7. Ice Cube on "Burn Hollywood Burn" (1990)
"Ice Cube is down with the P.E./
Now every single bitch wanna see me/
Big Daddy is smooth word to mother/
Let's check out a flick that exploits the color/
Roaming through Hollywood late at night/
Red and blue lights, what a common sight/
Pulled to the curb, getting played like a sucker/
Don't fight the power...[gunshot]..the motherfucker"
Remember when we said Ice Cube was the best rapper alive in 1990? That's because he murdered everything from his own songs to features to figurative police harassing him. On Public Enemy's "Burn Hollywood Burn," a young Cube snarls about the LAPD's notorious racial profiling, "Roaming through Hollywood late at night/Red and blue lights what a common sight."
He caps the verse off by taking P.E.'s battle cry of "Fight the Power" one step further, violently disposing of his tormentor. Though simple, the verse is layered, aggressive, and blunt—all of which define young Cube's music. He helped burn Hollywood down on this track. Back then, if you'd told us this dude would be making Are We There Yet?... —Julian Kimble