Ice Cube refigured two songs from his new album, Everythang’s Corrupt, which comes out Friday, for two unique videos shot on a rooftop. On “Fire Water” — a track with a heavy trap beat and swirling synths — Cube turns the lyrics into a contemplative poem. “I’ma die of the good life,” he raps, as he paces. “Too much salt, too much sugar, too much smoke, too much liquor.” He looks alternatively pissed off and confident as he waves his hands; he looks like he’s figuring it all out.
In the second clip, both made with Vevo and directed by Micah Bickham, he raps about taking on the alt-right with the message, “Stay ready.” He covers everything from the tiki-torch marches to Trump’s border wall, all with a message to emboldened racists: “We’re gonna chase down the bully, hit his ass with the fully/Then we gonna string his ass up by his nuts with a pully.” The album version, which runs about a minute longer, has a bouncy beat, shimmering synthesizer and a bit more growl in Cube’s voice. Here, in this a cappella version, it’s a little more threatening, as he puts his hands on a ladder, leans forward and says, “Stay ready.” By the end of the clip, he’s off-camera, repeating that line.
Everythang’s Corrupt is Ice Cube’s first album since 2010’s I Am the West. Ice Cube released the single “Everythang’s Corrupt” in 2012 and, at the time, said he hoped it would come out the next year; Cube’s hatred of then presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was featured on the song’s video. In 2014, he told Rolling Stone he’d delayed the album so he could focus on making the movie Straight Outta Compton. And last year, he said he had resumed work on the LP. “[The songs are] in various states of completion, so it’s not like I’m just sitting on songs,” he said. “It’s all timing.” He subsequently released the Everythang’s Corrupt single, “Arrest the President,” last month.