01 Feb

Ice Cube – Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside)

Ok, so I'm going to keep with the theme Fourbearsjr started yesterday and go for a track that is as apt today as it was when it first came out, all the way back in 1990, Ice Cube –  Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside).


The whole album is absolutely amazing, to this day it sounds as fresh as back then. The day I heard it it had the exact same impact on me as Straight out of Compton or Public Enemy's Rebel Without a Pause (more on PE in a second), that feeling was just shock. Shock at the onslaught of noise, at the rage and anger coursing through Cubes veins and while the whole album is just great track after track it was Endangered Species that always jumped out at me.


The whole track is probably the simplest track of the album, it’s essentially just a pulsating wall of sound built around the drum break from Long Red by Mountain, but it's trimmings on top that I truly love, things like the test card squeal on that just appears out of nowhere, and the way things like the gun shots actually add to the detailed description of the drive by shooting is insane


The story telling is amazing, back to that Drive by, the set up and delivery is perfect and then we come to Chuck D's verse.


The link between Cube and Public Enemy is prevalant the whole way through the album (the bomb squad did produce a large chunk of it including Endangered Species) but this is the only track where Chuck D's vocals appear – and it might just be one of his best verses ever. Clearly being pushed by Cubes superb delivery D's anger fuelled delivery rolls back the years and goes toe to toe with anything Cube delivers on the album – It comes out of nowhere and is gone before you know it, and the way they drop the funkadelic sample in over his lyrics is just brillaint – the verse is just stunning, like the track.


Hard to believe Rolling Stone gave it 2.5 out of 5……




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