Top 5 Tracks off Ice Cube’s Death Certificate

death-certificate-ice-cube-back-n-the-day-buffet-1Ice Cube dropped his second studio album “Death Certificate” on October 29th 1991.  The album had controversy written all over it due to the cover artwork.   Ice Cube has his hand over his heart and is standing on top of Uncle Sam’s dead body at the morgue.  The album was mostly produced by Sir Jinx and Boogieman and it was a departure from the east coast sounding first album “Amerikkkas Most Wanted” produced by the Bomb Squad.  The album is considered a “Hip Hop Classic” by the majority of rap aficionados.  The album is divided in two parts, the Death Side and the Life Side.

I can easily say that I dig and know every single word to every song on this album. There are some tracks better than others, but this is easily a 5 mic album!  These are my top 5 favorite tracks on this album, so if you disagree with me, I completely understand.   Here we go!

5. Steady Mobbin’

The first single off this classic album banged from “here to Albuquerque!“.  Over a dope Average White BandReach Out” guitar riff, Cube tells what happens on an average day in South Central Los Angeles.  Cube jumps in his lowrider, goes for the store for beer, goes home to take a dump, and…oh yeah…he ends the night banging some chick.   Must of been a “Good Day!”

Since one-time so hot
Got me a stash spot in my hooptie for the Glock
Cause I’m rollin’ on rims
Eating soul food, neckbones from M&M’s
Grumbbin’ like a motherfucker
Greasy-ass lips, now I gots to take a shit
Saw Sir Jinx bailin’
When I hit a left on Ruthelen, “Whattup loc?”
Don’t you know that niggas get smoked
That take they life for a joke, get in nigga
I take you to the pad soon
Went to mom’s house and dropped a load in the bathroom
Jumped back in my low rider
Comin’ out feelin’ about ten pounds lighter
Went to Bone’s house so I can get the gat
Looking for the place where all the hoes kick it at
Lench Mob ain’t nuttin but tramps
But hoes lickin’ nuts like stamps
One fool bumpin’ music for the yams
But Ice Cube had more amps, get in bitch
Cause I had the jam on
And I don’t want to hear shit about a tampon
Give me the nappy and make me happy
The ho said ‘Pappy could you slap me
On the ass hard and fast
And could please try not to leave a gash?’
I said yeah, but I don’t play sex
Without puttin’ on the latex
Slipped on the condom
Fucked around and dropped the bomb son
And it came out sort of like confetti
In for the night, no longer steady mobbin’

4.  My Summer Vacation

The beat he uses for this track is nothing spectacular.  It’s easily identifiable as George Clinton’sAtomic Dog“, but its his storytelling that makes this track one of his greatest tracks.  Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, drugs were sold in every corner.  So to be able to make a profit and in a hurry, you go where there is less competition.  So Cube and his homies get on a plane and set up shop in St Louis.  Great story.  Greater storyteller!

Damn G, the spot’s gettin hot
So how the fuck am I supposed to make a knot?
Police looking at niggas through a microscope
In L.A. everybody and they momma sell dope
They trying to stop it
So what the fuck can I do to make a profit?
Catch a flight to St. Louis
That’s cool, cause nobody knew us
We stepped off the plane
Four gang bangers, professional crack slangers
Rented a car at wholesale
Drove to the ghetto, and checked in a motel
Unpacked and I grab the three-eighty
Cause where we stayin, niggas look shady
But they can’t fade South Central
Cause bustin a cap is fundamental
Checkin out every block close
Seein which one will clock the most
Yeah this is the one no doubt
Bust a U, Bone, and let’s clear these niggas out

3.  Us

When Cube get’s serious, you know the track is an automatic classic!  He makes x-rated raps, storytelling tracks and diss tracks, but when he talks about social issues, you know he speaks the truth, even if it hurts.  On “Us” he points the finger at himself.  Instead of making excuses, he shows his people what is wrong and how it can be fixed.  Extremely powerful track.

And all y’all dope-dealers…
You’re as bad as the po-lice- cause ya kill us
You got rich when you started slangin’ dope
But you ain’t built us a supermarket
So when can spend our money with the blacks
Too busy buyin’ gold an’ Cadillacs
That’s what ya doin’ with the money that ya raisin’
Exploitin’ us like the Caucasians did
For 400 years -I got 400 tears- for 400 peers
Died last year from gang-related crimes
That’s why I got gang-related rhymes
But when I do a show ta kick some facts
Us Blacks don’t know how ta act
Sometimes I believe the hype, man
We mess it up ourselves and blame the white man
But don’t point the finger you jiggaboo
Take a look at yourself ya dumb nigga you
Pretty soon hip-hop won’t be so nice
No Ice Cube, just Vanilla Ice
And yall sit and scream and cuss
But there’s no one ta blame- but US

2.  A Bird In The Hand

What more can I say about this song? First, the BB King sample of “Chains in Things” and that boom bap drum sample taken from the Five Stairsteps is 50% of this track!  The other half is the power Cube lyrics that play on the proverb of  “A bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush.”  So what Cube is saying is that he rather stick with what he knows (drug dealing) rather than living a normal life with a 9-5 job that will never get him the things in life he truly desires.  It’s 2 minutes and 17 seconds of raw and pure 100% dopeness!

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 that’s 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 SC 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?”
Gotta serve ya food that might give you cancer
Cause my son doesn’t take no for an answer
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 a Bush

Numero Uno?  No Vaseline

Everyone’s favorite track is “No Vaseline“.  It is probably the greatest diss record ever recorded.  He goes after every single member of N.W.A and does not hold back.  On “Ammerikkka’s Most Wanted” he minded his own business.  On “Kill At Will” he had one line at the end of the song “Jackin for Beats” that said,

And if I jack you and you keep comin
I’ll have you marks a 100 Miles and Running!

So we knew that the mercury was going to boil over, and when it did, it crushed the whole group to the point that everyone went their separate ways.  Now, he wasn’t the main reason, but Cube was smarter than the rest and jumped ship at the appropriate time.

The Sir Jinx produced track samples Brick’sDazz” and LL Cool J’sTo Da Break of Dawn” lyric “now you’re getting done without vaseline” to bring the record to life!  It’s the last track on the album and Cube saves the best for last!

Goddamn, I’m glad y’all set it off
Used to be hard, now you’re just wet and soft
First you was down with the AK
And now I see you on a video with Michel’le
Looking like straight Bozos
I saw it coming, that’s why I went solo
And kept on stomping
While y’all mothafuckers moved straight outta Compton
Living with the whites
One big house and not another nigga in sight
I started off with too much cargo
Dropped four niggas now I’m making all the dough
White man just ruling
The Niggas With Attitudes? Who ya foolin’?
Y’all niggas just phony
I put that on my Mama and my dead homies
Yella Boy’s on your team, so you’re losing
Ay yo Dre, stick to producing
Calling me Arnold, but you bent-a-dick
Eazy-E saw your ass and went in it quick
You got jealous when I got my own company
But I’m a man, and ain’t nobody humping me
Trying to sound like Amerikkka’s Most?
You could yell all day, but you don’t come close
Cause you know I’m the one that flowed
Ya done run 100 miles, but you still got one to go
With the L-E-N-C-H M-O-B
And y’all disgrace the C-P-T
Cause you’re getting fucked out your green
By a white boy, with no vaseline

Now you’re getting done without vaseline
Now you’re getting done without vaseline
Now you’re getting done without vaseline
Damn, it feels good to see people, on it

[Verse 2]
The bigger the cap, the bigger the peeling
Who gives a fuck about a punk-ass villain?
You’re getting fucked real quick
And Eazy’s dick is smelling like MC Ren’s shit
Tried to tell you a year ago
But Willie D told me to let a ho be a ho, so
I couldn’t stop you from getting ganked
Now let’s play big-bank-take-little-bank
Tried to diss Ice Cube, it wasn’t worth it
Cause the broomstick fit your ass so perfect
Cut my hair? Naw, cut them balls
Cause I heard you like giving up the drawers
Gang-banged by your manager, fella
Getting money out your ass like a mothafucking Ready Teller
Giving up the dollar bills
Now they got The Villain with a purse and high-heels
So don’t believe what Ren say
Cause he’s going out like Kunte Kinte
But I got a whip for ya, Toby
Used to be my homie, now you act like you don’t know me
It’s a case of divide-and-conquer
Cause you let a Jew break up my crew
House nigga gotta run and hide
Yelling Compton, but you moved to Riverside
So don’t front, MC Ren
Cause I remember when you drove a B-210
Broke as a mothafucking joke
Let you on the scene to back up the First Team
It ain’t my fault, one nigga got smart
And they ripping your asshole apart
By taking your green
Oh yeah, The Villain does get fucked with no vaseline

Now you’re getting done, get-getting done
Now you’re getting done, get-getting done
Now you’re getting done without va-va-va-va-vaseline

[Verse 3]
I never have dinner with the President
I never have dinner with the President
I never have dinner with the President
And when I see your ass again, I’ll be hesitant
Now I think you a snitch
Throw a house nigga in a ditch
Half-pint bitch, fucking your homeboys, you little maggot
Eazy-E turned faggot
With your manager, fella
Fucking MC Ren, Dr. Dre, and Yella
But if they were smart as me
Eazy-E a’be hanging from a tree
With no vaseline
Just a match and a little bit of gasoline
Light ’em up, burn ’em up, flame on
Till that Jheri curl is gone
On a permanent vacation
Off the massa plantation
Heard you both got the same bank account
Dumb nigga, what you thinking bout?!
Get rid of that Devil real simple
Put a bullet in his temple
Cause you can’t be the Nigga 4 Life crew
With a white jew telling you what to do
Pulling wools with your scams
Now I gotta play the Silence of the Lambs
With a midget who’s a punk, too
Tryin’ to fuck me, but I’d rather fuck you
Eric Wright, punk, always into something
Gettin’ fucked at night
By Mista Shitpacker
Bend over for the goddamn cracker
No vaseline
Mothafucking, no jive having ass motherfucker Jheri curl like…

So, what are your 5 favorite tracks off this album?  All I can say is that if “No Vaseline” is not #1, there are millions of Hip Hop fans that will disagree with you!  The question remains, is “Death Certificate” better than “Amerikka’s Most Wanted”?

-Al E.

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