Ice Cube skims top hits chart with new album

Album debuts at 62 on the Billboard 200


Eva Rinaldi

Ice Cube on stage at Supafest music concert performing live. (photo courtesy by Wikimedia Commons)

Abrianna Bohn, Editor-in-Chief

    Legendary rapper O’Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube, returns to the music scene after an eight year absence with a new album that is just as eclectic as his life has been since his rise to fame.

    Ice Cube has been an influential artist since 1986 when the hip hop group N.W.A. blew up the gangsta rap subgenre. After leaving the group in the ‘90s, Jackson has become a successful, platinum-selling, solo artist. In recent years he has also branched more in to acting on the big screen than music, until this year.

    In the past Ice Cube has kept his style and lyrics culturally relevant and intriguing to listen to. Keeping that in mind, his new album Everythangs Corrupt is not quite meet the same standard of music usually associated with what Jackson puts out.

    The short intro to the album, “Super OG,” is ear-catching and inspires excitement until the first song starts that is. The first six songs were an enormous let down both lyrically and stylistically, sounding much like many of the other beginner rappers being put out on the radio recently.

    “Arrest The President” definitely sets the mood Jackson wishes to put down in the current political climate, the lyrics themselves conveying a lot of meaning and cultural opinion, though his simple bass tones and beats paired with the pace of the rhymes and over-use of certain words make the song lose a lot of the strong effect it could have had on the listener.

    The next five songs after “Arrest The President” give a similar feeling of a lack of Ice Cube character and personality usually seen in his work besides the frequent references to politics, drugs, sex and money.

    The shift from plain to unique comes on the eighth track of the album at “Streets Shed Tears.” The sudden tone shift from gangsta rap to R&B/hip hop is a refreshing surprise and regained attention after the weak start.

    “Streets Shed Tears” is smooth and soft rap ballad, a change from the style commonly associated with Ice Cube. An unnamed female singer comes in to sing the chorus while Jackson shows off his confidence in the lyrics of the verses.

    Track nine, “Ain’t Got No Haters,” is the only song with a feature credit made by Too $hort. The song has a groovy beat with a slightly disco-funk techno beat underneath lyrics focusing on Ice Cube’s fame and fortune, along with his experiences in both laced with sarcastic bragging.

    From track 8-16 the mood is significantly different than what the beginning of the album suggested. The beats become more complex and individual as Jackson’s personal sound finally makes an appearance. The chunks of songs that make up the second half of the album give the impression of an autobiography in Jackson’s flow.

    The album in its entirety, while not the greatest, is interesting at least. The moods and genre changes are exceptional, the album starting off hard and fierce then steadily slowing to the smooth and calm, only for it later to rev back up towards the end of the album, making a statement.

    Transitions between songs come smoothly, key words placed in songs earlier in the album would later become choruses in the songs that came after. Transitions were also boosted by voice clips of people speaking, not always something coherent in context, but usually still impactful lyrically and for the vibe to set for the next song.

    As always Ice Cube “keeps it real” as he raps with a steady stream of explicit language; though the way Jackson uses them it sounds more tasteful than most of the profane-riddled rap music found recently.

    Overall the album, while not without its flaws, is well-made and worthy of more attention than it has been given thus far.