in a militant mood of sorts, but Cube had always found a way to sneak substance into his music, one of the greatest gifts I believe he possessed as an MC. However, he also knew how to make trunks rattle and talk the shit that gangsta rap was loved for, and evidence of that can be found on the knocking DJ Muggs produced "Now I Gotta Wet Cha". DJ Pooh and Cube are a dynamic duo in a lot of ways, and Pooh would be beyond vital to this album, lending his production ability to 4 tracks on the album. The title track is one of my favorite on the album and Pooh does a great job providing the perfect backdrop for Cube to do his thing.

However, it would be the iconic "It Was A Good Day" that truly took this album to the next level, as the Isley Brothers looped/sampled track is the driving force of this album despite being a bit of a departure from the tone of the rest of it. Cube creates an amazing story about his day and everything that occurred, thanking God that he woke up, happy that he didn't have to use his AK, beeping a girl named Kim who can fuck all night (Kim is actually his wife's name), scoring a triple double on the basketball court, watching MTV Raps at Too Short's house, and the Lakers got a victory over the Supersonics. This sums up the day for Cube and the song in general, which features such a smooth sample and a relaxed vibe that it remains a staple at family cookouts and BBQs.

However, the reality of the situation in his area brings him back on "We Had To Tear The Muthafucka Up", before he discusses some funny yet serious topics on "Dirty Mack" and "Don't Trust Em". On "Dirty Mack", he really touched on the subject of dudes going behind their "friends" back and trying to use any advantage to sway a chick from talking to them. With "Don't Trust Em", he talks about the scandalous women and how they can set you up for a number of things. As the album winds down, Cube hits us with the Das EFX featured "Check Yo Self" and takes one final crack at police brutality on "Who Got The Camera".

With an album that is balanced, aggressive and could be consider Cube's most cohesive, The Predator is very close to being a classic album, and to many it is. The legacy of the project deserves to be celebrated. Reflect on this album with us and enjoy.

-True 

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