Ice Cube made a powerful statement on Real Time last Friday. Taking aim at Maher, Cube reminded everyone that hip hop always spoke the raw, uncut truth to power. Rap’s ability to be a blunt instrument of social change goes unmatched.
Cube’s own legacy is built on the very idea of being a truth-teller. He started rapping in high school and attracted attention from the music industry. Cube later signed with the Los Angeles-based Priority Records in 1989.
Soon, his first album came out—among its tracks were “It’s a Cruel World” and “Doin’ Our Thang.” That record and his other early work helped expose the masses to harsh realities. Urban America bears its bloody, gun-slinging glory and points the finger at the system causing it.
Those ideas continued to define his work after N.W.A split up. The 1991 release of Death Certificate became the most prominent example. Though the album’s production and MC skills were lauded, its lyrics were often inflammatory.
Tracks such as “No Vaseline” viciously attacked his old N.W.Members including Eazy-E and Jerry Heller. He used anti-Semitic language to attack and offend Heller.
After Death Certificate, Cube branched out into acting. He made his beyond-legendary film debut in the coming-of-age hood drama Boyz N the Hood. However, it’s his foray into politics that has garnered the most controversy.
While Cube has a long history of denouncing racism in his music, he has become more political in recent years. Some of his most controversial statements came out of the era of President Donald Trump. His recent tweets suggested that it doesn’t matter which political party is in office.
He said that black people should be to white men what negroes were to white women. These takes drew criticism from scholars and pundits alike.