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Meaning of ‘You Can Do It’ by ‘Ice Cube’ feat. Mack 10, Ms. Toi

Released: 2000 • Features: Mack 10, Ms. Toi

Let’s get into “You Can Do It,” a fiery cut from Ice Cube featuring Mack 10 and Ms. Toi. This late ’90s bop ain’t your typical hip-hop jawn, but a celebration of strength, resilience, hustle, and asserting one’s presence, underscored by an unmistakable West Coast bounce. It’s about defiance and survival, amidst a backdrop of everyday hardships and systemic struggles that permeate inner-city life.

The song opens with Ice Cube dropping bars in the chorus, invoking the mantra “put your back into it” with accompanying risqué lines encouraging listeners to spring into action, not just physically but metaphorically too. The repetition of “put your back into it” is elevating the everyday grind to an empowering act of defiance.

The first verse finds Cube cruising down back streets, bumping to Blackstreet – a clever shout-out to the contemporary R&B group. This verse unfolds to depict life not as a sprint, but a marathon, a nod to the long-term struggles and endurance required in the ‘hood, dismissing the notion of life as a “track meet” — quick, competitive and ranked.

Ice Cube You Can Do It

And then, Cube’s characteristic audacity shines when he addresses mortality with nonchalance: “Fuck the cemetery that a nigga get buried on.” He paints a vivid picture of clubbing hard as an act of life affirmation, flipping the grim specter of death with unapologetic bravado.

Cube’s verse ends with explicit lyrics, highlighting his macho bravado, serving as both a celebration of sexual prowess and a metaphorical statement about asserting dominance and control in the face of adversity.

The hook “Don’t stop get it, get it” delivered by Cube, is an insistent call-and-response that keeps the energy level high and bolsters the song’s central theme of perseverance and grit.

In the second verse, we see a shift to familial bonds and the reality of loved ones caught in the web of incarceration, and the subsequent drive to succeed: ”

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