That Time Mr. Rogers Sued Ice Cube Over One of His Hits

Come On, Neighbor...

May 21, 2020

Iconic rapper Ice Cube, decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his debut solo record, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, with fans on Instagram Live this week.

The "It Was A Good Day" artist sang along to some of his hits off the album, released in 1990 after his tumultuous split from NWA. Ice Cube also got into the weeds on the recording of the album, and even spoke about that time beloved children's television host Mr. Rogers sued him over the use of his theme song.

“I actually wrote [‘A Gangsta’s Fairytale’] for Eazy-E. But y’all know what it is; we weren’t getting down at the time so I had to take it myself,” he said while chatting with fans. “It’s a trip because off this song, Mr. Rogers sued us. He was mad because we had the Mr. Rogers theme at the beginning of this s***. ‘It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood’ and all that. The n**** sued us and was getting like five cents a record until we took that part off.”

This story was actually spoken about in 2014 when author Brian Coleman released his book Check the Technique Volume 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies. L.A. producer Sir Jinx, who held down mixing duties on Cube's debut, remembered using "Won’t you be my neighbor?" ended up costing Cube "five cents a record" until they removed it from future pressings.

“He got paid off of that. After the first 200,000, we took it off. That mean-ass man,” Jinx said.

But Fred Rogers kept his hand in Cube's pocket, even after the removal. “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.”

Now that's not a very good neighbor. Then again, Mr. Rogers sang songs with adorable owl and tiger puppets. Ice Cube's rhymes just may have been a little much for the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

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