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What If Death Certificate Era Ice Cube Could Meet The Ice Cube Of Today?

Monday, August 23, 2010Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

The Groundbreaking Album By Ice Cube And A Lyrical Dose Of Black Consciousness 
Brother Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

In The Name Of ALLAH, The Beneficent, The Merciful

Death Certificate by Brother Ice Cube was one of the most lyrically potent albums in the career of Cube and one of the strongest  advocates of Black Power musically. It was a album which carried the philosophy of The Nation Of Islam, The Hon. Elijah Muhammad and The Hon. Louis Farrakhan with it's songs like "Color Blind" "Be True To The Game" "I Wanna Kill Sam" and "Death On Arrival". The album even featured strong spoken word segments by then NOI minister Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad. 

Personally, this album was one of the factors that led to me accepting Islam and raising my awareness.

In the years since there have been changes to Brother Ice Cube's output and there is ambiguity regarding what he presently stands for. 

But what I would like to explore in this article is "What If The Death Certificate Era Ice Cube Could Meet/Speak With The Ice Cube Of Today". I'm talking about the old school Ice Cube, the self proclaimed "Nigga Ya Love To Hate", The Ice Cube who condemned the "Horny Little Devil" and "Cave Bitch", The Ice Cube who said inside the pamphlet to the Death Certificate album "The best place for a young black male or female is the Nation of Islam."

However, In recent years Brother Ice Cube has become more famously known for his Hollywood movies like Players Club, Friday, Are We There Yet and now Lottery Ticket. Many of these movies have been quite enjoyable, however as a man who publicly bore witness to the knowledge of self and the teachings of The Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad the promotion of these images in film, which portray us in the roles of buffoons, thugs, drug addicts and promiscuous, is disappointing.

Be True To The Game 

"When you first start rhyming
It started off slow and then you start climbing
But it wasn't fast enough I guess
So you gave your other style a test
... Now look at yourself, boy you done flip-flopped" Ice Cube/Be True To The Game-Death Certificate 

Ice Cube was once known for his strong pro-black, pro Nation of Islam rhetoric in his albums. It was normal to hear excerpts of speeches The Hon. Louis Farrakhan or Khalid Abdul Muhammad throughout the album. Right after the time of his 4th album[Lethal Injection] there was an obvious shift in the focus of Brother Ice Cube. This was seen in his promotion of the St. Ides Malt Liquor via commercials, his gangsta posturing in the later group West Side Connection and the movies Friday and Players Club. 

This is not what our community needs with as much trouble being out of our mind causes

Ironically, MC Hammer was one of the targets of Ice Cube during the Death Certificate era for accusation of selling out and going mainstream.

In this image from Be True To The Game video Ice Cube takes a swipe at MC Hammer

By the time we got to his 5th album[War and Peace Vol 1] the gangsta persona[Don Mega] had took over replacing the previous balance of street tales with black consciousness. To his credit Brother Ice Cube returned to much of his form albumwise with his last album, Raw Footage.

Hollywood Movies and Our Images In Film

 "Stop selling out your race
And wipe that stupid-ass smile off your face
Niggas always gotta show they teeth
" Ice Cube/Be True To The Game-Death Certificate

I just saw this past weekend the newly released movie by Ice Cube Lottery Ticket staring Bow Wow and others. I didn't go into the movie expecting much more than seeing black people portrayed as big fools. And as expected we were portrayed as drug users, baby mamas, thugs, pimps, sissies, criminals and so on. And they even threw in a Muslim joke about beans pies and bow ties for comedic purposes. 

If you can look past the overall buffoonery there was a message about community, responsibility and a ending that talked about doing for self. However, the audience, comprised of black, white and others, I watched it with were obviously not paying attention to those messages and were falling over at the silly acting black people.

Am I saying that black people don't like to have a good time, laugh, dance and even cut a fool sometimes? No! But, these types of movies are played all over the world and they concretize the current view that we are silly people and not focused on serious matters. 

The image of blacks as clowns

In conclusion, as we can see the Death Certificate era Ice Cube would probably take strong offense to the Ice Cube of today. If you read this Brother Cube don't doubt for one moment if I have love for you. You were the man who entertained me and taught me at the same time. I still play those early albums when I want to hear thought provoking music. You inspired me to come closer to Islam. But, as you said so powerfully, "Now I'm a be brief
Be true to the game

Thank You for reading these few words 

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  1. Very well said. The facts are undeniable.

  2. Well once you know the truth, you can't run from it! It will eat at you unless you strive to live by truth! I don't think he could be sincerely happy by promoting such works.

  3. That is sooo true... you can't deny the truth once it's in you. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Anonymous9:26 PM

    As much as I enjoyed Ice Cube's later efforts, he lacked the soul of his previous albums. Maybe he just saw what was selling, and how brothers with messages (Kam, Da Lench Mob, Paris,etc.) were generally being blocked out of the mainstream, he had to go with the $. I mean, at least he didn't go out like Dr. Dre or Puff Daddy, and totally sell his soul. At least now he's coming with some knowledge, even though it's long overdue, it's better late than never again.

  5. Anonymous11:30 PM

    By far my favorite album of all time. Unfortunately,the facts that you point out are so vividly undeniable. Very very well said. I Loved, the OLD CUBE And that's not to hate, that's just the facts of the matter.


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