"Lethal Injection" Priority

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No rapper does contempt like Ice Cube. Scorn oozes from his every syllable, and the list of things and people he doesn't like gets longer with every album--so chances are you fit into at least one of his categories yourself.

Ice Cube seems incapable of recording a bad albumhe is, after all, among the most expressive rappers now working--and on "Lethal Injection" there is a presence in the production that has been absent in his last couple of records: bass that jumps out at you, Dre-style, low-tech synthesizer fills.

But if you've followed Ice Cube's career, you've heard much of this before: the track that will make Ted Koppel wring his hands ("Cave Bitch," about white women who chase black men), the defiant anti-cop track ("Ghetto Bird," about police helicopters) and so on. "Lethal Injection" may be one of the best rap records of the year, but for Ice Cube it seems almost routine.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four (excellent).

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