AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted album cover
AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted

Ice Cube

Priority Records

It surprised many that an L.A. icon like Ice Cube would decide to partner with New York’s Bomb Squad production team for his first LP away from N.W.A. Yet, coastal allegiances aside, the pairing was brilliant, with the Bomb Squad’s cacophonous wall of noise being a perfect complement to Cube’s own brand of righteous fury. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted also showed us how a solo Cube could now lean fully into his own persona as the West Coast’s scowling prophet of rage on songs like “The N—— Ya Love to Hate” and the title track. That doesn’t mean he also didn’t have a droll sense of humor, as he showed us on the fanciful “A Gangsta’s Fairytale,” or the playful and biting duet with Yo-Yo, “It’s a Man’s World.” It’s an open debate as to whether this or his follow-up, Death Certificate, were Cube’s definitive albums but there’s no wrong answer.

Oliver Wang

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