By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
There was once a rapper named Ice Cube, who got together with a man known as Dr. Dre and put out a mix tape: My Posse. Soon after, Cube was introduced to some guy named Eazy-E. He had written a track titled "Boyz N the Hood" and wanted E to perform said track. He did. Ice Cube soon became a full-time member of E's group, N.W.A, notably contributing a good chunk of lyrical content to the now-iconic Straight Outta Compton. The album talked of jocking the bitches and slapping the hos and rollin' in six-fos and benzos and bloodbaths of cops dying in LA—Ice Cube was (self-prescribed) AmeriKKKa's most wanted. He was anti-Semitic ("Its a case of divide-and-conquer/'Cause you let a Jew break up my crew," anti-Asian ("Your chop-suey ass will be a target"), anti-white ("cave bitch"—my favorite!) and anti-women (uh, everything). It was the time of gangsta rap: Ice-T, Mobb Deep, Too $hort and Kool G Rap reigned.
And America was fucking terrified.
These days, Ice Cube can be seen at your local theater in Are We Done Yet?—sequel to Are We There Yet?—chasing a raccoon while in his pajamas.
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Sure, Cube's had some stints in film before—starting with John Singleton's Boyz N the Hoodand moving onto stoner favorite Friday. As Ice Cube's career grew, he went on to other cinematic gems such as Anaconda, xXx: State of the Union, Next Friday, The Friday After Next, Barbershop and Barbershop 2. But he's never done a family film (or two). So what happened to that crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube?
Money and smarts happened. Cube seems to have a knack for producing, writing and starring in (curiously) blockbuster film sequels and, like Ice-T and Law & Order, has bizarrely become a household name.
Sure, Cube went on to do other things musically (the most notable of which being Westside Connection with WC and Mack 10 in the late '90s), even releasing Laugh Now, Cry Laterlast June, which touches upon his old-school West Coast rap days, but he never reached the same success (or quality) he did during his gangsta-rap era.
And that's fine. Hip-hop artists blurring that fine line between music and acting in film and television (Mos Def, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Xzibit and Snoop Dogg) aren't selling out. They're just businessmen.
Or Renaissance men. Depends on whom you ask, I guess.
ICE CUBE AND WC AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES, 1530 S. DISNEYLAND DR., ANAHEIM, (714) 778-BLUE; WWW.HOB.COM/ANAHEIM. WED., 8:30 P.M. $40-$45. ALL AGES.