Death Certificate’s inside cover features what would be an unremarkable picture of Ice Cube with his posse, the Lench Mob — if on his left we didn’t see a dozen razor-sharp members of the security force of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. Among young black Americans, Islamic thought has been spreading like wildfire, particularly among rappers. Public Enemy, for example, have performed before speeches by Farrakhan, who alarms some whites with his black- nationalist remarks but is attractive to many blacks because of his emphasis on African-American pride and self-help. Other rappers, like Poor Righteous Teachers and Big Daddy Kane, are in the Five Percent Nation of Islam, whose members are ”gods” sent to minister to the population. Such organizations can help young blacks to make sense of a world that often seems to have little room for them and are often seen as providing a shot of spiritual and physical discipline. Even with his roots in L.A. gangsta rap, Ice Cube is now studying to get his Nation of Islam ”X,” signifying his confirmation in the creed. That news, which has shocked some hip-hop observers, symbolizes how widespread Islamic ideas have become among young black adults.
Posted November 15 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
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