When most rap fans think of Ice Cube, one of the first things that comes to mind is the “Straight Out of Compton” video with N.W.A.. In the video Cube starts off rapping “Straight outta Compton, crazy mu’ f*cker named Ice Cube/ From the gang called N*ggas With an Attitude.” Or maybe fans remember the final scenes of Boyz N the Hood where Ice Cube says, “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” Whatever your memory, most Cube fans mostly recall an anti-authority attitude and a severe dislike for crooked cops throughout an illustrious career in rap and on the big screen.
Most recently in 22 Jump Street, Ice Cube plays Captain Dickson who oversees Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum on their hilarious college adventure. But how could Cube play a cop after making the song “F*ck the Police” and all those neo-civil rights songs with N.W.A.? To add to it, in Hollywood Cube has played not one, but multiple cop roles in movies despite his strong feelings about corrupt cops in real life and in rap. Think about movies like The Glass Shield where Ice Cube played the role of a victim to police discrimination.
As you will see in the interview below, people grow and time changes, but some things still remain the same. Take a look at Part 2 of AllHipHop’s sit down with Ice Cube as he breaks down his feelings about police and playing a cop in movies throughout his career on the big screen.
AllHipHop: Early on in your career you had clear a disdain for police both as a rapper with NWA and in some of your early roles (The Glass Shield, Boyz n the Hood, Higher Learning). But, also in your acting career you’ve played a few cop/military roles (All About the Benjamins, XXX, Three Kings, 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street). How do you feel about this dichotomy throughout your career, and playing both sides of the fence?
Ice Cube: You know as an actor, if you really trying to be a movie star, the last thing you want to do is typecast yourself, so I know people trip of that, but its only acting, they can’t really take that too seriously. Over my career hopefully I’ll do over a hundred movies and I’ll play all kinds of sh*t.
I just feel like as an actor you really gotta do what you can and really you gotta be a part of good movies. If you just sit around and you’re waiting for certain types of movies, you probably really won’t work a lot. So it’s just a thing where I don’t sweat it because it’s make believe, it pays me a whole lot of money. I get to play a cop, and get paid like a movie star.
AllHipHop: That’s funny I know a lot of Hip-Hop heads talk about that a lot, but its true, money talks…
Ice Cube: I mean the thing is this too, if you really dissect it. We talking about bad cops, we talking about corrupt cops, we talking about crooked cops. We not talking about cops who come when your car gets broken in and they come and take a report and they cool with you. We not talking about that kind of cop, those are the ones you like. Those are the ones that do their job and that don’t abuse the people, you know what I’m saying?
When we was talking about “Fuck the Police” we wasn’t talking about all police, we was talking about the one’s thats f*cked up. So you know putting everything in perspective that’s what its all about. To this day, I still hate bad cops and I respect the cops that do their job.
AllHipHop: In many Black movies in 70’s, the cops and “the man” were villains, then in the 80’s there was the white cop/black cop movies with the Beverly Hills Cop, The 48 Hours and The Lethal Weapon movies. Today we see many black actors in roles as cops. Why do you think there have been these changes on the big screen?
Ice Cube: We realized we are great actors and we can play anything and we should. We realize that we shouldn’t type cast ourselves, as pimps and gangsters. And everyone wanna play the villain, but you gotta stay in your own lane and do what’s cool and fun. Most people that would talk shit would do it too (laughs) If they were offered millions of dollars to be in a movie.
AllHipHop: We kind of touched on the sequels a little bit, but would you ever consider doing a remake or sequel to Boyz n the Hood or Higher Learning for the new generation?
Ice Cube: Um yea I would definitely consider it. If someone had a great script of a great idea to put it together, I would definitely be open to it. I think there is always room for those types of things, when they are done right. You know… I think it’s an interesting concept, yea I’d be open to it.
AllHipHop: It’d be interesting with all the issues going on surrounding race in the United States, with Trayvon and violence etc.
Ice Cube: Its damn near a lot the same, just kind of different players and different locations, but ain’t much changed.