Street Knowledge

The world of music and entertainment has never been the same since N.W.A.’s sonic assault on the world in the late ’80s.  Dr. Dre is a music, technology and business mogul with his fingers in the jar at the world’s biggest company.  Eazy went early in a Shakespearean death, Yella is well, Yella.  And that leaves MC Ren and Ice Cube.  Which is convenient as today and tomorrow are their respective birthdays.  What a coincidence.

There is a song on Straight out of Compton that puts MC Ren’s vocals on display over a throbbing banger from the Doctor.  I remember rolling with a crew of, and I’m being generous here, knuckleheads, who all had white compact cars overloaded with ridiculous sound systems.  It was real trip, hearing this song for the first time as the subs massaged my back in the rear seat, the 808’s panning back and forth and flooding my eardrums. That shit was on repeat that night, and I’ve held a special place for it ever since.

Ice Cube is an actor, writer, and movie producer who just happened to put out a few of the tightest solo albums in hip hop history.   From Amerikkka’s Most Wanted to Predator, Cube had one hell of a run.  They all have bangers, but my desert island album of the pack would have to be ‘Death Certificate’.

This is a fantastic concept album.  A standout joint for me has always been ‘Summer Vacation’.   Cube paints a vivid picture of the street game, sowing the seeds for his future as a screenwriter, coming to life over a classic west coast bounce.

There’s my birthday shout-out to a couple OG’s.    Easy.    – JT

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