To celebrate their 30th Anniversary, SPIN spoke with Ice Cube about the making of AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, the album’s legacy, and some of his favorite records. Read highlights after the jump.
SPIN: It’s amazing how after all these years, the record still sounds so explosive.
CUBE: The sampling era is the best era in hip-hop besides the golden age. Just, like, when you could take all these dynamic riffs and horns and seams and loops, and you could make ‘em into your own song, and be as creative as you can be. It is just the best era. To me, once people really had to start making their own music, it’s been less dynamic ever since.
SPIN: You’ve said that Dr. Dre wanted to produce AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, but couldn’t because of disputes with the label and everything that was happening between you and N.W.A at the time. It might be a little silly to play the “What If?” game, but what do you think the record would have sounded like if Dre had been at the helm, instead of the Bomb Squad?
CUBE: It would have been a monster record. But it’s a trip: At the time, Dre wasn’t my favorite producer. It was the Bomb Squad, we loved their production. Eric Sadler, Keith and Hank Shocklee, Chuck… they mastered the sample. I think Dre’s sound was heavier, crisper, but I just thought the Bomb Squad had the complicated funk. So I was happy either way. I wanted Dre to work because I knew what I was getting with Dre. I didn’t know what I was getting with the Bomb Squad. I didn’t know if they even wanted to do my whole record, I was just hoping to get them to do two or three songs. So, when they agreed to do the whole thing, I fuckin’ did a backflip.