Today in Hip-Hop History: December 7th, 1993
Lethal Injection by Ice Cube
Today in Hip-Hop History marks the twenty-two-year anniversary of Ice Cube’s Lethal Injection. With cemented fame, Cube’s fourth studio album was an unsurprising hit. Reaching platinum status and selling over two-hundred thousand copies within its first week, Lethal Injection went on to reach the number one spot in US Billboard’s RnB/Hip-Hop list. Although commercially successful, Lethal Injection was criticized by many for the content of the project being less impactful and lighter than the albums prior.
Three singles are within the album, with the first single “Really Doe” dropping before release, and songs like “You Know How We Do It” and “Bop Gun(One Nation)” being released on the B-side after as Spring and Summer jams on the radio, respectively. Following the trails of gangsta rap, the dark, boom-bap progression and background squeal follows common west coast gangsta rap tropes that also include disc scratches, cash registers popping, funky bass lines, and typical gangster lyricism like: “Chillin with the homies, smellin the bud/Double parked and I’m talking to Dub/About who got a plan; who got a plot/Who got got; and who got shot.”
Still somewhat politically charged while following the roots of gangsta rap that helped make him, Ice Cube’s Lethal Injection is an album that walks a tight line. It’s a smooth, west-coast summertime sounding album. While definitely passable, it’s not an album that Ice Cube should be known for. If you’re trying to listen to a signature Cube album, check out AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate, War & Peace Vol. I, and if you’re looking for something more modern, check out Raw Footage.