The Predator is the third studio album by Ice Cube. Released within months of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, on November 17, 1992, many songs comment on racial tensions in the United States. The title is in part reference to the movie Predator 2, and the album itself includes samples from the film. Though not Ice Cube’s most critically successful album, The Predator is his most commercially successful, reaching 2x platinum status in the United States, also containing his most successful single, “It Was a Good Day.” The Predator is his only number one album on the Billboard 200 to date, selling 193,000 copies in its first week.As of 2008, it has sold over two million copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


In the opening song, “When Will They Shoot,” Ice Cube addressed criticisms of anti-Semitism he received for his last effort, Death Certificate:White man is something I tried to study,But I got my hands bloody, yeah.They say I can sing like a jaybirdBut, nigga, don’t say the j-wordI thought they was buggin”Cause to us, Uncle Sam is Hitler without an ovenBurnin’ our black skinBomb a neighborhood, then push the crack in

Elsewhere “We Had to Tear This Mothafucka Up” is directed at the LA Police officers acquitted in the Rodney King trial, an event that ignited the 1992 LA Riots. The similarly themed “Who Got the Camera?” imagines a scenario in which a black man is subjected to police brutality. The songs are broken up by interludes involving interviews with Ice Cube and what appears to be a debate between members of a congregation or talk-show audience.

“Now I Gotta Wet’cha” is the source of the popular phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong.” Since the song’s release, the quote has been used in sports, commercials, movies, and television with a huge surge in usage from the years 2000 through 2005. In 2010, Nintendo trademarked the phrase in order to promote the Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns

Critical Reception

Professional Ratings

Although not as lauded as his previous efforts, The Predator was well received. Entertainment Weekly called it “Ice Cube’s strongest, most cohesive work yet”.[8] Spin called it a record that “demands to be heard” (1/93, p. 61).[15] Q included it in its “90 Best Albums of the 1990s” (12/99, p. 74).[15]

It spawned three hit singles: “It Was a Good Day,” which was a hit in March 1993; “Check Yo Self”; and “Wicked” (which was later covered by rock band Korn). Both the album and single version of “Check Yo Self” include an appearance from Das EFX, with the latter’s single featuring a remix utilizing a sample of Grandmaster Flash‘s “The Message“. The song also received continuous radio and MTV play.

Commercial performanceEdit

The Predator debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with sales of 193,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified platinum on January 7, 1993 and 3x platinum in late 2001, making it Ice Cube’s best-selling album with 3,700,000 copies in the U.S and 6 million sold worldwide


The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[16]

In a 2014 interview with rapper and producer Q-Tip, actor Leonardo DiCaprio expresses his admiration for The Predator. He stated that the album was the “magnum opus of Ice Cube’s solo career” and it was a “voice for the angry and unheard during the 90s”.

Track listing


1.”The First Day of School (Intro)”Ice Cube1:20

2.”When Will They Shoot?”


3.”I’m Scared (Insert)” 1:32

4.”Wicked” (featuring Don Jagwarr)

  • Torcha Chamba
  • Ice Cube


5.”Now I Gotta Wet ‘Cha”DJ Muggs 4:03

6.”The Predator”DJ Pooh 4:03

7.”It Was a Good Day“DJ Pooh 4:19

8.”We Had to Tear This Mothafucka Up”DJ Muggs 4:23

9.”Fuck ‘Em (Insert)”Sir Jinx 2:02

10.”Dirty Mack”Mr. Woody4:34

11.”Don’t Trust ‘Em”

  • Rashad
  • Ice Cube
  • DJ Pooh


12.”Gangsta’s Fairytale 2″ (featuring Lil Russ)

  • Pocketts
  • Ice Cube


13.”Check Yo Self” (featuring Das EFX)

  • DJ Muggs
  • Ice Cube


14.”Who Got the Camera?”Sir Jinx4:37

15.”Integration (Insert)”Ice Cube2:31

16.”Say Hi to the Bad Guy”Sir Jinx3:192003 reissue bonus tracks


17.”Check Yo Self” (‘The Message’ Remix) (featuring Das EFX)

  • Ice Cube
  • DJ Pooh


18.”It Was a Good Day” (Remix)Ice Cube 4:28

19.”24 Wit An L”Ice Cube 3:25

20.”U Ain’t Gonna Take My Life”Mr. Woody 4:07


Chart positions

Year End Charts



Use in mediaEdit

In the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat, 11-year old Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang) tries to impress his neighbor and babysitter Nichole (Luna Blaise) with a copy of The Predator featuring a huge Parental Advisory label. She decides to keep his copy after listening to it babysitting him and they end up bonding over it.[20]

The song “It Was a Good Day” made an appearance in the video game The Last of Us Part II.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ “Chillin’ with Cube”The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. February 25, 2000.
  2. ^ Allah, Sha Be (November 17, 2018). “TODAY IN HIP-HOP HISTORY: ICE CUBE RELEASED HIS THIRD ALBUM ‘THE PREDATOR’ 26 YEARS AGO”The Source. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  3. ^ “Billboard 我要发高端贴之 SOUNDSCAN历周冠军专辑销量!!!_billboard吧_贴吧”. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  4. ^ “SoundScan Album Sales 10/12/2005 – Home Recording forums”. October 14, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  5. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. The Predator – Ice Cube”AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  6. ^ Coletti, Christopher (April 4, 2003). “Ice Cube”The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 1,2010.
  7. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (November 26, 1992). “Ice Cube Zeros in on ‘Predator'”Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  8. a b Sandow, Greg (November 20, 1992). “The Predator”Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  9. ^ Hilburn, Robert (November 15, 1992). “Post-Riot Fury Fuels Ice Cube’s ‘Predator'”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  10. ^ “Ice Cube: The Predator“. Q (76): 82. January 1993.
  11. ^ Smith, Danyel (January 7, 1993). “Ice Cube:The PredatorRolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved April 1,2010.
  12. ^ Relic, Peter (2004). “Ice Cube”. In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 400–01ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  13. ^ Higginbotham, Adam (March 1993). “Ice Cube: The Predator“. Select (33): 72.
  14. ^ “Ice Cube: The Predator“. Uncut (73): 113. June 2003.
  15. a b “Music: The Predator (CD) by Ice Cube” Archived from the original on 2007-03-11.
  16. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  17. ^ “The Predator [Bonus Tracks] – Ice Cube | Release Info | AllMusic”AllMusic.
  18. ^ “British album certifications – Ice Cube – The Predator”British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type The Predator in the “Search BPI Awards” field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ “American album certifications – Ice Cube – The Predator”Recording Industry Association of AmericaIf necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  20. ^ “01×07 – Showdown at the Golden Saddle – Fresh Off the Boat Transcripts -“Forever Dreaming. Retrieved 24 May 2016.

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