Ice Cube has been
a fixture on the hip-hop scene for almost 20 years now. Many watched in awe
as a group of Niggas With Attitudes burst on to the hip-hop scene and changed
the landscape of the game's terrain.
After a split from
NWA due to money, a consciouss awakening through religion and politics, a film
career that ranks among the most successful of hip-hoppers who have jumped to
the silver screen, Cube's back with Dre and things seemed to have come 360 for
the man who helped usher in "Gangsta Rap."
Is the hood flick dead? Is that genre dead now? You know boys in the hood, Menace
To Society, that gritty urban drama? Ice Cube: I don't think so. I think it
just has to be presented in a different way. There's a million stories out there
to be told. I think the over sensationalized version of those movies are done.
But a real story that kind of sucks you into that world, there will always be
room for that. I think in many ways, a movie like Barbershop, even though it's
not an urban drama, it's like damn, I didn't think that story would ever get
I really enjoyed that movie. At the end of the day everybody is skeptical, because
a lot of time black movies are really....
I: They want to
show the real, but they don't really want to show the real deal, so it's kind
of glossed over. Like your grandma trying to sweep something under the rug.
It aint done in a way we let it all hang out and say this is us.
That's why I aint have a problem with the controversy of Cedric The Entertainer,
I: That's how n*ggas
talk in a barbershop!
I: When it comes
down to it, that's the reason why the barbershop is the place to go for that,
because aint nobody going to judge you on what you say about another motherf*cker.
I was like we must of hit this right on the money!
Any plans for that NWA reunion or is that a wrap?
I: I don't think
its a wrap. I don't think we gonna talk about it. I just think by me being over
there at Aftermath, just the opportunity for it to happen is gonna be more and
How do you feel about working with Dre again? Clearly he is one of the best
producers to ever hit rap.
I: This is where
I started and I haven't been able to work with Dre 11 or 12 years on one project.
We've done singles, one record here, one record there. We haven't be able to
marinate, we'll see what we can conjure up.
To this day I play your albums, especially the first two. Those are my favorites
and of course some NWA stuff. Being that your a veteran now, how do you feel
about the rap game and the music out here that's really getting major play when
you guys really kicked the door in for that?
I: It's all good
man. I always liken it to the NFL or something. The youngsters that come up
in the game that's fresh out, they gonna get all the love. That's just the nature
of the business. That's how it was when I came out. Everybody's gonna get their
three, four years of sunshine. And then it's all about, in those three, four
years, have you developed a fan base that will be able to follow you when your
the Emmett Smith of the world. Smith is still the baddest running back as far
as legends go, but as far as physical play, there might be a couple guys out
there that's faster and stronger and bigger. They still can't hold Emmett's
jock strap, even though this Sunday they might get more yards than him. That's
how the rap game goes.
Was acting a way for you to stay in the entertainment game even though the rap
career might have not been doing as well as you wanted it to do?
I: Well its kind
of like one thing didn't kick off the other. What happened was I got turned
on by the movie business. I wanted to devote some energy to making sure it worked.
Priority as a label was getting weaker and weaker, so it was a combination of
thing. What I did was say I been in this game a long time and in rap years,
this is forever. I do need to establish another career for myself because I
couldn't vision at the time any 40 year old rappers. I knew I could envision
some 40 year old actors so.
What about Cubevision and what are your upcoming projects either rap or film?
I: Well you know
the rap project but we also trying to get this new Westside Connection album
done. As far as the movie projects, it's like we've done so much this year.
We kind of want to take some time to clear our heads and then we'll jump back
in it. We haven't really dug in with what we're going to do next as a company!
As an actor you've done your share of comedy. Do you'll do dramatic roles anymore?
I: I want you to
know it's just kinda like only if the opportunity present itself in the right
way. I'm not out to prove nothing to nobody. I'm not going to jump at a dramatic
role just because I want to show people that I'm a good actor on that level.
I just want to do good movies and if the script is good and I'm supposed to
be dramatic in it and I can help the movie I'll jump at it.
Do you think, is hip-hop getting to violent in terms of reality? It seems like
there is a merger between the worst part of the street and the music and there
is no line anymore.
I: In a way its
always been like that. I think what happens with rap music is that more street
elements can get into the game quicker, just because its rap music. Rapping
and singing is two different things and damn near anyone could be a rapper,
so to speak. just think A whole lot of people with no talent are trying to capitalize
off our people with talent. That to me is where the bad forces come into the
music. If you talk to any rapper, the last thing they want to do is shoot somebody
or get shot by somebody. They want to get on their mic and make their paper.
They want to do their shows, they want to do the hip-hop thing. It's all them
wanna be motherf*ckers around. It's all the hanger on's. Those people with no
talent just trying to get a crumb off the table. Those are the people who cause
Did you ever had any encounter like that with NWA being portrayed as a gang?
Did you ever have any encounters with street beef?
I: All the time
man, all the time! That group was a magnet for every tough guy in world to come
up. Through the years, you learn how to deflect all the negative energy and
you realize who is with you and who is not. You learn how to shake em without
them even getting close enough to cause you any problems or any pains. I just
learn how to shake those kind of people that I know who are kinda like wolves
in sheep clothing.
Dub C said something funny, that you won't let him in any of your movies. Is
I: He was in the
first Friday. They always talk sh*t about that, but I tell him this. Why put
you in a movie if you can't use that role to do other movie? I aint have nothing
that was right for Dub. If it's something that's perfect for Dub, where I know
damn I give him this movie, he's gonna shine. This will set off a career for
him cause that's what they want. They just don't want to be in some movie. They
want a move to set off to a career. I haven't had that opportunity yet for them,
so instead of just putting them into any old role, doing any old thing that
aint going to get notice, it's better for them to just wait until I've got something
that's just perfect for them.