Over the weekend, Ice Cube celebrated the 30th anniversary of his seminal album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted with a digital listening party. During the track-by-track playback, Cube unearthed a fascinating gem about his song “A Gangsta’s Fairytale,” which once sampled the theme song from Mister Rogers’ self-titled children show.
According to the West Coast legend, the track written initially for Eazy-E caused him to be in a legal dispute with the show host.
“This is in the vain of Slick Rick, we love Slick Rock, one of the best storytellers ever — if not the best,” Cube began. “I actually wrote this for Eazy-E but ya’ll know what it is, we weren’t getting down at the time so I had to take it myself.
“It’s a trip. Because off this song, Mister Rogers sued us,” he continued. “He was mad ’cause we had the ‘Mister Rogers’ theme at the beginning of this s–t, ‘It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood’ and all that. [He] sued us and was getting like five cents a record ’til we took that part off. That’s just a fun fact.”
In 2014, Cube first spoke on the legal battle with Mister Rogers in an interview with author Brian Coleman for his book, Check The Technique Vol. 2.
“We had that ‘It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ thing in the beginning of the original,” recalled Cube. “Did Mister Rogers sue us? Damn. 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.”
Watch Cube’s breakdown of the song below.