War And Peace: Volume One (The War Disc)
Last night 2,000 moles visited the grave of recently clogpopped Poet Laureate [B]Ted Hughes[/B] and dug him up....
Which leaves a massive hole gaping at the very heart of British culture and the question 'So who will replace Dead Ted as New Britain's top word-mangler?' on every true Briton's tear-smeared and trembling top lip. Rodge McGough? Pam Ayres? Poncenby Ronsenby? Ronsenby Poncenby? Honking Lord Farquar Dalrymple Ronsonbyponsonby Gurly Shite Twat?!? Bollocks!
There's only one contenda! The original gangsta! OK, so he's a beetle-browed Yank gangsta-geeza with a bad attitude and he dresses like an unsupervised autistic four-year-old on crack and swears like a trouper with Tourette's but, hey! this is Kool Britannia '98, dude! Loosen up!
Because, despite his silly hard-man image, Ice Cube is - at heart - a pipe-sucking, beardie-weirdie, Lennon-speced, leather-elbow patched poncey poet par excellence. Check out 'Ask About Me' (subtext: 'I am ace and all other rappers are shite') in which he manages to rhyme "faggot" with "automatic". Genius! You want 128 rhymes for "bitch"? You want 675 rhymes for "nigga"? Try it, it's not easy.
Take, for instance, the track 'Pushin' Weight' (subtext: 'All other rappers suck dog shit off the sidewalks of hell but I'm absolutely awesome') in which Cube compares rapping to selling heroin and in which he gratuitously instructs the listener to "send your head to the taxidermist". Brilliant! Or 'Dr Frankenstein' (Can you guess the subtext? I think you can!) in which Cube raids the dressing-up box for a white coat and geek spex in order to illustrate a rather neat 'gangsta rap = Frankenstein's monster' metaphor. Superb! Or 'Fuck Dying' (subtext: 'Respect to all other rappers 'cos I'm shit. No, only kidding!') featuring Korn (Korn for fugsake!).
It's all utterly hard and utterly fantastic and utterly predictable, darling, and I defy anyone other than the most snottily obsessive rap-anorak to spot any difference whatsoever between this and any other muthaf---ing gangsta rap album ever made. Ever. Except that it's better, obviously, 'cos Ice Cube is super and all other rappers are horrid, spotty and smell of cat litter (have we already mentioned this?).
The weedy white-male wannabe-gangsta audience will love this album to pieces. And the next. And the one after that. Cor, Cube, mate! Worra awesome scam! Good luck to ya! Take the thick bastards for every penny they've got.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday