As I mentioned in the last post, I completely missed Ice Cube’s EP Kill At Will when initially sorting through my crates for this stunt blog. But like they say, there is no better time than the present. For those keeping track at home, file this one after Intelligent Hoodlum’s Intelligent Hoodlum album.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Cube was the hottest rapper in the game after leaving N.W.A. and releasing his platinum selling debut Amerikkka’s Most Wanted in the spring of 1990. In an effort to capitalize on Ice Cube’s hotness (oxymoron, much) Priority decided to release an EP titled Kill At Will just a few months after AMW was released. The 7 song EP was completely produced by Cube’s right hand production man Sir Jinx and would garner 2 of the biggest hits in Ice Cube’s lengthy catalog. More on that later.
Kill At Will receive decent reviews and would become the first hip-hop EP to earn a platinum plaque. So, it’s safe to say Priority’s
greed gamble paid off. But was it quality, though?
Endangered Species(Tales From The Darkside) (Featuring Chuck D) (Remix) I didn’t care for the original mix and this remix doesn’t fair any better. The remix opens with a sound bite from Tom Brokaw reporting from Los Angeles as he declares the city the murder capital, thanks in large part to the escalated gang violence at the time. The Sir Jinx instrumental is slightly more interesting than the mess the Bomb Squad brought on the original.
Jackin’ For Beats – This was the lead single on Kill At Will, and one of the two biggest songs in Cube’s catalog that I spoke of at the beginning of this review. Chilly Chill and Sir Jinx jack the instrumentals from D-Nice’s “Call Me D-Nice”, EPMD’s “Wat cha Saying”, PE’s “Welcome To The Terrordome”, DU’s “Humpty Dance”, LL’s “Big Ole Butt”, and X-Clan’s “Heed The Word Of The Brother”, weave them together beautifully, just so Cube can rip them a part. This is one still bangs 25 years later.
Get Off My Dick And Tell Yo Bitch To Come Here (Remix) – The original mix was just one quick verse from Cube, and end scene. The remix features two additional verses from Cube that are slightly entertaining. Unfortunately, Sir Jinx’s instrumental adds nothing to the original, which kind of nullifies Cube’s bonus verses.
The Product – Over a solid Sir Jinx instrumental Cube speaks from the perspective of a young black male, covering the events of his life from conception to incarceration. Deep shit.
Dead Homiez – This is my favorite song on Kill At Will, and the second of the two biggest songs I spoke of in the intro. Over a mellow grove (equipped with a touching trumpet sample during the hook), Cube takes a little time to reminisce over his dead homies. Or, homiez. Classic.
JD’s Gafflin’ (Part 2) – Short interlude from Lench Mob member JD. The original was amusing, but this one didn’t even make me chuckle.
I Gotta Say What Up!!!! – Sir Jinx loops up Isaac Hayes’ classic “Hyperbolics” (you know the rest) record that Cube
wastes uses to shoutout his peeps. The song ends with someone calling Cube to ask what’s up with his former N.W.A. bretheren, to which Cube responds by letting him talk to tone. Dial tone. And just like that, Kill At Will is done.
Kill At Will should not exist. Allow me to explain. The three original songs on the EP are hot, but the rest of the EP is a waste of time. The 2 remixes and the JD interlude don’t bring any value, and while the Isaac Hayes sample on “I Gotta Say What Up!!!!” is undeniably funky, the fact that Cube uses it to give shoutouts instead of actually spit bars over, renders it useless. Priority got a way with robbery selling Kill At Will to Cube’s fans. They did get it right in 2003 when they remastered Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and added the remastered version of Kill At Will as a bonus disc.