The Birth

October 20, 2017

 

The Birth

 

In this blog post I will continue with my assessment of the classic hip-hop album The Death Certificate from hip-hop icon Ice Cube. In the previous post I wrote I went through side A of the album which he called the death side he painted a picture of black people and our own self-destructive behavior which is a sad state because the things he spoke of we are still in the same predicament it’s 25 years later.

On to the birth side where he forces us to look in the mirror and address our issues individually and grow stronger as a nation. The birth side starts with an interlude of a child being born.

The Birth:

Dr. Bruce, telephone please, Dr. Bruce, telephone, please

C'mon, c'mon, honey, push a little harder, it's not all that bad
I see the head
Push! Push!
C'mon!
C'mon, push!
C'mon, honey!
Push!

It's a boy

The black man and black woman have no further!
No beginning and no ending, before alpha, and after omega!
History and historians'll record
The black father and mother of morality, medicine, music and mathematics
The father and mother of all the nation of
Religion, philosophy, art, science and civilization!
No further!
All they can say about the black man
Is he was, he is, and he shall be!
Before him there were none
And after him, there will be no more!
Before we can make a way for the peace maker
We must kill, and get rid, of the peace breaker

 

The next song is called I Wanna Kill Sam, this is another of my favorite off of the album the song is anti-military/history on slavery. Ice Cube did a masterful job of being creative with his storytelling skills. He told the story of slavery but spit bars in a modern time narrative.

 

I Wanna Kill Sam

The army is the only way out for a young black teenager
We'll provide you with housing
We'll provide you with education
We'll provide you with everything you need to survive in life
We'll help you to be the best soldier in the U.S. Of A
Because we do more before 7 A.M than most niggers do in their whole lifetime

I'm comin!, I'm comin!
I'm comin!, I'm comin!

I wanna kill him, cause he tried to play me like the trick
But you see, I'm the wrong nigga to fuck with
I got the A to the motherfuckin K, and it's ready to rip
Slapped in my banana clip
And I'm lookin'
Is he in Watts, Oakland, Philly or Brooklyn?
It seems like he got the whole country behind him
So it's sort of hard to find him
But when I do, gotta put my gat in his mouth
Pump seventeen rounds make his brains hang out
Cause the shit he did was uncalled for
Tried to fuck a brother up the ass like a small whore
And that shit ain't fly
So now I'm settin up, the ultimate drive-by
And when you hear this shit
It make the world say "DAMN!", "I wanna kill Sam"

"Do the niggas run this moth-er-fuck-er?"

"Momma! Some man at the front do'!"
"Sit yo' ass down"
"Uh hi, I have reason to believe that someone in 
This household has just turned eighteen, am I correct?"

Here's why I wanna kill the punk
Cause he tried to take a motherfuckin' chunk of the funk
He came to my house, I let 'em bail in
Cause he said he was down with the LM
He gave up a little dap
Then turned around, and pulled out a gat
I knew it was a caper
I said, "Please don't kill my mother", so he raped her
Tied me up, took me outside
And I was thrown in a big truck
And it was packed like sardines
Full of niggas, who fell for the same scheme
Took us to a place and made us work
All day and we couldn't have shit to say
Broke up the families forever
And to this day black folks can't stick together
And it's odd
Broke us down, made us pray to his God
And when I think about it
It make me say "DAMN! I wanna kill Sam"

"I'm comin'!"

Now in ninety one, he wanna tax me
I remember, the son of a bitch used to axe me
And hang me by a rope till my neck snapped
Now the sneaky motherfucker wanna ban rap
And put me under dirt or concrete
But God, can see through a white sheet
Cause you the devil in drag
You can burn your cross well I'll burn your flag
Try to give me the HIV
So I can stop makin babies like me
And you're givin' dope to my people chump
Just wait till we get over that hump
Cause yo' ass is grass cause I'ma blast
Can't bury rap, like you buried jazz
Cause we stopped bein' whores, stop doin' floors
So bitch you can fight your own wars
So if you see a man in red white and blue
Gettin' chased by the Lench Mob crew
It's a man who deserves to buckle
I wanna kill Sam cause he ain't my motherfuckin Uncle!

"We've gone nowhere in 200 years?" "That's correct"
"We-we-we've gone nowhere in 200 years?" "That's correct"
"We-we-we've gone nowhere in 200 years?" "That's correct"

 

Black Korea an interlude about black neighborhoods plagued with foreign owners bleeding the community of money with corner stores and liquor stores and the money never circulates back through the neighborhood a problem we still haven’t overcome 25 years later. Ice Cube delivers a scathing critique of the Black community being lazy, not helping each other out and contributing to their own downfall via gangs, drug dealing, jealousy, and caring about materialism.

 

Black Korea

Every time I wanna go get a fuckin' brew
I gotta go down to the store with the two
Oriental one penny countin' motherfuckers
That make a nigga mad enough to cause a little ruckus
Thinkin' every brother in the world's out to take
So they watch every damn move that I make
They hope I don't pull out a gat and try to rob
They funky little store, but, bitch, I got a job
"Look, you little Chinese motherfucker
I ain't tryin' to steal none of yo' shit, leave me alone!"
"Mother fuck you!"
Yo, yo, check it out
So don't follow me up and down your market
Or your little chop suey ass'll be a target
Of the nationwide boycott
Juice with the people, that's what the boy got
So pay respect to the black fist
Or we'll burn your store right down to a crisp
And then we'll see ya
Cause you can't turn the ghetto into black Korea

"Mother fuck you!"

 

The last song I want to discuss is titled Us where he really goes in depth with our flaws and tells us to take accountability for our own actions.

 

Us

Could you tell me who unleashed our animal instinct?

And the white man sittin' there tickled pink

Laughin' at us on the avenue

Bustin' caps at each other after havin' brew

We can't enjoy ourselves

Too busy jealous... at each other's wealth

Comin' up is just in me

But the Black community is full of envy

Too much back-stabbin'

While I look out the window I see all the Japs grabbin'

Every vacant lot in my neighborhood

Build a store, and sell their goods

To the county recips

You know, us po niggas; nappy hair and big lips?

Four or five babies on your crotch

And you expect Uncle Sam to help us out?

We ain't nothin' but porchmonkeys

To the average bigot, redneck honky

You say comin' up is a must

But before we can come up, take a look at US

 

[Verse 2]

And all y'all dope-dealers...

You're as bad as the po-lice- cause ya kill us

You got rich when you started slangin' dope

But you ain't built us a supermarket

So when can spend our money with the blacks

Too busy buyin' gold an' Cadillacs

That's what ya doin' with the money that ya raisin'

Exploitin' us like the Caucasians did

For 400 years - I got 400 tears- for 400 peers

Died last year from gang-related crimes

That's why I got gang-related rhymes

But when I do a show ta kick some facts

Us Blacks don't know how ta act

Sometimes I believe the hype, man

We mess it up ourselves and blame the white man

But don't point the finger you jiggaboo

Take a look at yourself ya dumb nigga you

Pretty soon hip-hop won't be so nice

No Ice Cube, just Vanilla Ice

And yall sit and scream and cuss

But there's no one ta blame- but US

 

[Verse 3]

US ... will always sing the blues

Cause all we care about is hairstyles and tennis shoes

And if ya step on mine ya pushed a button

"Cause I'll beat you down like it ain't nothin'"

Just like a beast

But I'm the first nigga ta holler out {PEACE, BLACK MAN}

I beat my wife and children to a pulp

When I get drunk and smoke dope

Got a bad heart condition

Still eat hog-mogs an' chitlin's

Bet my money on the dice and the horses

Jobless, so I'm a hope for the armed forces

Go to church but they tease us

Wit' a picture of a blue-eyed Jesus

They used to call me Negro

After all this time I'm still bustin' up the chiffarobe

No respect and ignored

And I'm havin' more babies than I really can afford

In jail cause I can't pay the mother

Held back in life because of my color

Now this is just a little summary

Of US, but yall think it's dumb of me

To hold a mirror to ya face, but trust

Nobody gives a fuck about...

 

Reading the lyrics is one thing and listening to the album is an entirely other, to get the true emotional grit and meaning from one of the world’s most renowned lyricists be sure to grab a copy of Ice Cube’s Death Certificate.

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