It's hard to believe, but Ice Cube's solo debut album AmeriKKKa & # 39; s Most Wanted came out 30 years ago. To honor the occasion, the rapper / actor hosted a live event on social media where he spoke about the album and its creation. One story he mentioned was when Fred Rogers sued him for using his iconic Mister Rogers & # 39; Neighborhood theme in the song "A Gangsta & # 39; s Fairytale". Ice Cube doesn't seem too discouraged by the situation all these years later.
Thinking of "A Gangsta & # 39; s Fairytale," Ice Cube recalled the inspiration behind the song. "I actually wrote this for Eazy-E. But you know what it is, we weren't depressed at the time, so I had to take it myself," said Ice Cube. "It's a journey. Because of this song, Mr. Rogers sued us." The rapper continued to discuss the lawsuit and said this.
"He was mad because we had the Mister Rogers theme at the start of this shit, 'It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood' and all of that. [He] sued us and he was getting five cents a record until we got off that part. That's just a fun fact. "
Ice Cube launched AmeriKKKa & # 39; s Most Wanted in 1990 after rescuing N.W.A., shown in Directly from Compton. This is not the first time that the rapper has discussed the lawsuit with Fred Rogers. He mentioned it in Brian Coleman's excellent 2017 book, Check The Technique Vol. 2. You can read what he said about it at the time below.
"We had that 'It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood' early in the original. Did Mr. Rogers sue us? Damn. In fact, yes, I remember. He told us we couldn't use it, we took the song off the album, and he sued us anyway. I think we were forced to harm him because we mentioned his name once. "
Fred Rogers didn't seem like a guy who liked West Coast gangsta rap when he was around, but weirder things have happened. Like many Ice Cube raps in the past, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted focuses on social injustice and what life was like living in south central Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The album is still considered one of the defining moments in hip hop.
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted sold over 3.1 million records worldwide without a video or single release, which is crazy to think about now. He influenced Tupac Shakur, Ras Kass, and Xzibit on the west coast, along with east coast rappers Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., and more recently Saigon, JPEGMafia, and southern rapper Young Jeezy. You can check out Ice Cube's Instagram story for information on the album, or check out the Mr. Rogers part below.