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Ice Cube - 'Arrest The President' Single Review

One of the few things the current Mrs. W and I disagree over (apart from whether floor space constitutes storage) tends to be music. Not, you may be surprised to learn, her ongoing inability (some might even say unwillingness) to accept the lyrics of Charles and Eddie contains almost mystical wisdom, but our disagreement over rap music.

She contends that it is a lot of over stimulated (mostly men) bragging, whilst I maintain that (done right) Rap provides a kind of social commentary; the modern day equivalent to ye olde folk music if you will...though with better dress sense. And in my futile quest, one of the people I refer her to most is Ice Cube. Whilst everyone knows the ferocity of “F*ck tha Police”, for me it’s songs like “When I Get To Heaven” where Ice Cube’s razor sharp commentary really shines through. So when I heard that Ice Cube has released a song referencing Trump, I was intrigued as to what his take would be. Given his past comments that Trump could be seen to embody the American Dream, but also his “Vote, but do not vote for this man!” tweet in 2016 just what would be the verdict after 661 days (at time of writing) of a Trump Presidency?

“Arrest The President” is released ahead of the forthcoming studio album “Everythang’s Corrupt” and it’s utterly brilliant. It opens with sinister piano and horn stabs that underpin the whole track alongside an awesome bass track and, of course, that distinctive delivery. Yes there are the kind of things you’d expect with Trump as the subject; “That n***a is Russian Intelligence” and jibes like “Did you know the new white was orange?” but as ever the commentary stands out, this time focusing on the attitude of the Trump camp mentality; “I’ma roll with the aliens/man f**k these homo sapiens/They don’t really wanna make friends/All they want is a Mercedes Benz/All they want is they dividends”.

I’ve listened to this song at least a dozen times now and each time I’m picking up new things with each’s like an alternative “State of the Union” address (“Who you elected is so septic/so full of shit, I can’t accept it”) but delivered with the kind of wit and sharpness that’s missing from a lot of today’s music. I know some people say that music and politics shouldn’t mix and that social commentary in music is out of place but, to me, music needs people like Ice Cube. Based on this sample, I can’t wait for the new album.

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Review - Chris Watson

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