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Ice Cube

“Drink the Kool Aid”

[Lench Mob; 2010]

By ; August 5, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

Not all that much is known about Ice Cube’s I Am the West. “Kool Aid,” the second single from the upcoming record, is our best glimpse into the largely under wraps project. “I Rep That West” (the 1st single) was basically a street single, and this cut doesn’t seem much different. Is the album going to lack pop singles? Will any big name MCs make appearances, or is he only letting lesser-knowns in? It’s already been said the Dre is providing some production, but will any other classic Cali figures contribute? In building hype, Cube’s been on the war path, “calling out” various other rappers (he halfheartedly criticizes Ye, Slim, and Dre on this very track, which already created a fuss months ago when he performed this cut live). He can’t really afford to seat himself on such a high horse, yet nonetheless, he seems to fancy himself the King he isn’t. Still, one can’t forget how amazingly good Cube once was, and so when he puts out a single, you listen.

On this track Cube again puts himself at odds with current rap, immediately announcing, “This ain’t Tha Carter.” The beat isn’t fantastic, in fact it’s more or less simply passable, but no matter, the song is all about the MC and what he has to say. “This is Holy Water from the Holy Father,” he declares. It seems after his embarrassing absence, Cube intends to keep the same place he had in rap prior and up to around ’92 (before Lethal Injection was only harmful). Yet when he returned in ’06, Laugh Now, Cry Later wasn’t much of a reentry. In the state of the game now, frankly, I’d be more than happy for a reinvigorated Ice Cube to return and begin handing it to everyone, but he’d want to do so with stronger material. This song fits the “o.k.” bill, with Cube using Kool Aid as a silly metaphor for what the game needs, he being the MC who’s going to make everyone drink up. With a chorus that insists on repeating, “Do you know who you’re fuckin’ with?” again and again, everyone may want to avoid what he’s sippin’. Yet, to call this song bad would be to go too far: 2008’s Raw Footage was a step up on Cry, so perhaps third time’s the charm.


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