Ice Cube Releases "Death Certificate"
Death Certificate is the second studio album by rapper Ice Cube, released October 31, 1991 on Priority Records.
Highly anticipated with over a million advance orders, the album was certified platinum in sales on December 20, 1991. The album debuted on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #1 and on the Billboard 200 chart at #2, while it went on to sell over two million copies to date. It is considered one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. It was also the source of much controversy due to some of its racially charged content, and Ice Cube's acerbic statements on drug dealing, racial profiling, and the right to keep and bear arms.
In 1992, as a result of the album's controversy, the state of Oregon declared any display of Ice Cube's image in retail stores throughout the state illegal. This ban also included advertisements for St. Ides Malt Liquor, which Ice Cube endorsed at the time. In 2003, Priority Records re-released Death Certificate, which included a bonus track, "How to Survive in South Central", that originally appeared on the Boyz N the Hood soundtrack.
Allmusic calls Death Certificate "even harder and angrier than AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted... It continues the sharp insights and unflinching looks at contemporary urban lifestyles that his solo debut only hinted at; in short, it's hardcore without any gangsta posturing." They also call it "funkier, noisier, and more musically effective (than AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted)."
Rating: A- "...20 tracks of the most visceral music ever allowed in public..." - Entertainment Weekly (11/15/91)
Rating: Recommended "...adrenalin-drenched funk...integrates vitriolic politics with raw street knowledge...achieves an almost George Clinton-esque sense of celebratory freakiness..." - Spin (1/92, p. 72)
"No Vaseline" was a highly controversial song by Ice Cube from his second album, Death Certificate. The song was produced by Ice Cube and Sir Jinx. In the UK release of Death Certificate, this song, along with the 46-second long "Black Korea", were removed due to their violation of the laws.
The song was a diss track aimed towards Ice Cube's former bandmates in the group N.W.A and their manager, Jerry Heller. Ice Cube recorded this song after the comments N.W.A made towards him in their albums 100 Miles and Runnin' and Efil4zaggin. The first minute of the song is a reference to N.W.A's "Message to B.A.", in which they call Ice Cube "Benedict Arnold". Ice Cube then begins his full-blown diss on the group and their manager.
Heard you both got the same bank account!/Dumb nigga, What you thinkin' about?!/Get rid of that devil real simple, put a bullet in his temple.”— Ice Cube