Ice Cube Biography

Review The Artist (15)

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Ice Cube is one of the most enduring, versatile, controversial and engaging figures ever to emerge out of hip-hop. At 30, he is one of this generation's cultural icons. After establishing himself as a film phenomenon, acclaimed actor, screenwriter, director and producer, Ice Cube (born O'Shea Jackson) comes back to his solo music career with a vengeance. He has spent most of 1999-2000 working at an astonishing rate, completing not one, but two full-length albums the first part titled War & Peace - Volume 1 (The War Disc) followed by the current album, War & Peace - Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc).

The first volume War was released on November 17, 1998 on Priority Records with Peace following on March 21, 2000. Just as his classic Death Certificate presented a "Death Side" and a "Life Side", Cube explores the war/peace dialectic in well over 2 hours of new music.

Further fueling rumors of a NWA reunion album, War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) opens with the simple greeting "Hell Low", a Dre produced selection (co-produced by Mel Man) featuring Dr. Dre and MC Ren; a comedic track "You Ain't Gotta Lie" featuring Chris Rock and appearances by Krayzie Bone on the commercial single "Until We Rich." Other notable artists featured on the album are Mack 10 and Jayo Felony with production on several tracks by Chucky Thompson, Battlecat, and Puffy to name a few.

The War record allowed Cube to throw down the gauntlet on tracks like "Dr. Frankenstein," "Once Upon A Time In the Projects 2" and on the single "Pushin' Weight," Cube raised the stakes for the present day rap game while reclaiming his legacy. War provided cutting edge soundscapes with mega-platinum rockers Korn making a guest appearance on "Fuck Dying." Cube performed with Korn on their "Family Values" tour. "To expose Korn fans to my music is cool, because most of their audience is only exposed to my movies. It reminded me of when I went out on Lollapalooza (1992), where I was the alternative to that alternative show" says Cube of the experience.

Although Cube keeps it gangsta on the Peace, LP, Vol. 2 is more dance/club oriented using samples from popular party anthems crating a lighter mood. Cube can't say enough about the music. "War and Peace are my best records in years. The production on both albums is far superior to anything I've ever released. Peace is gonna be a different look; it's a different record than any I have ever done. Lyrically, War covers a lot of ground-moving from rap's battlegrounds to the Los Angeles killing fields." "Ghetto Vet," "Penitentiary" and the masterful "3 Strikes You In" are as incisive pieces of social commentary as he's ever penned. Just as every coin has two sides, Peace represents the other side of Cube.

Ice Cube caught the rap bug in the ninth grade when a classmate named Kiddo challenged him in a typing class. "One day, he asked me if I ever wrote a rap before. I told him, you write one, I write on and we'll see which one come out better and I won," recalls Cube. He went on to form his first crew, C.I.A., with future collaborators Sir Jinx and K-Dee, and began hanging in the burgeoning South Central Club scene. Through Jinx's cousin, he met Dr. Dre and together they began rhyming for nightclub patrons over the hits of the day. "We was doing these dirty raps strictly for the club audiences," he says. "When that started catching on, we started making mix tapes. We would rap on what was going on in the neighborhood and they were selling. Eazy-E had a partner named Ron-de-Vu, Dre was in the World Class Wreckin Crew, and I was in C.I.A. We were all committed to these groups, so we figured we'd make an all-star group and just do dirty records on the side." That all-star group would become known as Niggaz With Att

itude (NWA).

In early 1987, Cube wrote "Boyz-N-The-Hood" for Eazy-E and "Dopeman" and "8-ball" for NWA and they went into the studio to record. He knew he was doing something different, but wasn't sure about his prospects. "The rap game wasn't looking too solid at that time, so I decided to go ahead and go to school." When he left for The Phoenix Institute of Technology, the records were just hitting the streets. By the time he completed his degree a year later, both Eazy's and NWA's singles had sold hundreds of thousands of copies. He came back to write the rhymes for the albums that would be Eazy Duz It and Straight Outta Compton and the world would never be quite the same.

NWA's Straight Outta Compton, in retrospect, was the most influential album since The Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. Straight Outta Compton didn't break taboos so much as blow them away with rapid-action scattershot. The excitement they inspired was proportional to the outrage they incited. Newsweek dismissed the record as "The Godfather in gutter language." FBI Assistant director, Milt Ahlerich, sent a letter to the label condemning the record as encouraging "violence against and disrespect for the law-enforcement officer." Ahlerich warned, "Advocating violence and assault is wrong and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action." Sales rocked past platinum. "Straight Outta Compton has had the biggest impact on rap music than any other album to this day," says Cube. "We opened the door where you can say exactly what you really want to say without having to sugar-coat , without having to hold back."

But by 1989, things were beginning to sour between Cube and Jerry Heller, then NWA's manager. Cube was involved in writing 10 of the 13 tracks on Straight Outta Compton, including the entirety of "Dopeman," "8 Ball" and "Express Yourself" and he felt he was due more than the $30,000 that he received for records that had sold 3 million units. "I was broke before I jumped in that shit, so it wasn't hard to walk away. I preferred it that way," Cube recalls. "At the time the two producers that was worth fucking with was Dr. Dre and The Bomb Squad. If I couldn't get Dre, I was going to the Bomb Squad." He broke east and began collaborating with Public Enemy.

Energized by the rush of liberation and inspired by the exchange of ideas with Chuck D and the other members of the Public Enemy camp, he turned in the stunning Amerikkka's Most Wanted. "Fuck you, Ice Cube!" went the chorus of "The Nigga You Love to Hate," and immediately the hip-hop nation was screaming it. The record went gold in 10 days, platinum in three months. "I can never play out," smiles Cube, "because people are still biting my styles from that record."

In his book It's Not About A Salary: Rap, Race and Resistance, Brian Cross wrote of the album's impact, "Amerikkka's Most Wanted sought to give a face to (the) criminal underclass and this face was to be furrow-browed, jheri-curled, beanie-clad face of Cube himself. Cube to this day is the foremost hip hop meta-critic, providing listeners not only with stories, but potential criticism of his practice from different perspectives."

The follow-up EP Kill At Will went gold just as quickly. In contrast to the booming "Endangered Species" remix and the club friendly "Jackin For Beats," "Dead Homiez" was a surprise. When it was first released, Cube ran the risk of the appearing soft, exposing a vulnerable, sentimental side; instead, audiences embraced the track. He had correctly measured the depth of emotion amongst his violence-weary fans. "Dead Homiez" created an entirely new theme for gangsta rappers. Cube was thinking seven steps ahead of the game.

"I was reading a lot of books. I was just learning about the world, paying attention to world history, political views. Up to that point, I was just rolling through life trying to get money," says Cube. His readings "gave me my freedom mentally to deal with this world. The main focus on what I was learning was coming from Minister Louis Farrakhan and the honorable Elijah Muhammed. I did a lot of self-studying knowledge of self, because I'm far from a follower."

On Halloween 1991, Ice Cube's second solo LP, Death Certificate had advance orders of over a million copies and debuted at number 2 on the Billboard Charts. Death Certificate spoke to what it meant to be a young black male in an increasingly pressured space, one strained by deindustrialization, drug economies, state repression, police brutality, and immigration. Released just months before the LA riots, it singularly captured the tenor of the times, the feel of a generation. On April 29 1992, Death Certificate sounded prophetic.

That year, The Predator, debuted at #1 on the pop and R&B charts simultaneously and went platinum in four days. The on-the-corner commentaries of "When Will They Shoot?, "I'm Scared," "Now I gotta Wet'cha" and "We had To Tear This Muthafucka Up" were rounded out by the hits "Wicked" and "It Was A Good Day." Cube had arrived as the chronicler of his generation.

Lethal Injection was his fourth album in four years, but although it also went platinum on the hot groove of the George Clinton collaboration "Bop Gun" and the haunting "Ghetto Bird," Cube felt the rap game changing subtly. "At that time, nobody wanted to hear that kind of rap. The whole (conscious) era had peaked with the release of the Malcolm X Movie. The G-funk era was coming in. It was a whole different tone in the music. People didn't want to take rap that serious," he says.

"I was doing movies, directing videos, trying to produce other groups," Cube says. He had directed dozens of videos (he has done 20 to date) and his filmmaking career was set to take off. He had always struck a compelling image in his own videos, whether the rending "Dead Homiez," the pulsing "Steady Mobbin,' or the frantic "Natural Born Killaz."

Based on his amazing performance in John Singleton's "Boyz in the Hood," however, he was in demand. He went on to appear in "Trespass," "CB4," Charles Burnett's "The Glass Shield," Singleton's "Higher Learning," Anaconda," and most recently costarred in "3 Kings" with George Clooney. After co-screenwriting the script "Friday" with DJ Pooh - a balancing, hilarious view of a day in the life of a couple of brothers from South Central - Ice Cube followed up with "Next Friday" the successful, top grossing film which outsold blockbuster films "Stuart Little," "The Green Mile," and "The Hurricane" it its first week becoming the most successful New Line Film next to the Austin Power's sizzler. Cube also executive produced and starred in "Dangerous Ground" and "The Player's Club," a film he wrote, co-produced and directed to critical acclaim. The movie grossed over $25 million in domestic receipts alone. "People always ask, "When are you gonna stop doing records? Or 'Do you prefer doing movies or records?" Cube respon

ds, "If opportunities present they self, you take them. I think I can do this from all different sides of entertainment," he says.

Cube somehow also found the time to oversee the production of a number of homies. Two of them, Mack 10 and WC, joined him to become the Westside Connection, after a few successful outings. "I was tired of doing solo albums," Cube says. "I wanted to feel the group thing. With me, Mack 10 and WC, our chemistry was so tight that the Westside Connection was born." The group's allegiance to the West courted controversy. "Our whole purpose from the beginning was to make sure that people wasn't gonna just snatch our style from under us and give us no credit and no props," he says. "I'm not really tripping on straight being from the west coast. But when I was doing it, I heard a lotta shit being said about the west coast, so I stood up for the west coast." With Bow Down's double platinum sales, seems there must have been a lot of bi-coastal unity after all. Westside Connection is scheduled to release another album May 2000.

Finally it became time to return to the solo spotlight. "When you trying to do records, write a movie, produce a movie, it's hard to make good music. I wanted to put all the other stuff down, be finished with The Player's Club and do my album, he says, "War & Peace is my best record since Death Certificate."

Although hip-hop fans are notoriously fickle, Cube has stayed atop the games for over a decade. "I still sell the same amount of records. I still get a big reception," he says. "In hip hop, people always want new artists, but when I really get down, nobody puts a record together better than me. So I'll always be here. Long as I stay consistent and keep my heart in it, I'm a be here."

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cube | Reviewer: deidra | 2/21/13

I love u.. i appreciate ur change n ur life... a real man.. hatd core man.. i named my daughter lashea.... because of u... Thank u Oshea Jackson.. i am one of ur biggest fans from begginning til Friday... just want to let u i am grown. Im 42 and i stl....l enjoy u... wit lots of respect... Big up to u for becoming a changed man........THANK U ICE CUBE

you are my inspration | Reviewer: terry carter | 9/4/11

Whats up cube, like you I too was raised up in south central LA and I am 50 years into the old school music and that time of life.I will never forget the first time I heard your song Fuck all my X bitches, at that time my first two oldest sons were into the rap music and although I was into R and B and smooth jazz I was turned into A Ice cube fan.I then asked my son to let me listen to the entire CD after that I told my boy this guy is good and if he can keep his life together and not let Drugs and common thugs, and oh yea and some of those crazy money hungry ho,s get you in the news in A negative spotlight. But cube I loved the way your music was mixed in and with the helluva words or lyrics that you sang about the black man in america and how the po po is trying to see how many black men they can lock up and keep in the pen,because this shit been going on for A long time and your song penitentiary tells the world how our black men have to face in the hood. Now cube me and all 5 of my sons love your music, and friday and next friday and friday after next to me they are all classic no matter how many times we watch them we always crack up. now the main reason I am writing you for the first time I am trying to make my money as I read in your life story,and I am presently trying to write my life's biography.Of you probably are wandering whats so special about my life story.let me give you A quick summary, I was born with Albinism or Albino and as A kid I use to listen to Marven gay all the and the words I come up hard I had to fight because I was raised and lived in all black back then neighborhoods. So not only was I white I was blind to so I know you know how important good vision can be in A mans life, oh did I say man I ment BLACK MANS life. My real father is black and from the south and my mom is A light skinned black woman also from the south so as far as I was concerned I was A BLACK MAN I just had blond hair, big lips, and I always wore big thick ass black shades that gave the kids one more nickname to call me I remember the day one of my first cousins said hey y'all here comes that blind ass Nigga terry and everybody started laughing like hell he said look at that nigga with them black ass shades he look like ray charles only this NIGGA is WHITE. This is only A small sample of the kinds of shit Ive had to put up with all my life. I got so many true stories of my money struggles with drugs and and times when I almost lost and took my own life.One day while me and my two oldest sons was chilling out back smoking A FAT ASS O. G. PINEAPPLE CUSH BLUNT one of them said dad you should write A book about your life story cause everytime you start smoking that weed you start telling them funny as stories about all those thing that happened to you in your life and you are still here to tell them go for it dad can you be having us cracking up. Now Mr ICE CUBE Ive seen mostly all your movies, you are A helluva producer, you still and always will be one the first rap music that I and respect and admire and one of most things I like about you is the fact that every since I first heard of you and your music regardless of what the po po say I have never heard of ice cube getting into trouble with the law or drugs and you are still with your same wife and you are raising your 4 kids like A real BLACK man is supposed to do. I want you and John Singleton to make A movie of my story and I want to play myself, Oh and I do have some sight and I believe I can act Ive been acting all my life.Did you know that their are over 230 movies starring ALBINOS in them and they are always portrayed as mean and evil oh yea and aliens from another planet. I want this movie to tell what its really like to be A poor BLACK ALBINO IN THE HOOD not A BAD TITLE for the book and movie. Mr cube even though I have never spoken to you, I believe that you are the kind of man that if you can you will help another brother as long as he is trying to help himself trust me cube this is just what you are looking for something new and different and alot of times VERY V
ERY VERY FUNNY I hope and pray that you read this if you do please send me A email message all I ask is for A chance because I am so dam tired of being A broke ass nigga, come on man take A chance on me I will not fail you. MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. I hope to meet with you someday soon. Terry Carter

Family Tree Connections | Reviewer: Ronnie Moody | 4/19/11

Whats up cube i admire you and your success and fame Iam a fan of yours and may be your causin too I have a causin from westoakland Anthony Scott I just met on my quest to find out my roots and ancestors and who my relatives are i looked at the family reunion book too! and im a friend of Raynard Cummings on death row from LA, I wanted to meet you and Master P and Scottie Pippin brother may be in our family tree aswell i hear from other family and causins but never met them yet. Ive done alot of time and tryna get off parole I discharge in july 2011 and me and anthony might come down there to LA together and if possible i need a job or a little help

Ice cube will always be remembered | Reviewer: Bickey | 10/14/10

he will always be remembered as the greatest. the one who didnt lie about it but the one who got straight to the point im from austarlia an on behalf of all us southsea kanakas torrestriat islanders and the aboriginals we solute you and thanks for the movies every black person in this country has seen friday, next friday and fridya after the next also every other movie that you made and we still cant stop laughing and that boys in the hood really struck out to us cause even though we from different countries we still have the same stuggle peace.

I Love Ice! | Reviewer: Tiffany Awsumb | 9/8/10

Since I can remember, Ice Cube has always caught my attention. From the sound of his voice to the gentle nature he has about him even when he is talking s@#t. He is an icon and I would love to meet him one day. I am sure just like other millions of Americans! My husband knows, if I hear Ice, I'm turned on.......

Ice Cube, you are truly an inspiration | Reviewer: Lisa Ransom | 6/25/10

Our soldiers are fighting in a war that never should've been,because one man decided to destroy a city,that was raised up by another man's hand. When will it stop?,our world is falling down,hurricanes,earthquakes,tornadoes,wars all around,& too many loved ones waiting to be found. When will it stop?,our world is falling apart,Mothers,Fathers,& Children are striving to make a brandnew start. Give a little hope,say a little prayer,let those you love know that you care. Make a change,it's time for all this pain to cease,when will it stop?,God grant this WORLD some PEACE. by:Sara Ransom I wrote this poem after what happened in Haiti and in memory of those in 911, Poetry is music,Music is poetry and because of artist like Ice Cube, people all over the world can be inspired by his music and the message he sends thru his music and that you can overcome the struggles that our world throws at us for unexpected reasons. GOD BLESS YOU CUBE.

westcoast owner of the entire rap game ice cube | Reviewer: jimbo | 1/16/10

no body can fuck with ice cube . wc ice cube owns the entire west coast as well as the w and anyone throwing up the dub needs to pay cube and if u aint on the westside lench mob then ur on broke status and if u dissagree then i c ur needing to bow down nd kiss the pinky ring jimbo

Ice Cube is Awesome! | Reviewer: Joelle | 5/28/07

ice cube is awesome! hez been around for awhile now, and hez still doing it big! he will alwayz be one of tha best!

Best Songs | Reviewer: Stan | 5/9/07

It Was A Good Day, Check Yo Self, What Can I Do, Ghetto Bird, Dopeman, How To Survive In South Central, My Summer Vaction, Steady Mobbin, Nigga Ya Love To Hate, Once Upon A Time In The Projects, A Gangsta Fairytale, Friday, Dead Homiez, Color Blind, and Fuck Dying

I Know Your Cousin. | Reviewer: Isabela Santana | 4/19/07

Is Tyrah Sullivan really your cousin because at our school is keeps on saying that she's your cousin. Please write back and tell me if she really is your cousin. How come you make fun of slim shady in the next friday?

The little bro. I (wish) I had | Reviewer: Al Pollard | 4/9/07

Hey, yo I`m from DC and if you saw me, you might think Ice Cube is my brother,thats what some people say or tease me about.I just know the first time I heard NWA,it blew me away,and for some reason, Cube was the one who got my attention, I was checkin out the RAPS he wrote, and said, this is a smart young dude, and ever since,I check out every and anything he does,cause I know it`s gonna be on time. You gotta see me to believe me-

ice cube is great | Reviewer: sweet mimi | 4/7/07

you are really funny especially in are we there yet because thats how kids can really be in life and you played your part very well and handled it as if it wasnt a movie but real life my kids love to watch that movie i know they are going to enjoy the new one when im able to afford it when it comes on dvd because im tryong to raise all five of them by myself so you know how that can be but keep up the good work

Art the U.S. Flag So Cal to N.Y. City W/LOVE | Reviewer: Jackson George Nash 1rst | 4/9/07

From one ARTIST to another; TY for the abilty to produce true art in our mod political landscape without being removed!

today is always a good day for ice cube | Reviewer: shorty | 1/29/05

ice cube is and will always be one of the best in my book. he is more than just a rapper, he's a writer, producer, director, actor, but most imprtantly he's a good father. and that's more than anyone can say about a lot of men.(especially celebs) but keep'n it going, he has always been one of my favorite rappers and actors since i was younger. he has done a lot more than people (the media) give him credit for. i've go much love for the brother. he's a great influence and role model for young african americans such as myself. i hope he keeps doing what he's doing til the end.

Ice Cube's Great!!! | Reviewer: Dusty | 1/22/05

Ice Cube was once a member of NWA with allies Eazy-E & Dr. Dre. His song It Was A Good Day, has an appearance in the game for PS2 GTA: San Andreas.

cool eh?

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