First Impressions: The 50 Best Album-Opening Songs in Rap History

10. Ice Cube "The Nigga Ya Love to Hate" (1990)

Producer: The Bomb Squad, Ice Cube, Sir Jinx
Album: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
Label: Priority


"The Nigga Ya Love" is punk rock in the form of rap, but it's better than punk rock because Cube didn't simply subvert the establishment with his hatred: he met it head-on and beat it down point by point. AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted feels like a looting spree, but rather than ransacking storefronts for material goods, Cube runs rampant through the household of the white society that had villainized him and everyone that looked like him. The album leaves no table unturned, no glass intact, no lawn unharmed. Every single thing has to go and it has to go with glee. The thing about "The Nigga Ya Love To Hate" that most scared white America was that it made cultural insurgence sound like more fun than any house party you could ever throw in the suburbs. The political moment of this song may have passed but it has lost none of its momentum. As soon as you press play you already feel like you've thrown a chair through a plate glass window. —Sam Sweet

Tags: ice_cube
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