In 1990 hip-hop ruled the world, at least that’s how it felt to us. For that glorious year Ice Cube’s solo debut Amerikkka’s Most Wanted was the apex of our existence. Bold, complex and crazy funky, the record immortalized a unique collaboration of East and West—bombastic Bomb Squad beats supporting Cube’s searing, raw vocals. Finding a dangerous groove where N.W.A crossed paths with Public Enemy, the album was as exciting as any we’d heard. Its power and influence holds up today.
1990 was the year we launched The Source as a real business in New York City, so there we were—driving down the West Side Highway, bumping the advance cassette, realizing how well-crafted it was, understanding that this brilliant album represented our future. Like Ice Cube, and like hip-hop itself, we were maturing into adulthood, moving forward to take on the real world. But thrilled as we were by the sounds, truth is we had no idea how the magic had happened.