A Gangsta’s Fairytale

A Gangsta’s Fairytale

Ice Cube (Ft. Lil Russ (USA))

Ice Cube here uses tropes from common children’s stories to address issues in South Central LA.

It’s similar in theme to Big Daddy Kane’s “Callin' Mr. Welfare,”, although with a different tone and style. Note that both songs even have a similar outro, with somebody saying “seeeee yaaaaa.”

Cube has a sequel to this song on his third album.

Sir Jinx provided background information about the production of the song:

That one was just Eric Sadler. He had that beat and it was incredible. On that song, Mister Rogers tried to sue us! Here’s how you know who the true fans are—the first 200,000 copies of the album have a piece on the beginning of “A Gangsta’s Fairytale” that’s like Mister Rogers [Jinx sings a version of theme song with gangsta drawl… after “Won’t you be my neighbor?” he makes sounds of gunfire]. The second version just starts out with, “And now, in the black part of the city.” If you got the version with the dude singing Mister Rogers then it’s probably worth some money! Ultimately we had to pay Mister Rogers five cents a record, he got paid off of that. After the first 200,000, we took it off. That mean-ass man! [laughs]

Cube added:

We had that “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” thing in the beginning of the original. Did Mister Rogers sue us? Damn… [pauses, trying to remember] Actually, yeah, I remember. He told us we couldn’t use it, we took the song off the album and he sued us anyways. I think they made us give him damages because we mention his name one time.

Jinx helped me put together that track, as far as concepts go. The lyrics on that one were written initially for Eazy. N.W.A and Eazy never had them, I hadn’t given the lyrics to them. It’s not like I was trying to beat them to the punch or anything. They was just songs I was writin’ while I was still in N.W.A, for the second album. I wrote them while we was on tour in 1989. That little kid on there is one of Keith Shocklee’s girlfriends’ kids. We wanted to get a little bad-ass kid on there, so we brought him in to talk shit. Keith knew he’d be good. The kid wasn’t really that bad-ass, but he sounded like it.