(You Tube)
(You Tube)

"Damn G, the spot's gettin hot/So how the fuck am I supposed to make a knot?/Police looking at niggas through a microscope/In L.A. everybody and they momma sell dope/They trying to stop it/So what the fuck can I do to make a profit?/Catch a flight to St. Louis/That's cool, cause nobody knew us/We stepped off the plane/Four gang bangers, professional crack slangers."

—"My Summer Vacation"

It basically broke down the spread of L.A. gang culture throughout the U.S. and abroad. Classic, timeless and essential hip-hop music.

Glenn Waco

"They give us guns and drugs/Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs."

—"Why We Thugs"

If you study history you'll find a lot of African-American communities were first flooded with heroin in the '70s and then with crack cocaine in the 1980s. This is a very direct statement but has a lot of history attached to it, which boils down to America creating what it has hated the most.

Cool Nutz

"And I'm lookin/Is he in Watts, Oakland, Philly, or Brooklyn/I knew it was a caper/I said, 'Please don't kill my mama' so he raped her/And it was packed like sardines/Full of niggas who fought for the same thing."

—"I Wanna Kill Sam"

Ice Cube took a lot of risks lyrically and pushed the boundaries on race and politics. "I Wanna Kill Sam" was a blatant demonstration of that and is still relevant in today's current times with police brutality and even the mindset of Donald Trump.

Rasheed Jamal

"That's how it is, that's how it's gonna be/Kids, when you grow up, who the fuck you wanna be?/Like me, your black superhero/Got enough zeros to hire Bob Shapiro."

—"Gangstas Make the World Go 'Round" (Westside Connection)

The whole verse made me want to rule the world one day at the age of 9. That song alone brings back major memories. I used to rewind that verse for hours. My mama wanted to whoop my ass when she heard it!

Mic Crenshaw

"Check yourself before you wreck yourself."

—"Check Yo Self"

Who can argue with that? To be honest, there's too much good music to pick my favorite Ice Cube lyrics. For us that were teenagers and young adults, Cube spoke for us—the struggles, stories and vibe of being young, black and determined to carve out an existence better than what a rigged system could provide.

(Amy Churchwell)