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After leaving N.W.A. in 1989 due to financial disputes, Ice Cube was at a crossroads. Even though he had split from the infamous group, the Compton rapper still wanted Dre to produce his solo album, but that was quickly vetoed by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller.

So he packed his bag, and headed East to the Mecca of hip hop with his music partner, Sir Jinx. In New York, Cube linked up with Chuck D and the Bomb Squad, one of the greatest hip hop production groups of all time, to produce his 1990 debut album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.

While the album didn’t spawn any hit singles or garner significant radio play, it was quickly certified gold in two weeks, then hit platinum status just two months later. It was official – Ice Cube was a successful solo artist. Wanting to capitalise on his buzz, Priority Records asked Cube to put out another project in the same year.

Cube and Jinx worked alone on the Kill at Will EP, with no contributions from the Bomb Squad (except for a guest verse from Chuck D) putting together now classic tracks like “Jackin’ for Beats”, “The Product” and “Dead Homiez.” Released December 18, 1990, the album debuted at number 34 on the Billboard 200 and was quickly certified platinum – making it the first hip hop EP to do so.

Ice Cube: By the time we got to that EP – after learning from Dre and the Bomb Squad – me and Jinx were like, “We got this, we know what we’re doing.” We did it ourselves, without any help from anyone. EPs were just sellin’ back then. That came after an EP that N.W.A. did [100 Miles And Runnin’, 1990]. We had some of those songs left over, songs with longer versions and we just threw together an EP. Priority was beggin’ us to come back out again, and quick. So we figured it out. We didn’t have anything to prove, we just did it because we could. We knew that “The Product” and “Dead Homies” were hits. We did all those tracks after Amerikkka’s Most Wanted was done.

Check the Technique: Volume 2 More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
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