Raekwon’s second solo single ‘Criminology’, taken from his 1995 debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, gets pressed to 7” vinyl for the first time ever thanks to Get On Down. Like many songs from the album, ‘Criminology’ features an unforgettable guest verse from Ghostface Killah, while RZA provides one of his hardest and grimiest beats ever. Original b-side ‘Glaciers of Ice’ is also featured here, adding a verse from Masta Killa.
Ice Cube opened the ‘90s following his acrimonious split from NWA with ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’, which became a considerable critical and commercial success, despite its challenging sound and lyrical content, a feat which makes Universal Music Series repress of the record a worthy listen. The release makes for a confrontational listen, with violent imagery scathingly delivered on topics relevant to Ice Cube’s political climate at the time, and which remain nonetheless pertinent issues today.
On ‘Endangered Species (Tales From the Darkside)’, the rapper focuses on racial tensions in his local area which were bubbling into violence, and reached a head a few years after the record’s release. With production from Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad crew, these incendiary lyrics are leant an extra sense of surreal terror, with radio headlines describing racial attacks rearing their sinister head and mangled strings laying the foundations for genres like Grime. On ‘The Nigga Ya Love To Hate’, the groove is part hip-hop, part techno, with an obsessive pound which drills home Ice Cube’s vocal delivery, even as the rapper’s haters scream chorus abuse at him. With the twisted funk of the album’s title track, scratched into an alien hip-hop cut, the record remains an example of the genre at its most confrontational and socially aware.
- 1 Better Off Dead 0:30 Ice Cube
- 2 The Nigga Ya Love To Hate 0:30 Ice Cube
- 3 AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted 0:30 Ice Cube
- 4 What They Hittin' Foe? 0:30 Ice Cube
- 5 You Can't Fade Me / JD's Gafflin' 0:30 Ice Cube
- 6 Once Upon A Time In The Projects 0:30 Ice Cube
- 7 Turn Off The Radio 0:30 Ice Cube
- 8 Endangered Species (Tales From The Darkside) 0:30 Ice Cube
- 9 A Gangsta's Fairytale 0:30 Ice Cube
- 10 I'm Only Out For One Thang 0:30 Ice Cube