Ice Cube’s career has been on an upward trajectory ever since he appeared in hip-hop as a part of N.W.A. in 1984. As the main MC of the collective, Ice Cube was effectively the face of LA hip-hop and made some monster hits. From ‘F**k Da Police’ to ‘Check Yo Self’, the rapper undoubtedly permanently impacted hip-hop and paved the way for the likes of Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg.
Following the dissipation of N.W.A in 1990, Ice Cube began releasing solo albums. From the musician’s 1991 project Death Certificate to War & Peace, the emcee released a string of exceptional solo bodies of work.
However, that is not to say the lyricist doesn’t admire other artists, and during an appearance on Sports Illustrated, the rhymer (real name O’Shea Jackson) unveiled his favourite out of the top eight best-selling hip-hop albums of all time.
The top eight initial choices were Speakerboxx/The Love Below by Outkast, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ by 50 Cent, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em by MC Hammer, 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me, Biggie’s Life After Death, the Marshall Mathers LP, Nelly’s Country Grammar and License To Ill by the Beastie Boys.
Jackson commenced by admitting that 50 Cent’s 2003 album was better than Speakerboxx/The Love Below and so had to take precedent and, although by a narrow margin, favoured Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP over Country Grammar. Unsurprisingly, Jackson selected 2Pac’s 1996 project All Eyez On Me over MC Hammer. However, from there, it got tricky for the Crenshaw native as his options began to slim.
When it came to Biggie Smalls versus Eminem, the ‘No Vaseline’ artist eventually decided that as a golden age artist who was alive during the heyday of Bad Boy, Biggie Smalls’ 1997 body of work superseded the Marshall Mathers LP. Similarly, when he was faced with 50 Cent’s debut against All Eyez On Me, he had to take it back to his roots and select the latter.
As a result, his grand finale was Biggie versus 2Pac, hip-hop’s biggest rivalry to this day and, after much thought as a West Coast legend, decided that All Eyez On Me was ultimately the best album out of the top eight best-selling projects. You can watch Ice Cube’s interview on Sports Illustrated below.