Moguls for the last 3 weeks we have been on Facebook debating, questioning, and validating the top 20 albums in the history of Hip Hop. It has been a process that not only kept my debating skills sharp, but it has also sent me back to the vault to listen to music I otherwise would have not listened to. You know how we do with rap music, it tends to only get airplay until the next hot track comes along. However, I recently pulled out Ice Cube’s Death Certificate and all I can say is “wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute….drop an old school beat!!”
Ladies and Gentlemen if you have not played Cube’s Death Certificate since the LA Riots put that joint in and relive the genius, anger, pro-blackness in all of it’s glory. This album is just as relevant now as it was back then. The Death side and Life side was a brilliant concept, that culminated with No Vaseline at the end of the album. However the highlight of the album for me was a brief 8 minutes tucked away at the end of the Death side.
A Bird In A Hand, Man’s Best Friend and Alive On Arrival is hip hop at it’s finest. Ice Cube was able to sum up the emotions, frustration, and anger of the average young Black Man in such a way that I swore I had some Khakis and Chucks on when I listened to it. Take a listen to A Bird In The Hand.
Fresh out of school cause I was a high school grad
Gots to get a job cuz I was a high school dad
Wish I got paid by rappin’ to the nation
But thats not likely, so here’s my application
Pass it to the man at AT&T
Cause when I was in school I got the A.E.E
But there’s no S.C. for this youngsta
I didn’t have no money, so now I got to punch the
Clock, gotta slave, and be half a man
But whitey says there’s no room for the African
Always knew that I would clock G’s
But welcome to McDonalds may I take your order please
Come on Moguls….. what rap song do you know that better sums up the feeling of “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” that so many of us feel after graduation? Shit, some of went to college and still had that feeling. And unfortunately that feeling of worthlessness leads to getting money any way you how, damn waiting on little checks from Mickey D’s and them.
Now I pay taxes that you never give me back
What about diapers, bottles, and similac
Do I have to sell me a whole lotta crack
For decent shelter and clothes on my back?
Or should I just wait for help from Bush
Or Jesse Jackson, and Operation PUSH
If you ask me the whole thing needs a douche
A Massengill what the hell crack will sell in the neighborhood
To the corner house bitches
Miss Parker, little Joe and Todd Bridges
Or anybody that he know
So I copped me a bird, better known as a kilo
Now everybody know I went from po’ to a nigga that got dough
So now you put the feds against me
Cause I couldn’t follow the plan of the presidency
I never get love again
But blacks are too fuckin’ broke to be republican
Now I remember I used to be cool
Till I stopped fillin’ out my W-2
Now senators are gettin’ high
And your plan against the ghetto backfired
So now you got a pep talk
But sorry, this is our only room to walk
Cause we don’t want a drug push
But a bird in the hand is worth more than the bush…..
What’s next after selling drugs??? Make sure you get a gat.
Here’s another topic I’m addressin’
So learn a quick lesson, about your Smith and Wesson
Sit your ass back and comprehend
As I let you know about man’s best friend
Now remember: it used to be a dog like Lassie
But now in ninety-one it’s a gun if you asked me
Just like a jimmy hat’s used for protection
I use my nine when suckers start to flexin’
Cause if you run up and try to play mine
I’d rather have a AK than a fuckin’ canine
Cause if you shot your gun, and my dog tried to fetch ya’
Me and the dog’s goin out on a stretcher
And I ain’t with that, so I gotta get that
Big black gat, aim and I hit that
Forget about a dog fool, he’ll shit in the den
Nowadays.. a gat is man’s best friend
After listening to Man’s Best Friend I bet the Pope would run to his local gat shop and pick up a gun. Because in these streets a dog ain’t protecting shit ya hear me?
Alive On Arrival is storytelling at it’s finest. Ice Cube was on some Dr. Suess/Slick Rick/Mark Twain shit on this track. The story he told was so vivid that it played out like Boyz In The Hood part II Dough Boy Dies.
Down at the best spot
Its me and JD and they sellin more birds than a pet shop.
The spot’s hot and everybody nervous
That’s when the blue car served us
Oh why did fools have to let loose?
Heard six pops from a deuce deuce.
Big Tom had to push us
13 niggas runnin straight to the bushes
For they gats so they could draw down
But why a motherfucker like me have to fall down?
Not knowin’ why I dropped out
Fuck it, still can’t afford to get popped out
So now I gotta jet
Only ran one block, but my shirt soakin’ wet
Tryin to see if we got ’em
Looked down and my sweatshirt’s red at the bottom.
Didn’t panic but I still looked cracked out
Yelled to the homies then I blacked out
These 3 songs right here are the best 8 minutes the West Coast gave us since Billie Jean/Human Nature on Thriller. And the fact that each song was so short it got straight to the point without beating around the bush. These songs plays like boy graduated from high school with no job so he started slanging. He ended up getting a gat because he has to protect his. The same weapon that he went to buy ended up killing him… how ironic? Death Certificate is a classic in every sense of the word. Get your Dr. Khalid Muhammad on listen to Death Certificate once again.
The Chairman of the Board * Spanish Jose taught him how to get the money cats owed him * He also loves to write, create fly tshirts, and smoke cigars * When he is not in the UML office he can be seen being Cool @ ClassiclyCool.Tumblr.com *