Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ice Cube: Death Certificate [Priority, 1991]
Between "Dead Homiez," which mourned murdered friends in a voice some called soft, and Boyz N the Hood, which required him to simulate thought, the St. Ides spokesperson was worried about his image. To use the only noun in the hard lexicon that suggests normal human sensitivities, he was acting like a "faggot." So here he reclaims his perpetually threatened manhood. Early on he mitigates the usual gangsta shit--gat as penis and pit bull, female body as pestilence and plague--with such touches as an antigang track and a nurse with attitude. But eventually he breaks new ground. In addition to many fascinated rhymes on the complex subject of who fucks who in the ass and how, he nuts out on white devils who crave "a taste of chocolate" because "white bitches have no butt and no chest." He inveighs against "Jap" and "Jew." And he proposes a "nationwide boycott" of Korean-owned inner-city businesses that escape the torch, poking gentle fun at the Korean accent along the way. Call him Ice KKKube--a straight-up bigot simple and plain. C+