The Words and Music of Ice Cube

Gail Hilson Woldu,

Annotated Bibliography

Ali, Lorraine. “Same Old Song.” Newsweek, October 9, 2000, pp. 68–70. Looks at controversies in a variety of popular music, from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and the Sex Pistols to NWA and Public Enemy.

Allen, Harry. “Eazy-E: Eternal E.” Vibe, March 1996, pp. 119–120. Account of the life of Eazy-E.

Alter, Jonathan. “Let’s Stop Crying Wolf on Censorship.” Newsweek, November 29, 1993, p. 67. Argues that record company executives who “market death” should shoulder the responsibility for the consequences of their product.

Atkins, Sherryll. “Sweet Honey in the Rock.” The Source, November 1996, pp. 89–90. Overview of the rapper Yo Yo, who collaborated with Ice Cube, her mentor, on “It’s a Man’s World.”

Berman, Eric. “Westside Connection: Bow Down.Vibe, December 1996/ January 1997, p. 186. Review of Bow Down that says the album “provokes no debate” and “raises no controversy.”

Bing, Léon. Do Or Die. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. An account of teenage gangs in and around Los Angeles, focused in particular on the Crips and the Bloods.

Bisbort, Alan. “R.I.P. Rap.” Hartford Advocate, November 30, 2000, p. 19. Contends that rap music is stupid, misogynistic, and hateful.

Bouwsma, Angela. “Jerking Off Vs. Doing It.” The Source, March 1996, p. 12. Excellent editorial that discusses rap’s “keeping it real” mantra.

Bratton, William J. “The Legacy of Detective Sipowicz.” Time, March 6, 2000, p. 34. Article on aggressive policing and race.

Browne, David. “… Lust and Hate.” New York Times, June 23, 1991. Unfavorable review of NWA’s second album, “Niggaz4Life.”

Brundage, James. “Friday after Next,” available at (accessed November 2007). Unfavorable review that concludes: “Friday after Next is the coal in your stocking for the holiday season.”

Cardwell, Annette. “Barbershop,” (accessed November 2007). Favorable review that claims this to be Ice Cube’s “best role since Three Kings.

Cary, Lorene. “As Plain as Black and White.” Newsweek, June 29, 1992, p. 53. Uses rap to discuss black and white Americans’ divergent views on race—and Americans’ difficulty in discussing race. Advocates finding a “common language” in order to better understand different points of view.

Cepeda, Raquel, ed. And It Dont Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years. New York: Faber and Faber, 2004. A collection of 30 essays about hip-hop that appeared in various magazines from the early 1980s and early 2000s. Featured writers include Touré, Joan Morgan, Harry Allen, Greg Tate, and Danyel Smith.

Chang, Jeff. Cant Stop, Wont Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005. A comprehensive, meticulously documented study of hip-hop. Winner of the American Book Award in 2005 and the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in 2006.

Chang, Jeff, ed. Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop. New York: BasicCivitas, 2006. A collection of 35 essays that examine a variety of issues in hip-hop, including global hip-hop, gender relations in hip-hop, and hip-hop literature. Essayists include Greg Tate, Mark Anthony Neal, Bill Adler, and Joan Morgan.

Chang, Jeff. “Ladies and Gentlemen, (Is This) the Next President of the United States (?).” Vibe, September, 2007, pp. 172–181. The demographics of youth and race in the presidential election of 2008. Quotes Obama on rap and the young vote as factors in the race.

Choe, Anthony. “Ice Cube’s ‘Black Korea’: Racially Charged Rap.” Yisei, Spring 1992. Article on Ice Cube’s controversial piece, written by a member of Harvard University’s Korean Student Organization.

Christian, Margena A. “Ice Cube.” Jet, June 12, 2006, pp. 54–60. A look at the many sides of Ice Cube.

Chua-Eoan, Howard. “Black and Blue.” Time, March 6, 2000, pp. 24–28. Looks at race and the murder of Amadou Diallo by members of the New York Police Department.

Chuck D. “The Sound of Our Young World.” Time, February 8, 1999, p. 66. Chuck D., the spokesperson for Public Enemy, discusses the early days of rap and predicts the future of hip-hop.

Cohen, Adam. “Gangsta Cops.” Time, March 6, 2000, pp. 30–34. A look at the Los Angeles Police Department.

Coker, Cheo Hodari. “Ice Cube: War and Peace, Vol. I (The War Disc).Vibe, December 1998/ January 1999, pp. 181–182. Unfavorable review. The journalist asks, “Remember Ice Cube? I Miss Ice Cube.”

Coker, Cheo Hodari. “Return of the Gangsta.” XXL, June 2008, pp. 76–82. Explores the many sides of Ice Cube: as gangsta rapper, actor, producer.

Copeland, Lee. “Close to the Edge.” The Source, March 1996, pp. 82–83. Gun suicide and black youth.

Cose, Ellis. “Rage of the Privileged.” Newsweek, November 15, 1993, pp. 56–63. Successful black Americans discuss racial profiling and racial stereotypes.

Crosley, Hillary. “Ice Cube: The Indie Kid?” Billboard, June 17, 2006, p. 57. Review of Laugh Now, Cry Later.

Cross, Brian. Its Not about a Salary … Rap, Race and Resistance in Los Angeles. London: Verso, 1993. Studies rap in Los Angeles through interviews with a variety of musicians, including Ice Cube and Eazy-E.

Cuda, Heidi Siegmund. “Who Stole the Soul?” Vibe, April 2002, pp. 142–146. Explores Ice Cube’s dual commitments to film and music.

Dyson, Michael Eric. Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Contains an essay on Ice Cube entitled “Ice Cube: Gangsta Rap’s Visionary.”

Everett, Todd. “Talk Is Cheap but Profitable.” Los Angeles Herald Examiner, February 12, 1989. A conversation with record label executives on the marketing of rap.

Everett, Victor. “Black with Attitude.” The Source, May 1996, pp. 40–42. An interview with MC Ren of NWA on his past and future roles in the music business.

Farley, Christopher John. “Hip-Hop Nation.” Time, February 8, 1999, pp. 54–64. Explores how hip-hop has transformed American culture. Traces roots of hip-hop from 1979 to 1999.

Farley, Christopher John. “The Predator,” Time, December 28, 1992, p. 68. Review of The Predator.

Fernando, S. H., Jr. The New Beats: Exploring the Music Culture and Attitudes of Hip Hop. Edinburgh: Payback Press, 1995. An important early study of hip-hop. Excellent photographs.

Fischer, Blair. “Ice Cube Battles through ‘War’ and ‘Peace.’ ” Rolling Stone, October 16, 1998. Mixed review.

Floyd-Thomas, Juan M. “A Jihad of Words: The Evolution of African American Islam and Contemporary Hip-Hop.” In Noise and Spirit: The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music, ed. Anthony M. Pinn. New York: New York University Press, 2003, pp. 49–71.

Forman, Murray. TheHood Comes First: Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip-Hop. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2002. A complex exploration of the spatial component of rap music and hip-hop culture.

Forman, Murray, and Mark Anthony Neal, eds. Thats the Joint! The Hip-Hop Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2004. A collection of essays on rap and hip-hop that spans 25 years of scholarship. Contributors include Michael Eric Dyson, David Samuels, Tricia Rose, Nelson George, Kyra Gaunt, and Juan Flores.

French, Blake. “All about Cube: A Conversation with Ice Cube and Mike Epps,” Ice Cube explains his affinity for film production.

French, Blake. “All about the Benjamins,” Unfavorable review.

Gaither, Larvester. “Big Brother Is Watching You. The Source, April 1996, p. 62. Article on gang profiling and constitutional rights.

Gaither, Larvester. “Caught in the Crossfire.” The Source, March 1996, pp. 81–83. A discussion with emergency room surgeons on inner-city victims of gun violence.

George, Nelson. Hip Hop America. New York: Viking, 1998. A personal look at hip-hop from one of hip-hop’s foremost historians. A classic.

Gilmore, Mikal. “Easy Target: Why Tupac Should Be Heard before He’s Buried.” Rolling Stone, October 31, 1996, pp. 49–51 and 81. A critical, quasi-eulogistic analysis of the many sides of Tupac Shakur.

Gold, Jonathan. “NWA: Hard Rap and Hype from the Streets of Compton.” LA Weekly, May 5–11, 1989, pp. 16–22. In-depth look at NWA as emerging artists. Conversations with Ice Cube and his manager, Jerry Heller. An important early piece.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “The Color of Suspicion.” New York Times Magazine, June 20, 1999, pp. 50–57 and 64, 85–87. Article on race, racial profiling, and law enforcement.

Gordon, Allen S. “From Mogul to Martyr.” The Source, January 1996, p. 30. A retrospective on the life of Eazy-E.

Gordon, Allen S. “Resurrection of Principles.” The Source, April 1996, pp. 60–62. An article about the Crips and the Bloods.

Harris, Carter. “Eternal Gangsta.” Vibe, October 1999, pp. 119–120. A retrospective look at the life of Eazy-E.

Hastings, Deborah. “Interpreting the Message.” Los Angeles Herald Examiner, February 12, 1989. Early conversations about gangsta rap that include an interview with Ice Cube.

Heins, Marjorie. Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to Americas Censorship Wars. New York: New Press, 1998. Discussion of censorship and the First Amendment. Interesting discussion of the debate over 2 Live Crew’s Nasty as They Wanna Be.

Hinds, Selwyn Seyfu. “Don of the Westside.” The Source, May 1996, pp. 50–58. An interview with Ice Cube on the East Coast/West Coast conflicts.

Howell, Ricardo. “Lasting Poets.” The Source, July 1995, pp. 50–51 and 76. Overview of rap pioneers the Last Poets.

Jackson, Scoop. “Bow Down.” XXL, vol. 2, no. 2, 1998, pp. 80–88. Asks if Ice Cube “still matters” in hip-hop.

Keyes, Cheryl. Rap Music and Street Consciousness. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004. A detailed, carefully documented history of rap that blends popular culture with folklore, musicology, and ethnomusicology.

Kitwana, Bakari. “Are You Ready to Die?” The Source, August 1995, pp. 56–57. Looks at gun violence and the hip-hop generation. Filled with statistics.

Kitwana, Bakari. “Armed to the Teeth.” The Source, August 1995, p. 58. Examines weapons and white supremacist groups.

Kitwana, Bakari. “Mixed Messages.” The Source, September 1995, p. 16. Editorial that discusses the themes of gangsta rap and their effect on listeners.

Kitwana, Bakari. “Strange Fruit.” The Source, November 1995, p. 12. An editorial about the relationship between the late civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker and conservative Republicans William Bennett and Robert Dole in their antirap campaigns.

Kitwana, Bakari. Why White Kids Love Hip Hop. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2005. Explores how hip-hop and the hip-hop generation have transformed the politics of race in the United States.

Kitwana, Bakari, ed. “Where Do We Draw the Line? Gun Violence and the Hip-Hop Generation: Part Two.” The Source, March 1996, pp. 79–83. Articles that explore the ways in which gun violence affects the hip-hop community.

Kitwana, Bakari, and Marc Landas. “An Overview of Censorship in the Rap Community.” The Source, January 1996, p. 85. A timeline (1990–1995) of red-letter days in the censoring of rap.

Kitwana, Bakari, and Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. “Nothing against Rap.” The Source, January 1996, p. 85. Interview with the antirap advocate the Reverend Calvin Butts.

Kitwana, Bakari, and Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. “Rap Wars Roundtable: Critical Culture.” The Source, January 1996, pp. 82–88 and 106. Roundtable discussion on rap and censorship with the feminist author bell hooks, the hip-hop scholar Michael Eric Dyson, and the cultural critic Haki Madhubuti.

Krims, Adam. Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Detailed discussion of how rap is put together musically. Entire chapter devoted to Ice Cube’s “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate.”

Landas, Marc. “Guns, the Law, and You.” The Source, August 1995, p. 59. Overview of gun laws in the United States.

Leland, John. “Criminal Records: Gangsta Rap and the Culture of Violence.” Newsweek, November 29, 1993, pp. 60–64. A look at the violent messages in gangsta rap and their correlation to violence in inner-city neighborhoods.

Leland, John. “Cube on Thin Ice.” Newsweek, December 2, 1991, p. 69. Critique of Death Certificate. Condemns Ice Cube’s attacks on Jews and Koreans and calls him a “racist demagogue.”

Leland, John. Hip: The History. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. Traces the evolution of “hip” from slave music through gangsta rap.

Leland, John. “Rap and Race.” Newsweek, June 29, 1992, pp. 46–52. Excellent discussion of hip-hop culture, race, and racial politics.

Leonard, Michael. “Efil4Zaggin.” Rhythm, June 1991. Review.

Malone, Bonz. “Young, Rich, and Deadly.” The Source, July 1995, pp. 54–58. An interview that chronicles a day in the life of the late Notorious B.I.G.

McDermott, Terry. “NWA: Straight Outta Compton.” Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2002. Comprehensive look at NWA, from the group’s beginnings to its most important recordings.

McIver, Joel. Ice Cube: Attitude. London: Sanctuary, 2002. An engagingly written biography of Ice Cube.

Michel, Sia. “Bangin’: For Life, Love & a Future.” The Source, April 1996, pp. 70–74. Ice-T discusses his days as a member of the Crips.

Michelob. “ ‘G’ foe Life: Mack 10.” The Source, August 1995, p. 43. Interview with Mack 10 in which he discusses his relationship with Ice Cube.

Millner, Denene. “Pistol Whipped.” Vibe, April 1999, pp. 121–124. Article on rappers busted on weapons charges.

Morgenthau, Tom. “The New Frontier for Civil Rights.” Newsweek, November 29, 1993, pp. 65–66. Looks at the crisis of black-on-black crime and rap’s response. Ice Cube is quoted: “It’s a great day for genocide. What’s that? That’s the day when all the niggaz die.”

Neal, Mark Anthony. What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture. New York: Routledge, 1999. Analyses of black popular music from be-bop to hip-hop. NWA and Ice Cube are discussed in the chapter on postindustrial soul.

Ogg, Alex, and David Upshal. The Hip Hop Years: A History of Rap. New York: Fromm International, 2001. Interviews with key figures in early hip-hop, including Ice Cube.

Owen, Frank. “Hanging Tough.” Spin, April 1990, pp. 33–34. An interview with Ice Cube focused on his departure from NWA.

Pattillo, Mary. “Transnational Hip-Hop Nation.” The Source, October 1995, p. 23. Discussion of global and multicultural hip-hop.

Perkins, William, ed. DroppinScience: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996. A historical guide to rap and hip-hop from their beginnings. Essays devoted to white crossover, women in rap, gangsta rap, message rap, Latino rap, and black nationalism.

Perry, Imani. Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004. A discussion of the art, politics, and culture of hip-hop. Contains detailed analyses of the lyrics of hip-hop artists, including Ice Cube.

Pinn, Anthony B., ed. Noise and Spirit: The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music. New York: New York University Press, 2003. Nine essays that explore the connections between religious concerns and rap music.

Potter, Russell. Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism. New York: State University of New York Press, 1997. A complex examination of hip-hop’s cultural rebellion in historical contexts.

Pough, Gwendolyn. Check It While I Wreck It. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004. A close exploration of gender politics in hip-hop.

Powell, Kevin. “My Culture at the Crossroads.” Newsweek, October 9, 2000, p. 66. Provocative essay that bemoans the co-opting of rap by corporate interests and the apolitical direction of rap. Author longs for the golden era of hip-hop and the message-centered music of groups like Public Enemy.

Powell, Kevin. “The Short Life and Violent Death of Tupac Shakur: Bury Me Like a G.” Rolling Stone, October 31, 1996, pp. 38–46 and 80. Article focused on Tupac’s murder and the violence in his life.

Quinn, Eithne. Nuthinbut aGThang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. A detailed look at gangsta rap and its roots in black working-class expression. Ice Cube figures prominently in three of the book’s eight chapters.

Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1994. The most important of the early studies of rap and hip-hop culture. Extraordinary bibliography. A classic.

Rule, Sheila. “Generation Rap.” New York Times Magazine, April 3, 1994, pp. 40–45. An interview with Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets and a very young (24 years old) Ice Cube. Excellent look at Ice Cube’s early thinking on race and rap.

Samuels, Allison. “Battle for the Soul of Hip-Hop.” Newsweek, October 9, 2000, pp. 58–65. Discussions and interviews with a variety of hip-hop’s biggest names, among them Chuck D and Ice-T, on hip-hop’s future.

Samuels, Allison. “No More Mr. Ice Guy.” Newsweek, June 19, 2006, pp. 58–59. Review of Laugh Now, Cry Later.

Samuels, David. “The Rap on Rap: The ‘Black Music’ That Isn’t Either.” New Republic, November 11, 1991, 24–29. Provocative essay that alleges that rap is neither black nor music.

Sandow, Gregory. “From Street to Big Business.” Los Angeles Herald Examiner, February 12, 1989. An article about rap in its early stages. Includes definitions of rap and its emergent subspecies, gangsta rap.

Sanneh, Kelefa. “Cracking the Code in Hip-Hop.” New York Times, October 13, 2005. Doublespeak in rap and rap’s marketing to a cultural mainstream.

Sexton, Adam, ed. Rap on Rap: Straight-Up Talk on Hip-Hop Culture. New York: Delta Books, 1995. An anthology of articles, essays, and interviews on hip-hop. Includes Ice Cube’s “Black Culture Still Getting a Bum Rap.”

Shakur, Sanyika. Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1993. A first-hand account of life inside the Crips.

Shakur, Sanyika “Monster Kody Scott.” “Do You See What I See? The Source, April 1996, p. 8. A “where do we go from here?” editorial, written by a former member of the Crips, on the state of gang warfare in Los Angeles.

Shecter, Jon. “Real Niggaz Don’t Die.” The Source, September 1991, p. 24. Review of NWA’s Niggaz 4 Life and discussion of the group’s impact on popular music.

Smith, Danyel. “Ice Cube’s Meltdown.” Rolling Stone, January 7, 1993, p. 46. Unfavorable review of The Predator.

Snyder, Marlynn. “New Life at Death Row.” The Source, May 1996, p. 23. The controversies over rap lyrics and the record labels Interscope Records, MCA Music Entertainment Group, Atlantic Group/Time Warner, and Suge Knight’s Death Row Records.

Strange, Adario. “Death Wish.” The Source, March 1996, pp. 84–89 and 111, An important interview with Tupac Shakur. Topics include Tupac’s relationship with Biggie Smalls, Suge Knight, and the East Coast/West Coast feud.

Strange, Adario. “Eazy E and Our Future.” The Source, June 1995, p. 10. Editorial on the inconsistencies in Eazy E’s life and the impact of his death from AIDS on the hip-hop community.

Strange, Adario. “One in a Million.” The Source, January 1996, pp. 62–66 and 95. First-hand account of the Million Man March of October 1995.

Strange, Adario. “Rap Wars Roundtable: The Art Form.” The Source, January 1996, pp. 70–74, 96–98. Discussion of censorship and rap with Chuck D, Bushwick Bill, and Harry Allen, moderated by Adario Strange.

Strange, Adario. “Rap Wars Roundtable: The Executive Factor.” The Source, January 1996, pp. 76–80 and 100–102. Rap industry executives Luther Campbell, Bryan Turner, Bill Stephney, Barry Weiss, and Bill Adler discuss the state of free speech and rap.

Strange, Adario. “Ya Money or Ya Life.” The Source, December 1995, p. 18. Editorial that examines the direction and future of rap.

Thigpen, David. “Ice Cube: War & Peace, Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc).” Vibe, May 2000, p. 173. Tepid review.

Touré. “Recordings: Snoop and Cube,” Rolling Stone, January 27, 1994, pp. 51–52. Unfavorable review of Lethal Injection.

Watkins, S. Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005. A detailed look at the hip-hop industry.

West, Cornell. Race Matters. New York: Vintage Books, 1994. Brilliant essays that consider a variety of topics including nihilism in black America, black sexuality, and black-Jewish relations.

Whitaker, Mark. “White and Black Lies.” Newsweek, November 15, 1993, pp. 52–54. The racial divide in the United States: how blacks and whites view situations from different perspectives.

Williams, Frank. “Eazy-E: Str8 of tha Streetz of Muthaphu**in Compton.The Source, February 1996, p. 87. Review.

Williams, Frank. “Eazy E: The Life, the Legacy.” The Source, June 1995, pp. 52–57 and 60–62. Retrospective on Eazy E’s life, written shortly after his death.

Williams, Todd. “Crooklyn Dodger.” The Source, October 1995, pp. 68–70. The controversies surrounding the influential film director Spike Lee.

Woldu, Gail Hilson. “Contextualizing Rap.” In American Popular Music: New Approaches to the Twentieth Century, ed. Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001, pp. 173–191. Looks at the historical precedents for hip-hop culture.

Woldu, Gail Hilson. “Teaching Rap: Musings at Semester’s End.” College Music Symposium, vol. 37, 1997, pp. 65–71. Looks at rap in an academic setting.

Xtra P. “The Politics of Hip-Hop Culture.” The Source, August 1995, p. 10. Provocative editorial that looks at the politics and the business of hip-hop.

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