Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
Rapping and Acting Careers
Currently Known For:
Businessman and Continued Acting Career
1986 - Present
June 15, 1969
Rapping and Acting Careers
30 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that one of the most well-known members of the gangster rap genre would go on to make family-friendly comedy movies and become a business mogul, but O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson has shown that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Jackson was born on June 15, 1969 in Los Angeles and started became interested in hip hop as a teenager. During writing classes, he would come up with his own raps, but was actually intending to one day be an architect. That’s why he would enroll at a specialty college in Phoenix, Arizona despite having already sold some of his raps that he had previously written. Jackson would have a change of heart while in college and dropped out to start a career in rap music.
Having already worked with the likes of Eazy-E, Jackson easily integrated into the newly formed group that would become known as N.W.A. alongside Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren. The group found massive success, breaking into the mainstream with their hit album “Straight Outta Compton”. However, tensions with Ice Cube and the group (especially management) would be high as financial concerns arose, and Ice Cube left in 1989 to pursue his own path, starting a solo rap career.
Ice Cube had said that “We had all talked about solo projects,” leading up to his departure. “Eazy had his solo project and then it was going to be the N.W.A. album, then eventually I would do a solo project, then MC Ren...I don’t think it would have happened as fast if I wouldn’t have left the group. And yeah, I was nervous about leaving the group, but I did what I had to do. I had no other option. It was either stay and know you’re getting f***ed out of money or leave and try to start a career from there.”
With his name already well known from his N.W.A. days, Ice Cube quickly found success as a solo act and established himself as one of the biggest names not only in the rap genre, but in all of music. Ice Cube continued to release albums throughout the early 1990s, though he would take a step back and has only released five albums over the past 20 years.
During the time that he was starting up his solo career, Ice Cube also became interested in acting, getting his debut on screen in the 1991 film “Boyz n the Hood”, following it up with roles in the films “The Glass Shield” and “Trespass”. After being told that writing music took the same talent as writing movies, Ice Cube was told that he should write his own script. With that, he introduced the 1995 film “Friday” that became a huge hit that’s still one of the most beloved comedies to this day.
At that point, Ice Cube’s acting career had not only caught up with his music career, but perhaps surpassed it, as he would eventually become a staple of comedy while also dabbling in acting movies. Throughout the years, Ice Cube has starred in action movies such as “Torque” and the “xXx” series, as well as comedies such as “Ride Along”, “Are We There Yet?” and the “Barbershop” and “Jump Street” series. So far, Ice Cube movies have grossed more than $1.5 billion at the box office with an average of $48.5 million per movie.
On top of Ice Cube’s entertainment career, he’s also been actively involved in businesses with investing and endorsements abound. His biggest venture over the past few years has been the BIG3 basketball league that started up in 2017. Though some were wary of the concept of retired NBA players getting involved in three-on-three basketball, it’s proven to be a fun league for many to watch, as not many fledgling leagues get a second season.
Ice Cube’s acting career certainly will continue, as he’s most recently been in “Fist Fight” and the latest “xXx” film. There’s also a finale to the “Friday” series in the works, but no official announce date has been set yet. As for the music side of things, Ice Cube has made appearances on albums over the past few years, but hasn’t released an album since 2010. There’s been one in the works called “Everythang’s Corrupt” that fans have been patiently waiting for, but there isn’t a known release date.
Of course, Ice Cube’s early years were chronicled in the film “Straight Outta Compton”which proved to be a big hit and his own son O’Shea, Jr. played the role of his father. “I think he did a great job,” Ice Cube said of his son. “I was truly impressed. He was so convincing. All the guys did such a great job, so I don’t know if surreal is even the word.”
As for whether or not there could ever be another group as influential as N.W.A., Ice Cube says “Of course...it just the artist to have the inspiration. Groups don’t form like they did back when I started rapping...They don’t really want to divide that money.” However, “There’s always room for a group to come out and have something to say, and when they do it people respond to them if they’re great.”