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Ice Cube

Ice Cube returning to rap roots

Web posted on:
Monday, January 11, 1999 1:10:28 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Gangsta rap is tired, says one of the inventors of that musical form, but he's not. Ice Cube has interrupted his movie career to release an album.

"War and Peace, Volume One, The War Disc" is the first solo album for Ice Cube -- whose real name is O'Shea Jackson -- since 1993. Some thought he'd quit rapping.

"Never. I think I could put a rap together with the best of them. So why should I quit?" says Ice Cube.

With films like "Anaconda," Ice Cube's film career has been growing steadily, his versatility proven with "Friday," which he wrote, and "Player's Club," which he wrote, directed and produced.

Which movie is he proudest of?


Born: 1969, Los Angeles, California.

Education: Studied architecture at the Phoenix Institute of Technology in Phoenix, Arizona.

First band: NWA (Niggaz With Attitudes)

First solo album: 1990's "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted," produced by Public Enemy's Bomb Squad.

Filmography highlights:

  • Boyz N the Hood (1991) (written and directed by John Singleton)
  • Trespass (1992) (with Bill Paxton, Ice-T)
  • CB4 (1993) (with Chris Rock, Phil Hartman)
  • Higher Learning (1995) (also written and directed by John Singleton)
  • Friday (1995) (Co-wrote; comedy starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker)
  • Anaconda (1997) (with Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz)
  • The Players Club (1998) (Wrote, directed, co-starred)
  • Upcoming:

    A role in "Three Kings," a war drama about five men who set out after the Gulf War to reclaim Kuwaiti relics that Saddam Hussein stole. Due for fall 1999 release.

    "I gotta say 'Boyz N the Hood' because it not only showed America how we grew up, but it also taught America that all these kids that they keep locking away in the penitentiaries are real people," he says.

    Cube in "Friday"

    Back in the early 1990s, with pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A., Ice Cube seemed more likely to wind up on a post office wall than a movie screen, singing songs with titles like "F*** the Police."

    Has Ice Cube's view towards authority changed, now that he's 29 years old?

    "Police are a lot friendlier to me now, now that I'm Ice Cube," he says. "But just think if I was the average everyday brother driving down the street. How would they be to me?"

    Surprisingly, Ice Cube says gangsta rap is out of control.

    "It's the whole money game," he says. "Anybody who knows a four-letter word will use it. There's really no substance left."

    While admitting that his latest effort has its share of four-letter words, Ice Cube says it is a part of who he is.

    "That's what I do," he says. "I haven't changed my program. And I'm not gonna change my program."

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