Released: 1994Features: Das EFX Aight, let’s go deep into “Check Yo Self,” by Ice Cube featuring Das EFX. This ain’t some pop chart remix, this here’s a track that expands and flips the original like a scratch on a vinyl. Cube’s “Check Yo Self” is a cautionary tale, imbued with street wisdom and a raw portrayal of the life he knew. The remix retains that flavor while bringing in the unique sound of Das EFX to toss in those distinct, scattergun rhymes.
Boom! Right off the bat comes the hook. “So come on and chickity check yo self before you wreck yo self.” This phrase is a classic bit of Cube wisdom, saying, in essence, you better look at your own behavior and actions before you end up causing some harm to yourself… it’s street poetry. Cube ain’t just saying this, he’s sounding a warning shot.
Then Cube delivers the first verse and this ain’t no bedtime story. Cube’s spitting tough talk about his life, dropping words about crime, hustling, and the everyday dangers of the street. When Cube says, “I come real stealth droppin’ bombs on ya moms,” he ain’t literally talking about bombing folks. Nah, it’s a metaphor for his hard-hitting lyrics and impact on the rap game.
Cube’s punch line, “This ain’t no fuckin’ motion picture” cuts deep. He’s telling us this ain’t some glamorized Hollywood portrayal… this is real life. When he says, “I make dough, but don’t call me Dough Boy,” that’s a clever reference to his character from the film “Boyz n the Hood.” He’s making money but ain’t gonna fall into the traps that his character did.
The chorus comes back around with its hypnotic refrain, reminding us again to “check yo self before you wreck yo self.” Now we’re hooked and ready for the next verse.
The second verse introduces more hard street realities. Cube talks about firearms, jail, and the rapid downfall of those who step to him. This ain’t sugar-coated, it’s raw and unfiltered. Cube’s line, “First you wanna step to me / Now your ass screamin’ for the deputy” shows how quickly the tables can turn in the streets. Fronting can lead to a personal downfall.
In the final verse, Cube uses his lyrical prowess to talk about the pitfalls of promiscuity and the consequences that come with it. “Bitch, get off the wood, you’re no good / There goes the neighborhood hooker,” he warns, pointing to the destructive path that such lifestyle can lead to.
Peep this though, amongst Cube’s verses are Das EFX’s wild ad-lib linings, adding a distinctive touch and cultural flair. It brings a unique spin to the song, demonstrating the groundbreaking style Das EFX brought to the hip-hop scene in the early 90s.
The track wraps up with that hook drilling home the theme of self-awareness and mindfulness. Always be aware of your actions, lest consequences come for your health. The “Chickity check” cadence that drives the chorus, in conjunction with Das EFX’s unique lyrical style, makes this remix an iconic piece of hip-hop history.
Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self,” is a raw, unfiltered look at the reality of urban life, wrapped in catchy hooks and clever wordplay. It’s an anthem of street survival, a guide on how to navigate tumultuous terrains, and a soundtrack for those who live in the face of adversity. Recognize the genius in Cube’s rhymes and respect the culture he represents, cause every line in this joint is a piece of storytelling perfection.