The Predator

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This article is about the album by rapper Ice Cube. For other uses, see Predator (disambiguation).
The Predator
Ice Cube - The Predator - Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Ice Cube
Released November 17, 1992
March 11, 2003 (2003 remaster)
July 20, 2010 (2010 remaster)
Recorded 1991-1992
Echo Sound (Glendale, California)
The Hit Factory (New York City)
Genre West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap
Length 56:27
Label Priority/EMI
0499 2 57155 2 1
P2-57155 (original release)

7243 5 43339 2 7
P2-43339 (2003 remaster)
Producer Ice Cube (also exec.), DJ Pooh, Sir Jinx, Torcha Chamba, DJ Muggs
Ice Cube chronology
Death Certificate
The Predator
Lethal Injection
Singles from The Predator
  1. "Wicked"
    Released: October 21, 1992
  2. "It Was a Good Day"
    Released: February 23, 1993
  3. "Check Yo Self"
    Released: August 17, 1993

The Predator is the third studio album by Ice Cube. Released within months of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, many songs comment on the racial tensions. The title is in part reference to the movie Predator 2, and the album itself includes samples from the film.[1] Though not his most critically successful album, commercially The Predator is Ice Cube's most successful album, reaching 5x platinum status in the United States, and it contains his most well-known 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.[2] As of 2008 it has sold over 5 million copies in the USA, according to Nielsen Soundscan.[3] The album sold worldwide more than 7 million copies which makes Ice Cube's highest selling album.


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 jaybird
But, nigga, don’t say the j-word

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.

Commercial Performance[edit]

The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 193,000 copies in its first week, the album was a huge success for a West Coast album even though Ice Cube wasn't on Death Row Records. The album went 2x platinum in the end of 1992 and went 5 times platinum in 2008. The album sold to-date more then 7.5 million copies worldwide, which makes The Predator Ice Cube's highest selling album.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly A−[5]
Q Magazine 4/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[7]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone (2003) 4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[10]
Spin (favorable)[6]
Washington Post (favorable)[11]

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" (11/20/92, p. 88).[12] Q Magazine included it in its "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s" (12/99, p. 74).[12] Spin Magazine called it a record that "demands to be heard" (1/93, p. 61).[12]

Retrospectively, however, the album has been praised and is now considered a classic by many for its groundbreaking production, subject matter and controversial themes, and lyricism.

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 the 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.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "The First Day of School" (Intro) Ice Cube 1:20
2. "When Will They Shoot?"   DJ Pooh, Bob Cat, Ice Cube 4:36
3. "I'm Scared" (Interlude)   1:32
4. "Wicked" (featuring Don Jagwarr) Torcha Chamba, Ice Cube 3:55
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" (Interlude) Sir Jinx 2:02
10. "Dirty Mack"   Mr. Woody 4:34
11. "Don't Trust 'Em"   Rashad, Ice Cube, DJ Pooh 4:06
12. "Gangsta's Fairytale 2" (featuring Lil Russ) Pocketts, Ice Cube 3:19
13. "Check Yo Self" (featuring Das EFX) DJ Muggs, Ice Cube 3:42
14. "Who Got the Camera?"   Sir Jinx 4:37
15. "Integration" (Interlude) Ice Cube 2:31
16. "Say Hi to the Bad Guy"   Sir Jinx 3:19

Chart positions[edit]


Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
1992 The Predator 1 1


Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles Rhythmic Top 40 Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
1992 "Wicked" 55 31 1 31
1993 "Check Yo Self" 20 1 1 18 1
"It Was a Good Day" 15 7 1 13

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[13] 24

See also[edit]


Preceded by
The Chase by Garth Brooks
Billboard 200 number-one album
December 5–11, 1992
Succeeded by
The Bodyguard (soundtrack) by Various artists