West Coast rap icon Ice Cube has signed with Interscope Records, which will release a 25th anniversary edition of his controversial, South-Central Los Angeles-centric album, “Death Certificate,” on June 9.

The rapper’s second album was recorded in the wake of the 1991 Rodney King beating and tackled hot-button issues affecting the black community, including guns, gangs, unemployment and the proliferation of sexually transmitted diseases among black youth.

The song “Black Korea” addressed tensions in the community after the shooting death of an African-American girl by a Korean grocer.

The re-release features three new songs — “Only One Me,” “Dominate The Weak” and “Good Cop, Bad Cop” — and breaks down the original 20-track album into two parts.

“The Death Side,” Ice Cube says, is “a mirror image of where we are today” while “The Life Side” represents “a vision of where we need to go.”

“Sadly, our community is dealing with many of the same issues,” he says. “I only hope that young millennials feeling powerless in the ‘hood can channel their own anger and frustration by listening to this record.”

Ice Cube began his career with gangsta rap group N.W.A more than two decades ago, then broke away to start his solo career. He has sold more than 10 million albums to date, and had been releasing music independently on his own label in recent years.

“We are thrilled to announce that Ice Cube has joined the Interscope family. He’s obviously one of the legendary figures in hip-hop … that’s a massive statement on its own, but he’s so much more than that,” said John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M. “Cube has an incredible body of work, and as a fan I’m honored to welcome him to the label.”

— City News Service

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