Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, January 14,1992
Cube's revival wakes the dead
by Forrest Green 111
iggas are in a state of
emergency. The Death Side, a
mirror-image of where we are
today. The Life Side, an image of
where we need to go. So sign your
- Ice Cube
Rap at its best has always been an
honest reflection of society - the
realer, the better. Ice Cube remains
truto this ideology in Death Cer-
tificate by rendering the expansive
crap of South Central Los Angeles
in an uncompromising view of real-
Meanwhile, Cube's AmeriKKKa
has. turned to ignorance as The
Wepon Of The '90s - making his
message anathematic to the Amer-
iKKgKan way. .
W thile Cube's old bandmates in
NW play Al Jolson's Drive-By
Shffle for a predominantly white,
mainstream audience, Cube himself
is aligned as a threat for his artis-
tic statement. I'm alternately
amsed and disgusted by the censor-
ship-backlash that this album has
S he album is broken into the
first "Death Side," a depiction of
where and how Black people live,
an thegsecond "Life Side," a state-
ment of where ae need to go. This
presentation gives Cube the oppor-
tunity to blend vivid, powerful
rhymes about bothisqualor and
struggle. He presents both subjects
Two obligatory misogyny
tracks, "Givin' Up The Nappy
Dugout" and "Look Who's
Burei'," find him dropping lines
tha are alternately glorifying and
condemning in their depictions.
m he best of his barbs include,
"Nympho, nympho, boy is she bad/
Gether All alone and out come the
knee pads," "Daddy's little girl/
Shekeeps nuts in her mouth like the
bitch was a squirrel," and the stand-
out, "You should hear how she
sounds with a cock in her/ The boots
get knocked from here to
Even though Cube continues to
use women as a medium, the true at-
tack is directed at promiscuity.
There's even a public service an-
nouncement for prophylactics
thrown in for good measure.
But then, the intent is consis-
tently benevolent through Cube's
look at the Death Side, from criti-
cisms of pernicious health care for
Black people to his pointed observa-
tion of class conflict, "A Bird In
The Hand." Over the beat used for
the St. Ides malt liquor ads, we find
more clever rhymes and statements,
the best of which being Cube admis-
sion that for the time being, a bird in
the hand (a key of crack) is worth
more than a Bush (a white
The Life Side is where Cube be-
comes dangerous as he inverts his
rage to the enemies of Black people.
The anger of the opener, "I Wanna
Kill Sam," builds to a fever pitch in
"Horny Lil' Devil," a furious, dense
polemic on sexual harassment of
Black women in the workplace.
Soon thereafter comes "Color
Blind," a message track voiced with
some of the West Coast's toughest
rappers, most notably KAM and the
MAAD Circle, to end gang warfare
in Los Angeles, and "True To The
Game," the more subtle of Cube's
two disses of Dr. Dre and NWA.
The latter is utilized more effec-
tively than a simple dis song, to de-
construct house niggerism in the
name of pro-white integration, and
to jar the memories of the ghetto's
forgetful "buppies." Easily one of
Even though Cube
continues to use
women as a medium,
the true attack is
even a public service
in for good measure.
Cube's best songs,, it strikes the lis-
tener as customarily scathing but
also positive and pro-Black: "Get
the hell out/ Stop being an Uncle
Tom, you little sell-out/ House
nigga scum, give something back to
the place where you made it from."
He reminds Dre, "You want to be
just like Jack/ But Jack is callin' you
Although not as
second album is a
classic. His lyrics of
the love nobody else
could muster, and the
hate only he could
manifest, carry Death
with relative ease.
a nigger behind your back."
The next few songs find Ice Cube
dropping the berserker tone en-
tirely, in order to drop positive
messages to his own. The overall
callousness of the Death Side and
my least favorite track, "Black Ko-
rea," is justly compensated for.
"Doing Dumb Shit" is an auto-
biographical lesson, while "Us" is
an observation of Black people's
self-destructive faults. He closes
with a return to his old bandmates,
"No Vaseline." The statement fol-
lows that the reign of "house nigga
scum" like NWA must end along
with Uncle Sam for Cube's Black
nation to rise.
Although not as groundbreaking
as AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted,
Cube's second album is a classic. His
lyrics of the love nobody else could
muster, and the hate only he could
manifest, carry Death Certificate
through intolerable depths with
relative ease. And to blame him for
this content is ultimately to speak
from ignorance and cowardice, given
that he even has the heart to con-
front and present reality like this.
As Sister Souljah says, "You
can't declare war on the Black man/
Without declaring war on me."
The powers that be can censor
this album, but they can't possibly
omit the lives, and thoughts, and
daily reality, of millions of Black
Americans. As Cube maniacally
notes in one of the album's tracks,
"Now my whole block looks
shitty." Cube has exposed the shit
and made it obvious to us. The only
question that remains is who will
clean it up?
who what where when
Free Free Free! Nashville 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7
singer/songwriter Don Henry does p.m. Call 833-7900.
a free show at the Ark tonight at 8
p.m. Henry's new album is titled Take a short ride up to North
Wild in the Backyard, and he writes Campus to check out what the
funny pop. It is free, and his song- University's Art faculty is up to.
writing did win a Grammy in '90 The School of Art opens a new ex-
for "Where've You Been?" OK, we hibit today, entitled "Issues of our
never heard it either. But it is free. Times." Faculty artists present a
wide range of works relating to is-
sues ranging from gerontology to
The Detroit Institute of Arts the environment. An opening recep-
kicks off its 1992 film series this tion and an accompanying panel dis-
Friday with director Akira Kuro- cussion will take place on Friday at
sawa's latest, Rhapsody in August. 7:30 p.m. in Room 2104 of the Art
And yes, the film features Mr. & Architecture Building. The ex-
Cindy Crawford, Zen Buddhism's hibit, which runs through February
cutest convert himself, Richard 1, is open Tuesday through Saturday,
Gere. You have the next two 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jean Paul G r
weekends to make the road trip: Slusser Gallery in the same A & Gore
Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and AB. Call 763-4417 for more info.
Continued from page 5
cover whatever it was that was
bothering the innocents.
Through 29 wonderful books
that method worked like a charm. I,
with my fellow addicts, looked
forward to an endless stream of
novels to assuage our cravings. And
with a tried and true method such as
Francis', how could we get anything
but the wonderful books to which
we were used?
Unfortunately, Francis has an-
swered that question. The formula
that had worked wonders doesn't
work at all in Comeback. Perhaps
it's because of the stretching re-
quired for one to accept why the
hero, Peter Darwin, (who keeps
telling us that he's not related to
Charles) becomes involved.
You see, Mr. Darwin is a diplo-
mat whose late-father died in a
horse race some umpteen years ago,
conveniently supplying the manda-
tory equine connection. He is reas-
signed to London from his post in
Japan, and while travelling betwixt
the two, he has a lay-over in Miami
where he runs into an elderly
Later in the evening, the couple is
mugged, and Peter is drafted by the
British Consul in Miami to shep-
herd them home. So far, so believ-
Once they arrive in Britain, Peter
drives the couple to their Glouces-
tershire home (totally out of his
way and, coincidentally, where he
grew up) and meets their son-in-
law, Ken. Ken just so happens to be a
large-animal veterinarian (with a
specialization in-you guessed it -
horses). The troubled doctor's
equine patients keep dying mysteri--"
ously (surprise) after he operates o0m
them. Further, Ken's hospital is
suddenly burned to the ground, and
then, for inexplicable reasons, Peter
decides to try and help him. But
It is apparent, as the book pro-
gresses, that the reader is supposed
to read into Peter a loyalty to a
long, lost childhood home. It is also
apparent that the reader is expected
to overlook the contrivances in-
voked to gain man-of-the-world Pe-
ter' s interest in little-ole-Glouces-
tershire's problems. I tried to do,
that - I really did, and I'm sorry
Mr. Francis, but all that this re-
viewer found was a poor attempt at
cranking out number 30.
-A. L. Hogg
i- r v
Continued from page 5
suggests an impending climactic
conflict. And it does come; but the
movie isn't really set up as a
thriller until the end, so this climax
doesn't connect well with the rest
of the story's psychological bent.
For a psychodrama, we also get
very little sense of the characters'
backgrounds. There is a heightened
sense that the scenes we're watching
have been arbitrarily selected.
You know Ingrid and Ingmar-
NOW explore the rest
SWEDISH FILM BEYOND BERGMAN
Yet Patric and Leigh have created
intriguing personalities, and despite
some divergence from the focus of
the story, Rush assembles a com-
pelling picture of the drug war and
of the seductive power of narcotics.
RUSH is playing at Showcase and
You know, of course, that Nova
(8 p.m., PBS) is perhaps the best
show on television. No matter how
boring the subject, these folks inves-
tigate it in a fascinating manner.
There are no commercials, and the
narrator has a cool voice. What more
do you want? Tonight's episode,
"Hellfighters of Kuwait," de-
scribes the extinguishing of over
700 oil well fires in Kuwait after
the Persian Gulf War.
And everyone's favorite angry
man, Lou Reed, will debut a song or
two from his brand new album on
Late Night With David Letterman
(12:35 p.m., NBC) tonight. Tell 'em
Continued from page 5
peccable. The choir also puts in an
excellent performance. The compo-
sition itself is - well, um ... Did I
mention the wonderful orchestra?
I'm sorry, Mrs. Warren, but I'm
just not up to it.
Not this time, at least. The Liv-
erpool Oratorio has got to be a ca-
reer low for the "cute" Beatle
(assuming you mercifully discount
the Wings tune "Let 'Em In"). The
music is boring and uneventful, the
story childishly clumsy, the words
inane and silly - and the lines
rhyme! About the only good thing
that can be said for the Oratorio is
that McCartney neglected to script
any parts for his wife Linda.
Not to mention the fact that
McCartney's pomposity has reached
startling new heights. An accompa-
nying PBS documentary goes out of
its way to emphasize what a monu-
mental achievement the Oratorio
was for someone so lacking in for-
mal classical training. OK, so he
can't read music. So what? Neither
could Irving Berlin.
This dismal fiasco, taken to-
gether with his recent pair of
snooze-festival releases (the
"unplugged" and "Russian" al-
bums), makes the most convincing
evidence yet that Paul is, indeed,
This Business of Dreams
Four cute heads and a colorful name
Suppose you've been locked in a
room for the past ten years with no
access to music media of any kind.
Now, the first albums you are
handed when:,you come out of your
pitiful confinement ion compact
disc, whatever these shiny things
are) and subsequently listen to with
digital quality, are those of Blue
Train and Marc Almond.
Pros: That's a nifty programmed
electric drum sound these Blue
Train people have have. The singer
has a kinda mellow and pure voice.
It makes me wanna put this CD in
my car so I can go all the way to
California just listening to them!
But then, there's this Marc Al-
mond album. I wouldn't want to
neglect him, because it's so full of
cool strings and weird timpani
mixed up with a movin' dance beat.
He even has some original sound-
ing tunes on here, including the rad
"Jacky", where he sings: "And if I
joined the social whirl/ Became pro-
curer of young girls /Then I could
have my own bordellos/ My record
would be number one/ And I'd sell
records by the ton/ All sung by
many other fellows."
And don't forget that he sticks
in a version of Debussy's Trois
do not a successful band make.
Chansons de Bilitis. I can't wait to
get to a record store. Do they still
Now as if by magic, the same,,
person who handed you the CDs.
puts an ultra-sophisticated chip into'
your brain with the ease of a swim-
mer's wax earplug. You now have
solid knowledge and recollection of
the music of the past 10 years.
Cons: Aaaag! Get me my Zep-
pelin and Cream records back! I
can't stand it anymore! These Blues,(
Train guys have obviously stolen
the drum machine from the Fine x
Young Cannibals, infested the bod-
ies of the guys from Go West, and
sing lines like "All I want, all i
want, all I need is you!" (groan) Oh,,.>
Please don't make me talk about
the Marc Almond album (sob)!!!-
All right. It hurts just knowing
this is that same Soft Cell guy that;4
sang "Tainted Love." Marc must
have been abducted by OMD, Mor-
rissey, New Order, and especially
the Pet Shop Boys, whereupon they
wrote and produced his album and
forced him to sing on it. Oh, woe!'
Maybe there's something good on-.
TV in 1992...
Scand. 481-NEW COURSE WINTER 92 only
Visiting Professor Dr. TyttiSoila
of Stockholm University Film Department
Films shown at MICHIGAN THEATRE each week
U-M's Nighttime Team Walking Services
we are pleased to announce the imminent
for the University of Michigan Gilbert and
Sullivan Society's spring production of
the Pirates of;
Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday
January 14, 16, & 17 7:00-10:30 p.m.
Sign-up at the UMGASS office
-. 4k i V'
Tuesday, January 14,1991
i Union- Pendleton Room
Help make campus feel safer to all of us.
Volunteer just 2 hours per week.