A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Warning! The consumption of alcohol might cause you to think you can sing” (4/26)
“Life is basically all the stuff you have to do to get from coffee to wine time” (4/25)
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“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education” (4/25)
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Entry from August 08, 2015
“Check yourself before you wreck yourself”

American rapper Ice Cube released the single “Check Yo Self” in 1993 and popularized the line, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” “If you’re not down with Cube, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself” was cited in October 1994. “Check yourself before you wreck yourself” was cited in a 1994 story about AIDS.

“Check yourself or you’ll wreck yourself,” in an essay by Herbert Kaufman, was cited in print in 1912 newspapers, but it’s unlikely that Ice Cube knew about this earlier use.


Wikipedia: Check Yo Self
“Check Yo Self” is the second hit single from Ice Cube’s third solo album The Predator. It was released in July 1993 and features New York rappers Das EFX. It topped both the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts while also reaching number 20 on the Hot 100 chart.[1] The song retains two main versions, the original and a remix which utilizes the same beat as Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”, titled “Check Yo Self (The Message Remix)”. The original mix includes a sample from the intro of The Beastie Boys’ track “The New Style”, which uses the phrase “check it” throughout the chorus.

Google News Archive
4 August 1912, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Take Aim Before You Shoot Your Mouth” by Herbert Kaufman, pg. 2, col. 2:
Check yourself or you’ll wreck yourself.
Aim your thoughts before shooting your mouth.

OCLC WorldCat record
Check yo self
Author: Ice Cube, (Musician)
Publisher: Los Angeles : Priority, 1993.
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : Popular music : English

13 October 1994, Syracuse (NY) Herald-Journal, “Rashel Short rounds up the rap scene with five good and five bad” by Rashel Short, HJ, pg. 7, col. 4:
3. Ice Cube. I had to give a shout to the West Coast. If you’re not down with Cube, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Google Books
Fall 1994, Black Professional, “AIDS: The Professional Killer” by Tracy E. Hopkins, pg. 40, col. 3:
The moral? Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Sex is not worth dying for.

Google Books
May/June 1995, The Crisis, “Rapper’s AIDS Death May Teach Others” by George Freeman, pg. 8, col. 1:
In short, to use a phrase popular among some young people, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Google Books
How to Marry a Black Man:
The Real Deal

By Monique Jellerette DeJongh and Cassandra Marshall Cato-Louis
New York, NY: Doubleday
1996
Pg. 220:
Check yourself before you wreck yourself: Acknowledge and change negative behavior before it’s too late; think about actions before heading into a disaster.

Google Books
I’m Free, But It’ll Cost You:
Single Life According to Kim Coles

By Kim Coles
New York, NY: Hyperion
1997
Pg. 134:
Check Yourself, Before You Wreck Yourself

6 April 1997, The Sunday Advocate (Stamford, CT), “Minister” by Edward Shen, pg. A8, col. 6:
“(The students) say, ‘You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.’ That is the same as the Bible saying: ‘A man should examine himself,’” he (Carleton Giles—ed.) said.

Google News Archive
12 January 2000, The Michigan Daily (Ann Arbor, MI), “Ice Cube melts in ‘Next Friday’” by Matthew Barrett, pg. 5, col. 1:
Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Ice Cube is pretty hard to figure.

YouTube
IceCube - Check Yo Self
Queen Elise
Uploaded on Nov 21, 2006
IceCube-Check Yo Self
Music
“Check Yo Self” by Ice Cube (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)

Urban Dictionary
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
Take a step back and examine your actions, because you are in a potentially dangerous or sticky situation that could get bad very easily. Often in a harmful manner.
“I’m going out with a beautiful woman tonight, she’s married...”
“Fool, you better Check yourself before you wreck yourself!”

by GSDubs October 13, 2009

OCLC WorldCat record
Child, please : how Mama’s old-school lessons helped me check myself before I wrecked myself
Author: Ylonda Gault Caviness
Publisher: New York : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2015.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, August 08, 2015 • Permalink