“The Nigga You Love To Hate,” by Ice Cube, from AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (Priority Records):
O’Shea Jackson, known to most as Ice Cube, helped introduce gangsta to the popular consciousness, first with N.W.A., then solo with his posse Da Lench Mob and finally with a star turn in Boyz n the Hood. In the late ’90s, Cube put the game on ice while he worked in films such as Three Kings and the Friday and Barbershop franchises. He returned from a six-year hiatus with 2006’s fine Laugh Now, Cry Later and followed it with his eighth solo release, this summer’s Raw Footage. Like all his albums, this one has some filler, but Cube can still draw blood when he bites down, as on “Hood Mentality” and “It Takes a Nation,” which assail trifling street behavior and the commercial exploitation of hip-hop culture.