Ice Cube 1969- (O'Shea Jackson)
Ice Cube 1969- (O'Shea Jackson)
Birth name, O'Shea Jackson; born June 15, 1969, in Los Angeles, CA; son of Hosea (a machinist and groundskeeper) and Doris (a hospital clerk) Jackson; married; wife's name Kim; children: four, including O'Shea, Jr., Darryl, Kareema. Education: Phoenix Institute of Technology, graduated, 1988.
Rap musician, actor, producer, writer, and director. Member of the rap group N.W.A., 1986-89; founder of record production companies Street Knowledge, 1990, and Lynch Mob, 1992; CubeVision (film production company), founder. Appeared in films, including role of Doughboy, Boyz N the Hood (also known as Boys in the Hood), Columbia, 1991; in Slammin' Rap, Video Magazine, Volume 2, Vpi Harmo, 1991; as Savon, Trespass (also known as Looters), Universal, 1992; in CB4, Universal, 1993; in A Darker Side of Black, 1993; as Teddy Woods, The Glass Shield (also known as The Johnny Johnson Trial), Miramax, 1994; as Fudge, Higher Learning, Columbia, 1995; as Craig (and executive producer), Friday, New Line Cinema, 1995; as Vusi Madlazi (and executive producer), Dangerous Ground, New Line Cinema, 1997; as Danny Rich, Anaconda, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1997; in Straight from the Streets (documentary), Upfront Productions, 1997; as Reggie (and director and executive producer), The Players Club, New Line Cinema, 1998; as gun runner, I Got the Hook Up, Miramax, 1998; in Family Values Fall Tour '98, 1998; as Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin, Three Kings (also known as Spoils of War), Warner Bros., 1999; as Slink, Thicker Than Water, Palm Pictures, 1999; as Craig Jones (and executive producer), Next Friday, New Line Cinema, 2000; as James "Desolation" Williams, Ghosts of Mars (also known as John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars"), Screen Gems, 2001; in The Up in Smoke Tour, Aftermath Entertainment, 2001; in Red Desert Nights: Making "Ghosts of Mars," Columbia TriStar Home Video, 2001; as Bucum (and producer), All about the Benjamins, New Line Cinema, 2002; as Calvin, Barbershop, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2002; as Craig Jones (and producer), Friday after Next, New Line Cinema, 2002; as Trey Wallace, Torque, Warner Bros., 2003; as Calvin Palmer, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2004; as Nick Persons, Are We There Yet?, 2005; as Darius Stone in title role, xXx: State of the Union, 2005. Film work includes coproducer of Taxi, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2003; and executive producer of Beauty Shop, 2005. Appeared in numerous television specials, including The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, 1995; 12th Annual Soul Train Music Awards, 1998; The 25th Annual American Music Awards, 1998; and 2000 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 2000. Appeared in episodes of television series, including Pump It Up! The Second Video, Fox, 1992; "The Telethon," The Sinbad Show, 1994; "Westside," The Jamie Foxx Show, The WB, 1997; and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, 1999, 2000. Also appeared in episodes of Yo! MTV Raps, MTV, and The Arsenio Hall Show. Television work includes executive producer of the documentary miniseries Black. White, FX Network, 2006. Producer of musical albums, including Make Way for the Moth-erlode by Yo-Yo, East West, 1991; Blankman (soundtrack), Epic, 1994; Faded by Don Jagwarr, Priority, 1994; Da Lench Mob, Plant of Da Apes, Priority, 1994; Mack 10, Priority, 1995; Representin' the Streets (compilation), Payday, 1995; Based on a True Story by Mack Ten, Priority, 1997; Phat Beats & Bra Straps: Battle Rhymes (compilation), Rhino, 1998; and Gangsta Rap (compilation), Priority, 1998. Executive producer of albums, including Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, Elektra, 1991; Black Pearl by Yo-Yo, East West, 1992; Guerillas in Tha Mist by Da Lench Mob, Priority, 1992; Neva Again by Kam, Street Knowledge, 1993; You Better Ask Somebody by Yo-Yo, Atlantic, 1993; Dangerous Ground, Jive, 1997; Maximum Rap (compilation), Elektra/Asylum, 1997; and The Players Club, A&M, 1998; worked on other albums as engineer and mixer. Appeared in videos, including WC: Bandana Swangin—All That Glitters Ain't Gold, 2003; and GTO: Muscle, Missles, and More, 2005; and music videos, including "How I Could Just Kill a Man" by Cypress Hill and "Bad Boy for Life" by P. Diddy, Black Rob, and Mark Curry.
Rolling Stone critics' poll award, best male rapper, 1990; Image Award nominations, outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1995, for Higher Learning, and outstanding actor in a motion picture, 2003, for Barbershop; Lifetime Achievement Award, Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, 2000; Black Reel award nominations, best supporting actor in a theatrical film, 2000, for Three Kings, best actor in a theatrical film, 2003, for Barbershop, and best actor in a musical or comedy film, 2004, for Barbershoip 2: Back in Business; Blockbuster Entertainment Award, favorite action team, 2000, for Three Kings; MECCA Movie Award, acting category, 2002, and Teen Choice Award nomination, choice rap artist in a movie, 2005, both for xXx: State of the Union; Black Entertainment Television Comedy Award nominations, outstanding lead actor in a box office movie, 2005, for Barbershop 2: Back in Business, and outstanding lead actor in a theatrical film, 2005, for Are We There Yet?; Lifetime Achievement Award, Soul Train Music Awards, 2005; several gold and platinum record certifications, Recording Industry Association of America.
(With N.W.A) N.W.A. and the Posse, 1987.
(With N.W.A.) Straight Outta Compton, Priority, 1989.
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Priority, 1990.
Kill at Will, Priority, 1991.
Death Certificate, Priority, 1991.
The Predator, Priority, 1992.
Wicked, Priority, 1992.
Lethal Injection, Priority, 1993.
Bootlegs & B-Sides, Priority, 1994.
Featuring … Ice Cube, Priority, 1997, expurgated version, Priority, 1997.
War & Peace, Vol. 1 (War Disc), Priority, 1998, expurgated version, Priority, 1998.
War & Peace, Vol. 2 (Peace Disc), Priority, 2000.
Greatest Hits, Priority, 2001.
Laugh Now, Cry Later, Mob Records, 2006.
Singles include (with N.W.A.) "Boyz-N-the-Hood," Priority, 1986; "Check Yo Self (featuring Das EFX)" (extended play), Priority, 1993; "Really Doe" (extended play), Priority, 1994; "You Know How We Do It" (extended play), Priority, 1994; "Bop Gun (One Nation)" (extended play), Priority, 1994; "Gangstas Make the World Go Round," Westside Connection, Priority, 1997; "Pushin' Weight," Best Side/Priority, 1998. Contributor to the single "Get the Fist," 1992.
Contributor to albums, including D.O.C., No One Can Do It Better, Ruthless, 1989; Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, "What Is a Booty?," "Mistadobalina," "Pissin on Your Steps," and "Dr. Bombay," I Wish My Brother George Was Here, Elektra, 1991; Yo-Yo, "What Can I Do?" and "You Can't Play with My Yo-Yo," Make Way for the Motherlode, East West, 1991; Da Lench Mob, "Capital Punishment in America," "Buck Tha Devil," "You and Your Heroes," "Guerillas in Tha Mist," "Lenchmob Also in Tha Group," "Freedom Got an A.K.," "Who Ya Gonna Shoot Wit That," "Lord Have Mercy" and "Inside the Head of a Black Man," Guerillas in Tha Mist, Atco, 1992; Da Lench Mob, "Scared Lil' Nigga," "Cut Throats," "Who Is It?," "Mellow Madness," and "Set the Shit Straight," Plant of Da Apes, Priority, 1994; Anotha Level, "Level-N-Service," On Anotha Level, Priority, 1994; Don Jagwarr, "Bad Boy," Faded, Priority, 1994; Buju Banton, "Champion," 'til Shiloh, Loos Cannon, 1995; Scarface, Diary, Virgin, 1995; Mack Ten, "Mozi-Wozi," "Westside Slaughterhouse," and "Foe Life," Mack 10, Priority, 1995; W.C. & the Maad Circle, "West Up!," "Homesick," and "Curb Servin'," Curb Servin', Payday/London, 1995; George Clinton, "Bop Gun (One Na- tion)," Greatest Funkin' Hits, Capitol, 1996; Yo-Yo, Total Control (expurgated version), Elektra/Asylum, 1996; Mister Mike, "Wicked Wayz," Relativity, 1996; Dazzie Dee, Re-Birth, Raging Bull, 1996; Westside Connection, "Bow Down," "All the Critics in New York," "Gangstas Make the World Go Round," "Do You Like Criminals?," "Gangsta, the Killa, and the Dope …," "Cross 'Em Out and Put a 'K," "King of the Hill," "3 Time Felons," "Westward Ho," and "Hoo-Bangin'," Bow Down, Priority, 1996; NU City Mass Choir, "Ain't No Busta's This Way," God Is Able, Polygram, 1996; Prince, "Mr. Happy," Emancipation, NPG/EMI, 1996; Ant Banks, Big Thangs (expurgated version), Priority, 1997; Westside Connection, Gangstas Make the World Go Round _1 and Gangstas Make the World Go Round _2, Priority, 1997; Steel, Steel, Warner Bros., 1997; Allfrumtha I, Allfrumtha-I (expurgated version), Priority, 1998; Scarface, My Homies, Virgin, 1998; E-40, Loyalty and Betrayal, 2000; Mariah Carey Charmbracelet, 2003; and The D.O.C., Deuce, 2003.
Songs included on compilation albums, including; "The Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit," Rapmasters: From Tha Priority Vaults, Vol. 4, Priority, 1996; "Westside Slaughterhouse," Pass the Mic: The Posse Album, Priority, 1996; "Foe Life," Hip Hop's Most Wanted, Priority, 1996; "My Summer Vacation," Phat Blunts: Rap Unda Tha Influence, Priority, 1996; "What Can I Do?" Hip Hop Coast 2 Coast, Priority, 1998.
Composer for the album Comin' Up Outta This Bitch by Audio Assault Squad, 380, 1993; songwriter for the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 2004.
Friday, New Line Cinema, 1995.
(And composer of songs) The Players Club, New Line Cinema, 1998.
Next Friday, New Line Cinema, 2000.
All about the Benjamins, New Line Cinema, 2002.
Friday after Next, New Line Cinema, 2002.
Many of Ice Cube's songs have been featured in films, including but not limited to Boyz N the Hood (also known as Boys in the Hood), 1991; Street Fighter (also known as Street Fighter: The Battle for Shadaloo, Street Fighter: The Movie, and Street Fighter: The Ultimate Battle), 1994; Higher Learning, 1995; Dangerous Ground, 1997; Anaconda, 1997; Steel, 1997; Gang Related, 1997; The Players Club, New Line Cinema, 1998; Bulworth, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1998; I Got the Hook Up, Dimension Films, 1998; Office Space, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1999; Next Friday, New Line Cinema, 2000; Gone in Sixty Seconds, Buena Vista, 2000; Save the Last Dance, Paramount, 2001; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, 2001; How High, 2001; All about the Benjamins, New Line Cinema, 2002; Barbership, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2002; The Hot Chick, 2002; and Hollywood Homicide, 2003.
From his start in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a hard-core gangster rapper notorious for the calls to violence in his songs, Ice Cube has matured into one of the leading artistic voices of the African-American community. From music, Ice Cube has more recently branched out into film, writing, producing, and even in one instance directing several comedies and one drama, The Players Club.
Ice Cube's name was given to him by his older brother. When girls would call for his brother whom the boy didn't want to talk to, Ice Cube would flirt with them over the phone. "I don't know if I was doing good, but they weren't hanging up, you know what I mean?," Ice Cube explained to Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly. "And my brother kept saying, ‘You're trying to be too cool. Stop trying to be so cool all the time. You ain't no damn ice cube.’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I am.’ And that's how I got the name."
Ice Cube grew up in South Central Los Angeles at a time when the neighborhood was slowly becoming synonymous with gangs, drugs, and drive-by shootings. Even as a young teenager he was interested in music, particularly the new genre of rap, and in films. He reluctantly took a film class in his ninth-grade year in high school, but was soon hooked on the classics of early film, particularly Orson Welles's classic Citizen Kane. "The sheer art of the storytelling was compelling, mythical really," Ice Cube said in an interview with Jabulani Leffall in Daily Variety. "It influences me to this day."
One of Ice Cube's friends as a child just happened to be a cousin of the rap pioneer Dr. Dre. Through him Ice Cube met Eazy-E, a rapper with his own music label. Ice Cube's first hit, "Boyz N the Hood," stemmed from that meeting: Eazy-E was impressed with the teen's raps and asked him to write some for a group that Eazy-E had signed to his label. The group, HBO, decided not to use the song, but Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube formed their own group, N.W.A. (Niggaz with Attitude) and performed it themselves on their first album, N.W.A. and the Posse. With the group's second album, Straight Outta Compton, they became nationally famous, even though the explicit lyrics largely kept songs from the album off of radio stations. But midway through their 1989 tour, Ice Cube discovered that he was not receiving as large a share of the group's profits as he had expected and quit the group to become a solo artist.
His third solo album, Death Certificate, was notable in part because it was the first album ever to provoke the Billboard editors into writing a condemnatory editorial about it. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish group that promotes tolerance and human rights, urged a boycott of the album because one song, "No Vaseline," seemed to encourage the murder of N.W.A.'s Jewish manager, Jerry Heller. Another track, "Black Korea," threatened the arson of Korean-owned grocery stores. Despite (or perhaps because of) all of this negative attention, Death Certificate reached number two on the Billboard charts. His next album, The Predator, was similarly condemned for seeming to condone the shooting of police officers, but it also featured "Ice Cube's strongest, most cohesive work yet," in the form of songs that "segue from one horror to another" while depicting "the perils of everyday South Central life," Greg Sandow wrote in Entertainment Weekly. That album was the first since 1976 to be on top of both Billboard's pop and R&B charts at the same time.
Ice Cube began acting in 1991, with a small part in the film Boys N the Hood. Throughout the 1990s, Ice Cube took on more and more diverse film roles, before stepping behind the camera for the first time to write and executive produce the comedy Friday in 1995. The popular film, which was made on a budget of a mere two million dollars and grossed over eighty million dollars, spawned two sequels, Next Friday and Friday after Next. All three films star Ice Cube as Craig, a quiet, underemployed, somewhat hapless young inner-city dweller who gets pulled into adventures by his faster-talking compatriots. In Friday, the friend is played by comedian Chris Tucker, in what proved to be his breakout role; in Next Friday and Friday after Next, Ice Cube's sidekick is Craig's cousin, Day-Day, who is played by Mike Epps. Although some critics were disturbed that the first Friday movie created a slapstick scene around a drive-by shooting, "at least Friday has energy, and sass, and the nerve to suggest that the line between tragedy and comedy may be in the bloodshot eye of the beholder," Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote in Entertainment Weekly.
"I look at the rap game like the [National Football League] or the [National Basketball Association]," Ice Cube told Esquire interviewer Cal Fussman in 2003. "It's a young man's thing. You start gettin' my age and you're lookin' a little like [then forty-year-old NFL player] Jerry Rice. In time, I'm gonna put the mike down." But Ice Cube shows no signs of slowing down in his work producing other young artists and acting in and creating films.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Newsmakers 1999, Issue 2, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Billboard, November 16, 1991, Craig Rosen, "Webs Refuse to Drop Ice Cube Set," pp. 5-6; August 15, 1992, Deborah Russell, "Ice Cube Is Launching His Own Label," pp. 10-11; December 5, 1992, Craig Rosen, "Ice Cube's Predator Debuts at No. 1," pp. 12-13.
Daily Variety, March 8, 2002, Robert Koehler, review of All about the Benjamins, p. 18; October 11, 2002, Michael Fleming, interview with Ice Cube, p. 2; November 21, 2002, Robert Koehler, review of Friday after Next, p. 5; March 7, 2003, "Citizen Cube: Rapper Mogul Looks toward the ‘$200 Million-Plus Black Film,’" pp. A1-A2; March 8, 2006, Brian Lowry, review of Black. White, p. 5.
Economist (U.S.), November 30, 1991, review of Death Certificate, p. 90.
Entertainment Weekly, November 20, 1992, Greg Sandow, review of The Predator, pp. 88-89; December 18, 1992, Meredith Berkman, interview with Ice Cube and Ice-T, pp. 34-36; December 17, 1993, James Bernard, review of Lethal Injection, p. 68; May 12, 1995, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Friday, p. 43; October 13, 1995, Glenn Kenny, review of Friday, pp. 84-85; April 17, 1998, review of The Players Club, p. 48; January 21, 2000, Owen Gleiberman, review of Next Friday, p. 77; March 22, 2002, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of All about the Benjamins, p. 80; November 15, 2002, Chris Nashawaty, interview with Ice Cube, p. 60; January 23, 2004, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Torque, p. 81; February 13, 2004, Owen Gleiberman, review of Barbershop 2: Back in Business, p. 59; June 2, 2006, Raymond Fiore, concert review, p. 24.
Esquire, January, 2003, Cal Fussman, interview with Ice Cube, p. 50.
Hollywood Reporter, March 8, 2002, Michael Rechtshaffen, review of All about the Benjamins, pp. 12-13; November 21, 2002, Michael Rechtshaffen, review of Friday after Next, pp. 10-11; February 26, 2003, Zorianna Kit, "Ice Cube Cool with Revolution," pp. 1-2.
Jet, February 28, 2000, interview with Ice Cube, p. 58; June 12, 2006, Margena A. Christian, interview with Ice Cube, p. 54.
Newsweek, April 27, 1998, Allison Samuels, review of The Players Club, p. 72; June 19, 2006, Allison Samuels, "No More Mr. Ice Guy; At a Time When Rap Is All Booty and Bling—Call It Strip-Hop—Ice Cube Is Mad as Hell and Isn't Going to Take It Anymore," p. 58.
People, May 8, 1995, Ralph Novak, review of Friday, p. 24.
Time, November 25, 2002, Richard Corliss, interview with Ice Cube, p. 82.
Variety, April 13, 1998, Joe Leydon, review of The Players Club, p. 28; January 17, 2000, Joe Leydon, review of Next Friday, p. 50; March 11, 2002, Robert Koehler, review of All about the Benjamins, pp. 31-32; March 6, 2006, Phil Gallo, review of Black. White, p. 32.
Ice Cube Home Page,http://www.icecubemusic.com (August 3, 2003).