Today In Hip-Hop: Ice Cube Releases ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’

On this day, May 16th, in hip-hop history…

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1990: Money issues towards the end of 1989 between Ice Cube and N.W.A.’s manager Jerry Heller lead to Ice Cube leaving N.W.A. Ice Cube—who wrote most of the lyrics to Straight Outta Compton and Eazy-E’s solo album, Eazy-Duz-It—wasn’t having it and a beef between N.W.A and Ice Cube began.

Out came AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Ice Cube solo debut album. The album was a huge hit, both critically and commercially. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted was an eye level view of what really happens in the inner city that boasted both raw emotions and frightening details. Just listen to “Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside).”  The Bomb Squad production was amazing on AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, which only boast features from Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav and Chuck D and Yo-Yo. What’s astonishing about this album is that it charted without a single or video and not a lot of radioplay. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted achieved gold status two weeks after its release, and was certified Platinum two months later, eventually selling over two million albums.

The social commentary and street knowledge on AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted makes it a heavy influencer on gangsta rap. ”You Can’t Fade Me,”  ”It’s a Man’s World,”Turn Off the Radio” are just some of the timeless records that was on this 16-track masterpiece. Ice Cube overall theme on AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is one that he asked throughout his career,  ”Why there more niggas in the pen than in college?”