Solo Albums: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (1990), Kill At Will (1990), Death Certificate (1991), The Predator (1992)
Group Albums: Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Biggest Hits: "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" (1990), "True to the Game" (1992), "Wicked" (1992), "Check Yo Self" (1992), "It Was a Good Day" (1992)
It's very difficult these days, when you watch him blowing fake snow off his mustache in those Coors Light commercials, to concurrently keep in mind just how incredibly good Ice Cube was at rapping in his prime. He was the best there was. For the five year stretch that took rap from New York's first "golden era" to the moment when L.A.'s gangsta rap definitively repositioned the center of power out west, Cube was expanding the form's parameters in terms of lyrical scope, reportorial acuity, emotional ferocity, and political stridency.
This was also an era of American history defined by the acquittal of four policemen in the case of the videotaped beating of Rodney King and and the attendant riots that shook Los Angeles immediately afterward. Looking back, there is no important voice on the climate of the times than Ice Cube's.
His body of work from those years stands as proof: Writing "Fuck Police" and the majority of the best songs on N.W.A's 1988 classic Straight Outta Compton; the cross-country collaboration with Public Enemy's production team The Bomb Squad that resulted in his jaw-dropping solo debut Amerikka's Most Wanted; the Kill At Will EP, with the elegiac masterpiece "Dead Homies;" the explosive, rageful Death Certificate; and 1992's The Predator, which included both the crossover G-funk smash "Today Was a Good Day," and, in an interview interlude titled "Fuck 'Em," the very true, career-encapsulating statement, "Anything you wanted to know about the riots was in the records before the rights. All you had to do was go to the Ice Cube library and pick a record and it would have told you..."
No matter how many movies he makes, or funny-style Coors Light commercials, let no one forget: Ice Cube's best rap music was about as good as rap music's ever gotten. — Dave Bry