Highly anticipated with over one million advanced orders, Death Certificate was certified platinum in sales on December 20, 1991. It eventually went on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S. & over 5 million copies worldwide.
Due to some of its racially charged content, and Ice Cube’s acerbic statements on drug dealing, racial profiling, and the right to keep and bear arms, Death Certificate was the source of much controversy upon its release.
In 2003, Priority Records re-released Death Certificate with the bonus track “How to Survive in South Central,” which originally appeared on the Boyz n the Hood soundtrack.
The recording and writing for Death Certificate began in early 1991, and carried on throughout most of the year. While making the album, Ice Cube was also heavily involved in several other projects, including Yo-Yo‘s debut album Make Way for the Motherlode, his younger cousin Del tha Funkee Homosapien‘s I Wish My Brother George Was Here, and perhaps more importantly, his film debut, Boyz n the Hood, which he co-starred with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Laurence Fishburne.
Similar to AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Ice Cube was very active in the album’s production, though the overall sound differed. Unlike AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, which featured The Bomb Squad’s hard edged beats, Death Certificate featured a slightly more West Coast-oriented sound in comparison, with heavy use of 70’s Funk and Soul samples. (Wikipedia)