The Predator is the third studio album by American rapper Ice Cube. It was released on November 17, 1992, through Lench Mob Records and Priority Records. The album was released just within months of the 1992 Los Angeles riots; many songs comment on racial tensions in the United States. The production on the album was primarily handled by DJ Pooh, Sir Jinx, Torcha Chamba and DJ Muggs. The title is in part reference to the movie Predator 2, and the album itself includes samples from the film.[1]

The Predator
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 1992
Recorded1991 - 1992
Ice Cube chronology
Death Certificate
The Predator
Lethal Injection
Singles from The Predator
  1. "Wicked"
    Released: November 3, 1992
  2. "It Was a Good Day"
    Released: February 23, 1993
  3. "Check Yo Self"
    Released: July 13, 1993

The Predator was supported by three singles: "It Was a Good Day", "Check Yo Self" and "Wicked". The album received generally positive reviews from critics and was also a commercial success. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 193,000 copies in its first week.[2] The album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in November 2001.[3]

Background Edit

In the opening song, "When Will They Shoot," Ice Cube addressed criticisms of anti-Semitism he received for his last effort, Death Certificate:

White man is something I tried to study,
But I got my hands bloody, yeah.
They say I can sing like a jaybird
But, nigga, don’t say the j-word
I thought they was buggin'
'Cause to us, Uncle Sam is Hitler without an oven
Burnin' our black skin
Bomb a neighborhood, then push the crack in

Elsewhere "We Had to Tear This Mothafucka Up" is directed at the LA Police officers acquitted in the Rodney King trial, an event that ignited the 1992 LA Riots. The similarly themed "Who Got the Camera?" imagines a scenario in which a black man is subjected to police brutality. The songs are broken up by interludes involving interviews with Ice Cube and what appears to be a debate between members of a congregation or talk-show audience.

"Now I Gotta Wet’cha" is the source of the popular phrase "It’s on like Donkey Kong." Since the song's release, the quote has been used in sports, commercials, movies, and television with a huge surge in usage from the years 2000 through 2005. In 2010, Nintendo trademarked the phrase in order to promote the Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns. In the 2023 animated film The Super Mario Bros. Movie Donkey Kong uses the phrase himself.

Singles Edit

The album spawned three hit singles: "It Was a Good Day," which was a hit in March 1993; "Check Yo Self"; and "Wicked" (which was later covered by nu metal band Korn featuring Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno rapping the verses with slightly modified lyrics). Both the album and single version of "Check Yo Self" include an appearance from Das EFX, with the latter's single featuring a remix utilizing a sample of Grandmaster Flash's "The Message". The song also received continuous radio and MTV play.

Critical reception Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
The Austin Chronicle     [5]
Chicago Sun-Times    [6]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[7]
Los Angeles Times    [8]
Q     [9]
Rolling Stone     [10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [11]
Uncut     [13]

Although not as lauded as his previous efforts, The Predator was well received. Entertainment Weekly called it "Ice Cube's strongest, most cohesive work yet".[7] Spin called it a record that "demands to be heard" (1/93, p. 61).[14] Q included it in its "90 Best Albums of the 1990s" (12/99, p. 74).[14]

Commercial performance Edit

The Predator debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 193,000 copies in its first week.[2] This became Ice Cube's first US number one debut.[2] On November 16, 2001, the album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over two million copies.[3] As of January 2003, the album has sold 2.2 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[15]

Legacy Edit

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[16]

In a 2014 interview with rapper and producer Q-Tip, actor Leonardo DiCaprio expresses his admiration for The Predator. He stated that the album was the "magnum opus of Ice Cube's solo career" and it was a "voice for the angry and unheard during the 90s".

Use in media Edit

In the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat, 11-year old Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang) tries to impress his neighbor and babysitter Nichole (Luna Blaise) with a copy of The Predator featuring a huge Parental Advisory label. She decides to keep his copy after listening to it babysitting him and they end up bonding over it.[17]

"It Was a Good Day" made an appearance in the video games The Last of Us Part II and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Track listing Edit

1."The First Day of School (Intro)"Ice Cube1:20
2."When Will They Shoot?"
3."I'm Scared (Insert)" 1:32
4."Wicked" (featuring Don Jagwarr)
  • Torcha Chamba
  • Ice Cube
5."Now I Gotta Wet 'Cha"DJ Muggs4:03
6."The Predator"DJ Pooh4:03
7."It Was a Good Day"DJ Pooh4:19
8."We Had to Tear This Mothafucka Up"DJ Muggs4:23
9."Fuck 'Em (Insert)"Sir Jinx2:02
10."Dirty Mack"Mr. Woody4:34
11."Don't Trust 'Em"
  • Rashad
  • Ice Cube
  • DJ Pooh
12."Gangsta's Fairytale 2" (featuring Lil Russ)
  • Pocketts
  • Ice Cube
13."Check Yo Self" (featuring Das EFX)
  • DJ Muggs
  • Ice Cube
14."Who Got the Camera?"Sir Jinx4:37
15."Integration (Insert)"Ice Cube2:31
16."Say Hi to the Bad Guy"Sir Jinx3:19
2003 reissue bonus tracks[18]
17."Check Yo Self" ('The Message' Remix; featuring Das EFX)
  • Ice Cube
  • DJ Pooh
18."It Was a Good Day" (Remix)Ice Cube4:28
19."24 Wit An L"Ice Cube3:25
20."U Ain't Gonna Take My Life"Mr. Woody4:07

Charts Edit

Weekly charts Edit

Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA Charts)[19] 72
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[20] 61
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[21] 56
UK Albums (OCC)[22] 73
US Billboard 200[23] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[24] 1

Year-end charts Edit

Chart (1993) Position
US Billboard 200[25] 24
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[26] 8

Certifications Edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[3] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Chillin' with Cube". The Guardian. London, England. February 25, 2000.
  2. ^ a b c Sha Be Allah (January 7, 2020). "ICE CUBE'S 'THE PREDATOR' LP GOES PLATINUM 27 YEARS AGO". The Source. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "American album certifications – Ice Cube – The Predator". Recording Industry Association of America.
  4. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "The Predator – Ice Cube". AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Coletti, Christopher (April 4, 2003). "Ice Cube". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  6. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (November 26, 1992). "Ice Cube Zeros in on 'Predator'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Sandow, Greg (November 20, 1992). "The Predator". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  8. ^ Hilburn, Robert (November 15, 1992). "Post-Riot Fury Fuels Ice Cube's 'Predator'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "Ice Cube: The Predator". Q (76): 82. January 1993.
  10. ^ Smith, Danyel (January 7, 1993). "Ice Cube: The Predator". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  11. ^ Relic, Peter (2004). "Ice Cube". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 400–01. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ Higginbotham, Adam (March 1993). "Ice Cube: The Predator". Select (33): 72.
  13. ^ "Ice Cube: The Predator". Uncut (73): 113. June 2003.
  14. ^ a b "Music: The Predator (CD) by Ice Cube". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11.
  15. ^ "Ice Cube Defrosts Back Catalog For Reissues". Billboard. January 28, 2003. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  17. ^ "01x07 - Showdown at the Golden Saddle - Fresh Off the Boat Transcripts -". Forever Dreaming. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  18. ^ "The Predator [Bonus Tracks] - Ice Cube | Release Info | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  19. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 134.
  20. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  21. ^ " – Ice Cube – Lethal Injection" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  23. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  24. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  25. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1993". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  26. ^ "Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1993". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  27. ^ "British album certifications – Ice Cube – The Predator". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type The Predator in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.