Sign Your Death Certificate

It has been an overwhelmingly strong reemergence of interests in entrepreneurship in the Black community in the United States. With Dr. Boyce Watkins, Dr. Umar Johnson, Dr. Claud Anderson, Killer Mike and Willie D to name a few pushing for Black financial independence and Jay Z releasing his latest album 4:44 that has heavy overtones of financial literacy and talks of establishing your own and escaping the corporate plantation. It brought to mind one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever recorded and released in my opinion Death Certificate by Hip-Hop Icon ice Cube. He spoke of financial freedom 25 years before Jay Z, I’m going to take this time to re-visit this work of art and give my assessment of the lyrics track by track. Death Certificate released in October of 1991 by solo artist Ice Cube former founding member of gangster rap group N.W.A. Cube had always spoke with a sense of revolution in his lyrics even in his N.W.A. days but with the release of Death Certificate he addressed issues that were very critical and spoke directly to the black community and forced us to have self-reflection, and take responsibility for our own actions. The way that he broke the album up side A was the death side and side B was the life side. I’ll start this assessment with the death side. The first track on the Death side was titled The Funeral, it was an interlude: The Funeral: Niggas are in a state of emergency

The death side, mirror damage of where we are today

The life side a vision of where we need to go

So sign your death certificate Fuck all, y'all

Lisa got him Alright, on three, one, two, three

Come on brothers we gotta walk this way

Can't believe it man

The homeboy, hey, open that door

Open it, alright 'right We've come together by God's demand

Whether it be for life or death

Well, this morning, it's over the mourning

Of one of our little brothers This brother was a good brother

He didn't get into an excessive amount of trouble

But it's one thing, it's one thing, it's one thing

He was the wrong nigga to fuck with What Ice Cube was saying with this interlude was showing that we are dead in this society as a people and in order for us to be reborn again and escape this nigga mentality of self-hate, gang banging, drug dealing, promiscuity, and fleeing the cooperate plantation we must bury the nigga mentality and be reborn again as a Black nation which he goes more in depth on the B side. The next track I want to speak on is titled Summer Vacation the subject of this song is about a group of California drug dealers that travel to St. Louis to set up shop in a ghetto and taking over the drug trade in that community. Summer Vacation: This is the final boarding call for flight 1259

Departing from Los Angeles final destination to St. Louis

Thank you Damn G the spot's gettin' hot

So how the fuck am I supposed to make a knot?

Police looking at niggas through a microscope

In L.A. everybody and they momma sell dope

They trying to stop it

So what the fuck can I do to make a profit?

Catch a flight to St. Louis

That's cool, cause nobody knew us

We stepped off the plane

Four gang bangers, professional crack slangers

Rented a car at wholesale

Drove to the ghetto, and checked in a motel

Unpacked and I grab the three-eighty

Cause where we stayin', niggas look shady

But they can't fade South Central

Cause bustin' a cap is fundamental

Checkin' out every block close

Seein' which one will clock the most

Yeah this is the one no doubt

Bust a you Bone, and let's clear these niggaz out Hey hey man, whats up nigga?

Yo, well this Lench Mob nigga! Now clearin' 'em out meant casualties

Still had the L.A. mentality

Bust a cap, and out of there in a hurry

Wouldn't you know, a driveby in Missouri

Them fools got popped

Took their corner next day, set up shop

And it's better than slangin' in the Valley

Triple the profit makin' more than I did in Cali

Breakin' off rocks like Barney Rubble

Cause them mark-ass niggas don't want trouble

And we ain't on edge when we do work

Police don't recognize the khakis and the sweatshirts

Getting bitches and they can't stand a

Nineteen-ninety-one Tony Montana

Now the shit's like a war

Of gang violence, where it was never seen before

Punks whirl when the gat bust

Four jheri curl niggas kickin' up dust

And some of them are even lookin' up to us

Wearing our colors and talkin' that gang fuss

Giving up much love

Dyin' for a street, that they ain't even heard of

But other motherfuckers want to stand strong

So you know the phrase, once again it's on Top of the news tonight, gangs from South Central

Los Angeles which are known for their driveby shootings

Have migrated into East St. Louis

Leaving three dead and two others injured

No arrests have been made

Police say this is a nationwide trend

With similar incidents occurring in Texas, Michigan, and Oklahoma

"If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere") Boom, my homie got shot he's a goner black

St. Louis niggas want they corner back

Shooting in snowy weather

It's illegal business, niggas still can't stick together

Fuckin' police got the four-one-one

That L.A. ain't all, surf and sun

But we ain't thinkin', bout the boys

Feudin', like the Hatfields and McCoys

Now the shit's gettin' tricky

Cause now they lookin' for the colors and the khakis

Damn, the spot's gettin' hot from the battle

About to pack up and start slangin' in Seattle

But the NARC's, raid about six in the morning

Try to catch a nigga while he's yawnin'

Put his glock to my chest as I paused

Went to jail in my motherfuckin' drawers

Tryin' to give me, fifty-seven years

Face'll be full of those tattooed tears

It's the same old story and the same old nigga stuck

And the public defender ain't givin' a fuck

The fool must be sparkin'

Talkin' about a double life plea bargain

You got to deal with the Crips and Bloods by hand G

Plus the Black Guerilla family

And the white pride don't like Northside

And it's a riot if any one of us die

No parole or probation

Now this is a young man's summer vacation

No chance for rehabilitation

Cause look at the motherfuckin' years that I'm facin'

I'ma end it like this cause you know what's up

My life is fucked This song showed that these young black men had drive and initiative but it was misdirected and what the effects of drug dealing and influence they had on others in the mid-western city. The next 2 songs are Giving up the Nappy Dug Out and Look Who’s Burning: Giving up the Nappy Dug Out was a song about teenage sex and low self-esteem of teenage girls. Look Who’s Burning was the perfect song to follow up giving up the nappy dug out it warned of the possible effects of having unprotected sex. Nappy Dug Out: Yeah

CUmm, uhh is Cheryl here?

Well who are you?

Tell her Ice Cube is here

WHO?!

Ice Cube!

ICE CUBE?! Man I ain't lettin my damn daughter go out with no damn Ice Cubes man! Man what the hell you talkin' about man? I brought my daughter up man in a Catholic school, private school. Man what you want with her? I'm sick of this bullshit!

Yo man, let me tell you somethin': Your daughter was a nice girl, now she is a slut

A queen treatin' niggas just like King Tut

Gobblin up nuts, sorta like a hummingbird

Suckin up the Lench Mob crew, and I'm comin' third

Used to get straight A's, now she just skippin' class

Oh my, do I like to grip the hips and ass

Only seventeen, with a lot of practice

On black boys jimmies and white boys cactus

Sorry sorry sir, but I gotta be brief

A lotta niggas like bustin' nuts in her teeth

Drink it up, drink it up, even though she's Catholic

That don't mean shit, cause she's givin' up the ass quick

Quicker than you can say, "Candy,"

The bitch is on my Snicker... and oh man she

Can take on three men - built like He-Men

Her little-bitty twat got gallons of semen

Fourteen niggas in line ready to bang your

Pride-and-joy, I mean daddy's little angel

Tell the little bitch to bring her ass out the house

Cause your daughter's known, for givin' up the nappy dug out I got a big old ding-a-ling, and if that bitch can hang

I'm gonna do my thing, with your dauuuughter!

Givin up the nappy dug out!

[x2] Look motherfucker you better get from in front of my house with that old god damn bullshit, you girlie-ass motherfucker. You better get out of here witcho' fine ass. Man, youse a little fine motherfucker Mister, mister, before you make me go

I'm here to let you know your little girl is a ho

Nympho, nympho, boy is she bad

Get her all alone and out comes the kneepads

I know she is a minor and it is illegal

But the bitch is worse than Vanessa Del Rio

And if you decide to call rape

We got the little hooker on tape, now:

Tell the fuckin' slut to please hurry up

And wear that dress that's tight on her butt

So I can finger-fuck on the way to the bed

Been in so many rooms, she got a dot on her forehead

Face turnin' red from grabbin' them ankles

Fuck and get up is how I do them stank-hoes

You should hear how she sounds with a cock in her

Boots get knocked, from here to Czechoslovakia

Two are on top, one on the bottom

First nigga got the boots; man, you shoulda shot him

Cause after I got 'em it was over

Now niggas get lucky like a four-leaf clover

On daddy's little girl

She keeps nuts in her mouth like the bitch was a squirrel

So tell Cheryl to bring her ass home

Cause the line at my house is gettin loooooooong, ay! I got a big old ding-a-ling, and if that bitch can hang

I'm gonna do my thing, with your dauuuughter!

Givin up the nappy dug out!

[x2] I got a big old ding-a-ling, and if that bitch can hang

I'm gonna do my thing, with your dauuuughter!

Yeah, yeah, bitch, bitch givin up the nappy dug out!

I got a big old ding-a-ling, and if that bitch can hang

I'm gonna do my thing, with your dauuuughter!

Yo Little motherfucker!

Daddy, where did he go?

I'll tell you where he went, god damnit!

Mercy! Givin up the nappy, givin up the nappy dug out" [x2]

Givin up the nappy dug out [x2]

Givin up the nappy, givin up the nappy dug out [x2]

Givin up the nappy dug out

Givin-givin up the nappy dug out

Mercy! Warning: when having sexual intercourse with a female like Cheryl

You must use, jimmy hat condoms We're called jimmy hats, have you ever seen us?

Most guys wear us round rolled up on your penis

If you're real smart, you will always use us

Put me in your wallet, 'fore some dummy screws us

And goin bare back, without the bare facts

'll have creepy crawlers crawlin on your nutsac!

So get the JIMMY to the hats

It's me and two brothers in a pack Run out and get your jimmy hats

Small, and extra large

Run out and get your jimmy hats Or this might happen to you! Look Who’s Burning: I went to the free clinic, it was filled to capacity

Now how bad can a piece of ass be?

Very bad, so I had to make the trip

And thank God, I didn't have the drips

I was there so a hoe couldn't gimme that

Just to get, twenty free jimmy hats

Now look who I see

Ain't that, yeah, that's the bitch from up the street!

With the big fat tail

Who always told Cube to go to hell

She thought she was wiser

Now she's sittin in the waitin room, burnin like heat-mizer

Yeah I see ya

First Miss Thang, now Miss Gonorrhea

Man it's a trip how the world keeps turnin

It's 1991, and look who's burnin "Does it get you hot?"

"It's got me hot!"

"This is a girl playin hard to get"

"Burnin up, burnin!"

"What have I, done stuck my duck in?"

"Does it get you hot?"

"It's got me hot!"

"This is a girl playin hard to get"

"Burnin up, burnin!"

"What have I, done stuck my duck in?" Now everybody is a victim, you can go see 'em

And you'll hear more claps than the Coliseum

Sittin there all quiet and embarrassed

Whup, there go that bitch who was careless

I remember, she wouldn't give the cock

To anybody who lived on the block

Now hoe, look what you got

Bend that big ass over for the shot

Cause somebody is pipin hot

Drippin like a faucet, I'm glad I didn't toss it

Got you a college boy, who was worse than me

And he probably fucked the whole university

Still wanted him to dick you down, kick you down

With some bucks, now who got fucked?

With a nigga for the money he's earnin

But ask for some water bitch, and look who's burnin "Does it get you hot?"

"Can you get that?"

"This is a girl playin hard to get"

"Burnin up, burnin!"

"Why is my thing-thing burnin like this?"

"Does it get you hot?"

"Can you get that?"

"This is a girl playin hard to get"

"Burnin up, burnin!"

"Why is my thing-thing burnin like this?" Yo, it ain't my fault you got the heebie-jibbies

But you still try to act like you didn't see me

So I walk over, and say "Hi

Bitch, don't try to act surprised!"

You shoulda put a sock on the pickle

And your pussy wouldn't be blowin smoke signals

Man, this is gonna kill 'em

Guess who got a big fat dose of penicillin?

They'll ask, "Who?", and I tell 'em you

The new leader of the big booty crew

And after the day, I'm sorry to say

You come through the neighborhood, you couldn't give it away

To a nigga, who's out to get major paid

But you'll have him, pissin out razorblades

But a bitch like you'll be returnin with the H-I-V, R.I.P. "You can't trust a big butt and a smile"

"I'm burning up!"

"You can't trust a big butt and a smile"

"You can't trust a big butt and a smile"

"I'm burning up!"

"What have I, done stuck my duck in?"

"You can't trust a big butt and a smile"

"I'm burning up!"

"You can't trust a big butt and a smile"

"You can't trust a big butt and a smile"

"I'm burning up!"

"What have I, done stuck my duck in?" "Done stuck my duck in?"

"I'm burning up!"

"It's hot, I'm burning up!" A Bird in the Hand spoke on how graduating from high school and having nothing but a diploma did very little to find employment to provide for yourself which pushed many to drug dealing. A Bird in the Hand: Fresh out of school cause I was a high school grad

Gots to get a job 'cause I was a high school dad

Wish I got paid like I was rappin' to the nation

But that's not likely so here's my application

Pass it to the man at AT&T

'Cause when I was in school I got the A-E-E

But there's no S-E for this youngsta

I didn't have no money so now I have to punch the

Clock like a slave, that's what be happenin'

But whitey says there's no room for the African

Always knew that I would clock G's

But welcome to McDonald's can I take your order please

Gotta sell ya food that might give you cancer

'Cause my son doesn't take no for an answer

Now I pay taxes that you never give me back

What about diapers, bottles, and similac

Do I gotta go sell me a whole lotta crack

For decent shelter and clothes on my back?

Or should I just wait for help from Bush

Or Jesse Jackson, and operation Push

If you ask me the whole thing needs a douche

A masengel what the hell cracker sell in the neighborhood

To the corner house bitches

Miss porker, little Joe or Todd Bridges

Or anybody that he know

So I got me a bird, better known as a kilo

Now everybody know I went from po' to a nigga that got dough

So now you put the feds against me

'Cause I couldn't follow the plan of the presidency

I'm never givin' love again

But blacks are too fuckin' broke to be republican

Now I remember I used to be cool

Till I stopped fillin' out my W-2

Now senators are gettin' high

And your plan against the ghetto backfired

So now you got a pep talk

But sorry, this is our only room to walk

'Cause we don't want to drug push

But a bird in the hand is worth more than the bush Tell the politicians, the hustlers, live and let live (yeah)

Tell the politicians, the hustlers, live and let live (yeah) Alive on Arrival which was one of my favorite songs off of the album tells the story of a man shot and having to deal with the intolerable conditions of county hospitals. Alive on Arrival: Down at the best spot Its me and J-Dee and they sellin' more birds than a pet shop The spot's hot, and everybody nervous That's when the blue car surfaced Oh why did fools have to let loose? Heard six pops from a deuce-deuce Big Tom had to push us 13 niggas runnin' straight to the bushes For they gats so they can draw down But why a motherfucker like me have to fall down? Not knowin' why I dropped out Fuck it, still can't afford to get popped out So now I gotta jet Only ran one block, but my shirt is soakin' wet Tryna see if we got 'em Looked down and my sweatshirt's red at the bottom Didn't panic but I still looked cracked out Yelled to the homies then I blacked out [Interlude 1: Homies] Get up, man! Get up, man! (C'mon keep that nigga awake, man!) C'mon, man! Get up man, c'mon man! [Verse 2] Woke up in the back of a trey On my way to MLK That's the county hospital, jack, ha Where niggas die over a little scratch Sittin' in the trauma center In my back is where the bullet entered "Yo, nurse, I'm gettin' kinda warm!" Bitch still made me fill out the fuckin' form Coughin' up blood on my hands and knees Then I heard, "Freeze, nigga! Don't move!" Yo, I didn't do a thing Don't wanna go out like my man Rodney King Still got gaffled Internal bleeding as the bullet starts to travel Now I'm handcuffed Being asked information on my gang affiliation "I don't bang, I rock the good rhymes And I'm a victim of neighborhood crime." [Interlude 2: Police Officers] Are you the only one who got shot? What kinda gun was he carrying? Do you know who it was? (No, man, don't know who it was, man) Are you in a gang? (Man, what does it matter, man? I'm shot) [Verse 3] I need to see a MD And y'all motherfuckers giving me the third degree? Look at the waiting room It's filled to the rim like the county jail day room Nobody gettin' help Since we poor, the hospital it moves slow Now I'm laid out People steppin' over me to get closer to the TV Just like a piece of dog shit Now will I die on this nappy ass carpet? One hour done passed Done watched two episodes of M*A*S*H And when I'm almost through They call my name and put me in ICU Halfway dead No respect, and handcuffed to the bed Now the drama starts Cause the bullet must be just a hair from my heart Then I begin the ass kissin' Just to get looked at, by a overworked physician Had the chills, but my temperature's a hundred and three Only got a band-aid and a IV That's when I start cussin' Police steady askin' me who did the bustin' [Interlude 3: Police Officers] What did you get shot with? (Twenty-two!) Who shot you? (I dunno who shot me) Was it gang-bangers? (Had to be) [Verse 4] Why, oh why, can't I get help? Cause I'm black, I gots to go for self Too many black bodies the hospital housin' So at 10 p.m, I was Audi 5000 The song to end the Death side was fittingly titled Death which was performed by the Honorable Dr. Khalid Muhammed. Death: Let me live my life! We can no longer LIVE OUR LIVES... Then let us... GIVE OUR LIVES for the liberation... And salvation of the Black Nation Saints, saviors, soldiers, scholars... healers and killers No longer dead, deaf, dumb and blind out of our mind! BRAIN-WASHED with the white men's mind NO MORE HOMICIDE! NO MORE FRATRICIDE! NO MORE SUICIDE, INFANTCIDE AND... GENOCIDE! Look that goddamn white man in his COLD... blue-eyes Devil don't even TRY... We Bebe's Kids! We DON'T die... we... MULTIPLY! You heard the Death Side Open your black eyes for the REBIRTH... Resurrection... and rise! #IceCube #hiphop #blacktruth