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On this day in music history: October 29, 1991 - “Death Certificate”, the second album by Ice Cube is released. Produced by Sir Jinx, Ice Cube, and The Boogiemen, it is recorded at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Early - Mid 1991. Following commercial success and critical acclaim of the former N.W.A. rapper’s first solo album “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” and the EP “Kill At Will”, he will return to the studio to record his second full length release. Cube will work mostly with producer Sir Jinx along with a trio of producers dubbed “The Boogiemen” (consisting of DJ Pooh, Rashad, and Bobcat). The songs on the album will be divided into two halves thematically, taking the listener on a journey. “The Death Side” will depict the status of many lower income African American communities plagued by drugs, violence, and other forms of self destructive behavior, and “The Life Side” with the songs being “a vision of where we need to go.” The result will be an uncompromising and hard edged look at society set against a backdrop of Funk and R&B samples. The two tracks drawing the most controversy will be “Black Korea”, written in response to the death of a fifteen year old African American girl killed by a Korean grocery store owner, who claimed the girl was shoplifting a bottle of orange juice. The other will be album’s closing track “No Vaseline” in which Cube takes his former N.W.A. bandmates (and former manager Jerry Heller) to task for dissing him on their EP “100 Miles And Runnin’” and the album “Efil4zaggin”. In spite of the controversy, the album is very well received both critically and commercially, spinning off two singles including “Steady Mobbin’” (#3 Rap, #30 R&B), and “True To The Game”. Later CD reissues will include the track “How To Survive In South Central”, recorded for the soundtrack of “Boyz In The Hood”. “Death Certificate” will spend three weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, debuting (and peaking at) number two on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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