At one time, Ice Cube was a very angry young man. When he was in NWA, he was seriously pissed off. By the time he’d acrimoniously split with that group and their management to become a solo artist, he was fucking furious. Then he got older and began a secondary career as an actor, initially playing characters of varying degrees of irritability, before growing up, mellowing out and specialising in family friendly movies. Now, all of a sudden, he’s growling again.
So what is it that’s angried up the Cube’s blood? Why Donald J Trump, of course. Poor old Don seems to have that effect on people. Musicians have been falling over themselves to get their anti-Trump opuses out since before his ‘record-breaking’ inauguration. About this time last year he inadvertently provoked L7 to resurrect their ‘90s fury, which they captured and released as their blistering critique, Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago. Chuck D joined the party this week with Tired of 45, and now Ice Cube has become the latest icon from the last century to take a swing at POTUS 45 with his new release, Arrest the President, a storming piece of lip-curling, political hip-hop.
The backing track on Arrest the President is a brooding presence; full of threat, with a slow, lumbering beat, deep piano loops and dramatic blasts of brass. But it’s the lyrics that pack the biggest punch, delivered by Ice Cube with a measured defiance that at times he struggles to contain:
Arrest the president
You got the evidence
That n_____ is Russian intelligence
When it rains it pours
Did you know the new white was orange?
Yep, that’s right, he rhymes ‘pours’ with ‘orange’ and makes it work with the sheer force of his fury – that’s how bent out of shape the current situation has him. Ice Cube hasn’t been this mad in decades and he’s putting his emotions to good use.
Arrest the President is out now. Ice Cube’s new album Everythangs Corrupt is set for release on December 7th and can be pre-saved on Spotify and Apple Music now.