Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My First Cube: Kill At Will [EP]

What in the HELL was goin' on back in winter of '90? I was in high school with minimal prospects of getting laid. We were about a month away from the Gulf War(which I was old enough to participate in as my pops constantly reminded me). and there was no N.W.A. Dre, Eazy, Yella and Ren were still there but there ain't no N.W.A. without Cube !

Amerikkka's Most Wanted had gone platinum off the success of the title track and Who's The Mack?(which is still a funny ass video and song today) and I thought to myself: "OK, Cube got his shine on. Now he'll go back and they'll make more hits, right?...right?" That wasn't about to happen and in December of 1990 Cube put out the Kill At Will [EP] With production by the Bomb Squad and Cube himself, the album hit hard and showed his growth as an artist.

The first single: Jackin' For Beats was Cube goin' East Coast on our asses rhyming over familiar samples from D-Nice, EPMD, Public Enemy, X Clan and a few others. This was my favorite song back then. I didn't think anyone was gonna do a song like that for a long time. It was hot and it hit hard and Cube was saying he didn't care, he was gonna rhyme over anybody's beat. Other highlights include Dead Homiez (a serious song about coping with the death of a friend) and Get Off My Dick And Tell Yo' Bitch (Remix), whose title pretty much defines the whole cut.

The Product is now my favorite piece from the album. It describes a troubled black male from conception to a life of crime(an unfortunate consequence of poverty). As a young black male from the Bronx, I often laughed at the gang banger shit out west because I always thought it was kind of corny. Cube laid it out for me and the lyrics in the song showed the futility that many men in that situation faced. My least favorite is the Endangered Species (Remix) featuring Chuck D. While the message is good, the song just didn't hit me and it's the one I always skip. The album ends wit the 3 plus minutes shout outs on I Gotta Say What's Up!!! where he name checks everyone who was hot at the time in the Hip-Hop community.

This was the first Cube album I purchased and it forever changed the way I viewed West Coast rap. As a lyricist, Cube was the exception and I never really cared about N.W.A. again after that because he was the driving force that made them what they were. Of course he went on to release Death Certificate which had No Vaseline (The GREATEST DISS TRACK EVER!) and the rest as they say is history.

To enjoy the full range of Ice Cube's talent, please seek out his discography and purchase it. Even though he comes off as a hypocrite now, he's still an important part of the Hip-Hop puzzle.

Ice Cube-Kill At Will [EP]


Commish CH said...

I heard once that "JD's Gafflin" skit from "Amerikkka's..." was actually a full track. It was supposed to be included on Kill at Will, but was pulled at the last moment.

Great review...that EP just kind of came outta nowhere. I remember it just arriving in the stores with little promotion.

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