March 7th, 2008

icecube_in_movies.jpgTitle: Ice Cube: In the Movies
Artist: Ice Cube
Label: Priority Records
Catalog No: 09463 97253 28
Date: 2007

 

Ice Cube is one of the most legendary figures in hip hop music and culture. With N.W.A., Cube laid the foundation for gangsta rap. As a solo artist, he took rap music to new heights with his booming voice and chilling social commentary. Another avenue in which Cube has made a significant impact is film-as an actor, screen writer, director, and musician. Over the last fifteen years, he has made many notable contributions to the soundtracks of his own films as well as others. Ice Cube: In the Movies is a Priority release that compiles Cube’s best soundtrack work into a single disc.

The CD opens with Ice Cube’s three most commercially successful soundtrack singles, “You Can Do It” from Next Friday (2000), “We Be Clubbin” from The Player’s Club (1998), and “Natural Born Killaz” with Dr. Dre from Murder Was the Case (1994). After the lackluster “Anybody Seen the Popo’s” from XXX State of The Union (2005), his gangsta rap classics “Friday” from Friday (1995) and “How to Survive in South Central” from Boyz N The Hood (1991) are included back to back. The well-written and grossly overlooked “Ghetto Vet,” from I Got the Hookup (1998), kicks off the second half of the album. “Higher” from Higher Learning (1995) and the classic “Trespass” with Ice-T from Trespass (1992) rounds out the disc.

Aside from minor sequencing issues, there is nothing wrong with this compilation. Priority Records did a solid job of amassing Ice Cube’s best soundtrack work. In a genre where artists typically give their most mediocre songs to soundtracks, Ice Cube’s material stands out. Over the last few years, rappers Eminem and Three Six Mafia have won Oscars for their contributions to film soundtracks.1 Ice Cube: In the Movies proves that Ice Cube set the standard for hip hop soundtracks and deserves a lifetime achievement award if one is ever created for this category.

Posted by Langston Collin Wilkins

[1] On March 5, 2006, Three 6 Mafia made history as they became the first Black music group to win an Academy Award for Best Song and also became the first hip hop artists to ever perform at the ceremony. The group was nominated for the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. This marked only the second time a rap act has won an Academy Award, following Eminem in 2002. -cf. Wikipedia.

Review Genre(s): Rap and Hip-Hop,Soundtracks and Spoken Word


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