Black History Month 20 for 20: Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
Monday January 30th I was shooting the shit on Twitter as usual, and turned my attention to the love I have for Master P. My friend Courtney with a K inspired me to start this series (as you can see below). For every weekday in February, I will profile Black persons in celebration of Black History Month. #BHM20for20 Why only 20? Y’all too busy sinning on the weekend to read (I’m joking but not really). Thank you Kourtnee.
“Ice Cube really a legend; how you get a triple-double in a game of 21?” – Young Sheem
Some would say he’s just another nigga with an attitude or some type of crazy motherfucker but after years of me saying the man named Ice Cube deserves more recognition, today is the good day. Along with Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren & DJ Yella, Ice Cube came into our lives via the trailblazing rap group Niggaz Wit Attitudes aka N.W.A. They took the country by storm with “controversial” songs such as Fuck Tha Police. I use quotations around controversial because it’s always fuck the police. My favorite N.W.A song is Express Yourself because that is exactly what niggas with attitudes do, and while most of America felt the need to stigmatize the group with the label of “gangsters” I feel as if N.W.A. were conscious rappers. If a fire breaks out in your community, and you yell out, “FIRE!” nobody would accuse you of being an arson; so why was N.W.A. accused of being menaces for reporting the evil Black people were facing at the time? And for the record, look around; it’s the same 30 years later. Unfortunately, greed got the best of Eazy-E in the form of a white devil named Jerry Heller, and Ice Cube left the group.
N.W.A. & Ice Cube traded parting shots at each other following their break-up (think subbing your ex with a caption on IG) with 100 Miles & Runnin’ and No Vaseline respectively. Ice Cube being the lead pen for N.W.A. left the group in quite a hoe, and they were never the same but Cube went on to become one of the greatest rappers in the history of Hip-Hop. Cube linked with Public Enemy’s in-house production team The Bomb Squad, and crafted the platinum selling classic AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. The next year, Ice Cube dropped the phenomenal (no adjective is gassing Cube’s music; listen) Death Certificate, which had one of my favorite records & videos on it, Steady Mobbin’. Then in 1992, Ice Cube released what is probably his most well known album, Predator that spawned one of the all-time classic Hip-Hop songs, It Was a Good Day. Imagine a day where you didn’t have to use your AK, had some good sex, saw a blimp tell you that you’re a pimp, and watched your hometown Lakers defeat the SuperSonics (now the OKC Thunder for those who think basketball started after LeBron was drafted). In 1993, Lethal Injection, Ice Cube’s 4th album came out, and he collaborated with George Clinton, who is one of the pseudo godfathers of Hip-Hop. It was after this album where Ice Cube began to really stamp himself as a heavyweight in Hollywood.
Ice Cube’s film career started in 1991 with the fucking classic of classics Boyz n the Hood (appropriately named after the Eazy-E song that Ice Cube penned). We all have a friend, cousin or brother like Doughboy, and if you don’t then I don’t know what to tell you other than, “Dough, let me out!” In 1993, Ice Cube made a cameo appearance as himself in the cult-classic CB4, which was a parody of N.W.A. Cube linked up with John Singleton for Higher Learning before delivering the culture what some might consider the greatest stoner flick ever, Friday. Every time you see or hear, “Bye Felicia” just know, you’re quoting Ice Cube. Smokey, Deebo, Big Worm, Pops, Red and his scary ass; everything was funny! “How you get fired on your day off?” The Friday franchise continued on with the hilarious Mike Epps instead of Chris Tucker, and that’s a testament to Ice Cube.
Black comedians have certain gigs they have to play before they can be considered “made” & starring alongside Ice Cube in a comedy film is one of those destinations. A rub fro Ice Cube is a stamp that certifies comedians are on their way to superstardom. Cube has starred in, written, and produced a number of films such as but not limited to The Players Club, in which Bernie Mac (there goes that comedian rub again) plays the hilarious Dollar Bill, “It’s gonna be trouble, trouble!” All About The Benjamins, which he again starred alongside Mike Epps (Next Friday, Friday After Next); Barbershop, which turned out to be a trilogy with the subsequent releases of Barbershop 2: Back to Business, and Barbershop: The Next Cut. Of note in the Barbershop is the amount of appearances by rappers such as Eve, Nicki Minaj, Queen Latifah, and none other than Common, who Ice Cube had a serious rap beef with back in the early 90’s. First Sunday, Janky Promoters (another collaboration with Mike Epps), Lottery Ticket, and most recently giving Kevin Hart that stamp with the Ride Along franchise which has collectively grossed over 275 million dollars. The 21 Jump Street franchise has been boosted by the presence, grossing over 530 million dollars worldwide. Ice Cube also produced his fair share of family-friendly content, with Are We There Yet? Are We Done Yet? Which like the Barbershop franchise produced a TV series based on the films.
While dominating Hollywood, Ice Cube still found time to return to his roots & churned out hits with his collective The Westside Connection, alongside W.C. & Mack 10. Bow Down & Gangstas Make the World Go Round were their biggest hits. However, there was an episode of The Jamie Foxx Show, where The Westside Connection made a guest appearance, and there is that Black comedian connection again; Jamie Foxx had a role in the aforementioned The Players Club. Something of note, my friends & I would play this game called East Coast vs. West Side during the recess because we were 12-13 year old degenerates but we would holla, “Westsiiiiiide” just like Ice Cube.
Imagine being one of the greatest Hip-Hop artists of all-time, and having a movie made about your early life, just to have your son, who is named after you, play you in said movie; Ice cube doesn’t have to imagine that because he’s lived it. O’Shea Jackson Jr. played his dad in the critically acclaimed, N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton. I know Ice Cube considers himself the nigga we love to hate but check yourself before you wreck yourself, and show this legend the appreciation & love he deserves!
See you back here Monday, and remember don’t argue with strangers on the Internet; moisturize your face instead.