The rapper and the rabbi: Ice Cube and Rabbi Abraham Cooper heal old wounds

Jewish Journal:

Ice Cube, the well-known rapper and actor, was about the last person anyone might have expected to emcee the recent Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance 2017 National Tribute Dinner.

It wasn’t so long ago that Cube and the Center had a nasty feud over lyrics to a 1991 song that some interpreted as anti-Semitic.

Yet there he was at an event on April 5 at the Beverly Hilton to honor Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBC Universal, who had requested that Cube — real name, O’Shea Jackson — lead the festivities.

“It was an opportunity to close a circle that was a long time in the making. “We did a schmooze before the event,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, who was embroiled in the controversy with Cube at the time.

The song at issue, “No Vaseline,” had called out Jerry Heller, the manager of the Cube’s rap group, N.W.A., before Ice Cube started a solo career.

Cube blamed Heller, who was Jewish, for problems that had befallen N.W.A.

“It’s a case of divide and conquer, ‘cause you let a Jew break up my crew.” Cube rapped on “No Vaseline,” which drew immediate condemnation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Cooper responded, “We’re not asking Ice Cube to mask the reality of the streets. By all means flag the social problems, but don’t exploit them by turning a professional spat between a former manager and an artist into a racial dispute.”

“I respect Jewish people because they’re unified. I wish black people were as unified,” Cube shot back.

Cooper and Cube took their back-and-forth to television screens, appearing on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”

“The last time [we saw each other] was spending an hour-plus on the set in Chicago with Oprah and back then in those days, the early Oprah days, we were more like guests in the middle of a lion’s den,” Cooper said in a phone interview this week. “It was a very raucous crowd.”

Cooper told the Journal he’d never been a fan of rap music – he said he was “from a generation before.” He described himself as more of a “Four Seasons guy.”

It was possible, he said, he had been too hard on Cube due to his lack of understanding of what informed his lyrics, adding that their “interaction [at that time] was right at the beginning of that stuff,” when people did not think rap music had any kind of cultural future.

“He was claiming at the time, and I think he probably was correct, that there was an authenticity to his anger,” Cooper said. “He was reporting from a different part of the planet.”

It seems to me that a higher percentage of blacks hate Jews than any other race aside from Arabs.

It’s pathetic that the rabbi’s objection was on the basis of “anti-Semitism.”

Got damn I’m glad y’all set it off.
Used to be hard now you’re just wet and soft.
First you was down with the AK
And now I see you on a video with Michelle?
Lookin’ like straight bozos.
I saw it comin’ that’s why I went solo.
And kept on stompin’
When y’all motherfuckers moved straight outta Compton.
Livin’ with the whites one big house
And not another nigga in site.
I started off with too much cargo,
Dropped four niggas now I’m makin’ all the dough.
White man just rulin’.
The Niggas With Attitudes, who ya foolin’?
Y’all niggas just phony,
I put that on my mama and my dead homeys.
Yella Boy’s on your team, so you’re losin’
Ay yo Dre, stick to producin’.
Callin’ me Arnold, but you Been-a-dick,
Eazy E saw your ass and went in it quick.
You got jealous when I got my own company,
But I’m a man, and ain’t nobody helpin’ me.
Tryin’ to sound like Amerikkka’s Most,
You could yell all day but you don’t come close.
’cause you know I’m the one that flown,
Ya done run 100 miles, but you still got one to go.
With the L-E-N-C-H M-O-B, and ya’ll disgrace the see-P-T.
’cause you’re gettin’ fucked out your green by a white boy,
With no Vaseline

The bigger the cap, the bigger the peelin’,
Who gives a fuck about a punk-ass villain?
You’re gettin’ fucked real quick,
And Eazy’s dick, is smellin’ like MC Ren’s shit.
Tried to tell you a year ago,
But Willie D told me to let a hoe be a hoe, so
I couldn’t stop you from gettin’ ganked,
Now let’s play big-bank-take-little-bank.
Tried to dis Ice Cube, it wasn’t worth it
’cause the broomstick fit your ass so perfect.
Cut my hair and I’ll cut them balls,
’cause I heard you’re, like, givin’ up the drawers.
Gang-banged by your manager, fella,
Gettin’ money out your ass, like a motherfuckin’ Ready Teller.
Givin’ up the dollar bills,
Now they got the Villain with a purse and high-heels.
So don’t believe what Ren say,
’cause he’s goin’ out like Kunte Kinte,
But I got a whip for ya Toby,
Used to be my homey, now you act like you don’t know me.
It’s a case of divide-and-conquer,
’cause you let a Jew break up my crew.
House nigga gotta run and hide,
Yellin’ Compton, but you moved to Riverside.
So don’t front, MC Ren, ’cause I remember when you drove a be 2-10.
Broke as a mothafuckin’ joke.
Let you on the scene to back up the Verse Team.
It ain’t my fault, one nigga got smart,
And they rippin’ your asshole apart.
By takin’ your green, oh yeah,
The Villain does get fucked with no Vaseline.

I never have dinner with the President.
I never have dinner with the President.
I never have dinner with the President.
And when I see your ass again, I’ll be hesitant.
Now I think you a snitch,
Throw a house nigga in a ditch.
Half-pint bitch, fuckin’ your homeboys.
You little maggot, Eazy E turned faggot.
With your manager, fella,
Fuckin’ MC Ren, Dr. Dre, and Yella.
But if they were smart as me,
Eazy E would be hangin’ from a tree.
With no Vaseline, just a match and a little bit of gasoline.
Light ’em up, burn ’em up, flame on,
Till that Jheri curl is gone.
On a permanent vacation, off the Massa plantation.
Heard you both got the same bank account,
Dumb nigga, what you thinkin’ bout?
Get rid of that Devil real simple, put a bullet in his temple.
’cause you can’t be the Nigga 4 Life crew
With a white Jew tellin’ you what to do.
Pullin’ wools with your scams, now I gotta play the Silence of the Lambs.
With a midget who’s a punk too,
Tryin’ to fuck me, but I’d rather fuck you.
Eric Wright, punk, always into somethin’, gettin’ fucked at night.
By Mista Shitpacker, bend over for the gotdamn cracker, no vaseline

Steve Sailer wrote:

Fortunately, Straight Outta Compton has one spectacularly funny scene in which Giamatti is finally allowed to cut loose. After almost two full movies of deftly underplaying corrupt Svengali roles, he’s given an unexpected rant.

After Ice Cube goes solo because he’s tired of being ripped off by the Eazy-E/Heller axis, N.W.A’s rump disses Ice Cube with a rap calling him a “Benedict Arnold.” Ice Cube furiously responds with “No Vaseline,” a remarkably antigay denunciation of his ex-friends.

You might expect that the cunning Heller, who had blithely facilitated the Compton youth’s manifold antisocial messages, would encourage this profitable feud to continue. But instead, upon hearing Ice Cube complaining that “You let a Jew break up my crew” and that blacks shouldn’t put up with “a white Jew tellin’ you what to do,” an outraged Heller switches off the stereo and denounces black anti-Semitism for several increasingly hilarious minutes.

Sure, rappers encouraging impressionable youths to deal crack, beat women, battle the police, and murder other blacks is just entertainment, Heller seems to imply. But a rapper protesting the venerable tradition of Jewish agents cheating musicians, black or white, well, that’s beyond the pale!

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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