At exactly 1:30pm, in between an informal lunch and lazy post, my cellphone slipped off the counter, vibrating how it does when my alarm goes off. I grabbed my notepad, ran to a desolate place and slammed the door. One minute later, the desk phone flashed. “Hey this is Ice Cube,” the line on the other end of the receiver said. I wasn’t expecting him to call me himself. Routine suggested that I had a second to gather my composure. I was expecting a publicist, who normally is the liaison between interviewer and interviewees, but when you have a “crazy motherf***er straight out of Compton” on the line, there’s no time to be starstruck.
Ice Cube–real name O’ Shea Jackson–is one of the original “N****s With Attitude.” His rap group NWA used the “n-word” as an expressive term to chronicle life growing up as a black man in Compton. Poverty, violence and police brutality had finally become mainstream issues. Their hardcore message was more than anything late 1980s music was used to and pushed boundaries other races didn’t even know existed. Ice Cube and his team’s breakthrough proved therapeutic for the oppressed.
Cube has managed to do what most other artists would sell their soul to the devil for, stay relevant in a ever-changing music climate. He’s expanded from rapper to actor; from producer to director. As a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan, he was tapped by the Pepsi NFL Anthems program to create “Come And Get It,” a football anthem that acts as soundtrack for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
After 30 plus years in the game, Ice is still passionate about Hip-Hop and and that good ole’ pigskin. Keep reading to find out his thoughts on “Django Unchained;” Ray Lewis vs Lawrence Taylor; newcomers Drake, Trinidad James, Kendrick Lamar; and so much more…
Ice Cube: [Laughs] Aww damn. I think they’re all great for different reasons. I would have to say Ray Lewis because even though my man [LT] changed the game I just think Ray Lewis is not only a great player but a great leader of men on and off the court. So I have to put him a little bit above LT. LT was good on the field but personally…ya know…
IC: Neither one of them.
TUD: You have two sons who rap, what advice do you give them?
IC: To love the art and whatever you get out of it is great. If you love music and putting it together and that’s the fun part, then whatever you get out of it will be great. If you try to fall in love with the lifestyle and you want to do this to get a lot of money, then it will be a harder road. It will be an uphill battle. That’s how I came into it. I had fun putting Hip-Hop together, putting music together and then we looked up and NWA was the world’s most dangerous group. It all amounted to gravy to me because I never expected it.