Ice Cube Biography

Ice Cube is one of the most enduring, versatile, controversial and engaging figures ever to emerge out of hip-hop. At 30, he is one of this generation's cultural icons. After establishing himself as a film phenomenon, acclaimed actor, screenwriter, director and producer, Ice Cube (born O'Shea Jackson) comes back to his solo music career with a vengeance. He has spent most of 1999-2000 working at an astonishing rate, completing not one, but two full-length albums the first part titled War & Peace - Volume 1 (The War Disc) followed by the current album, War & Peace - Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc). The first volume War was released on November 17, 1998 on Priority Records with Peace following on March 21, 2000. Just as his classic Death Certificate presented a "Death Side" and a "Life Side", Cube explores the war/peace dialectic in well over 2 hours of new music. Further fueling rumors of a NWA reunion album, War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) opens with the simple greeting "Hell Low", a Dre produced selection (co-produced by Mel Man) featuring Dr. Dre and MC Ren; a comedic track "You Ain't Gotta Lie" featuring Chris Rock and appearances by Krayzie Bone on the commercial single "Until We Rich." Other notable artists featured on the album are Mack 10 and Jayo Felony with production on several tracks by Chucky Thompson, Battlecat, and Puffy to name a few. The War record allowed Cube to throw down the gauntlet on tracks like "Dr. Frankenstein," "Once Upon A Time In the Projects 2" and on the single "Pushin' Weight," Cube raised the stakes for the present day rap game while reclaiming his legacy. War provided cutting edge soundscapes with mega-platinum rockers Korn making a guest appearance on "Fuck Dying." Cube performed with Korn on their "Family Values" tour. "To expose Korn fans to my music is cool, because most of their audience is only exposed to my movies. It reminded me of when I went out on Lollapalooza (1992), where I was the alternative to that alternative show" says Cube of the experience. Although Cube keeps it gangsta on the Peace, LP, Vol. 2 is more dance/club oriented using samples from popular party anthems crating a lighter mood. Cube can't say enough about the music. "War and Peace are my best records in years. The production on both albums is far superior to anything I've ever released. Peace is gonna be a different look; it's a different record than any I have ever done. Lyrically, War covers a lot of ground-moving from rap's battlegrounds to the Los Angeles killing fields." "Ghetto Vet," "Penitentiary" and the masterful "3 Strikes You In" are as incisive pieces of social commentary as he's ever penned. Just as every coin has two sides, Peace represents the other side of Cube. Ice Cube caught the rap bug in the ninth grade when a classmate named Kiddo challenged him in a typing class. "One day, he asked me if I ever wrote a rap before. I told him, you write one, I write on and we'll see which one come out better and I won," recalls Cube. He went on to form his first crew, C.I.A., with future collaborators Sir Jinx and K-Dee, and began hanging in the burgeoning South Central Club scene. Through Jinx's cousin, he met Dr. Dre and together they began rhyming for nightclub patrons over the hits of the day. "We was doing these dirty raps strictly for the club audiences," he says. "When that started catching on, we started making mix tapes. We would rap on what was going on in the neighborhood and they were selling. Eazy-E had a partner named Ron-de-Vu, Dre was in the World Class Wreckin Crew, and I was in C.I.A. We were all committed to these groups, so we figured we'd make an all-star group and just do dirty records on the side." That all-star group would become known as Niggaz With Attitude (NWA). In early 1987, Cube wrote "Boyz-N-The-Hood" for Eazy-E and "Dopeman" and "8-ball" for NWA and they went into the studio to record. He knew he was doing something different, but wasn't sure about his prospects. "The rap game wasn't looking too solid at that time, so I decided to go ahead and go to school." When he left for The Phoenix Institute of Technology, the records were just hitting the streets. By the time he completed his degree a year later, both Eazy's and NWA's singles had sold hundreds of thousands of copies. He came back to write the rhymes for the albums that would be Eazy Duz It and Straight Outta Compton and the world would never be quite the same. NWA's Straight Outta Compton, in retrospect, was the most influential album since The Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. Straight Outta Compton didn't break taboos so much as blow them away with rapid-action scattershot. The excitement they inspired was proportional to the outrage they incited. Newsweek dismissed the record as "The Godfather in gutter language." FBI Assistant director, Milt Ahlerich, sent a letter to the label condemning the record as encouraging "violence against and disrespect for the law-enforcement officer." Ahlerich warned, "Advocating violence and assault is wrong and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action." Sales rocked past platinum. "Straight Outta Compton has had the biggest impact on rap music than any other album to this day," says Cube. "We opened the door where you can say exactly what you really want to say without having to sugar-coat , without having to hold back." But by 1989, things were beginning to sour between Cube and Jerry Heller, then NWA's manager. Cube was involved in writing 10 of the 13 tracks on Straight Outta Compton, including the entirety of "Dopeman," "8 Ball" and "Express Yourself" and he felt he was due more than the $30,000 that he received for records that had sold 3 million units. "I was broke before I jumped in that shit, so it wasn't hard to walk away. I preferred it that way," Cube recalls. "At the time the two producers that was worth fucking with was Dr. Dre and The Bomb Squad. If I couldn't get Dre, I was going to the Bomb Squad." He broke east and began collaborating with Public Enemy. Energized by the rush of liberation and inspired by the exchange of ideas with Chuck D and the other members of the Public Enemy camp, he turned in the stunning Amerikkka's Most Wanted. "Fuck you, Ice Cube!" went the chorus of "The Nigga You Love to Hate," and immediately the hip-hop nation was screaming it. The record went gold in 10 days, platinum in three months. "I can never play out," smiles Cube, "because people are still biting my styles from that record." In his book It's Not About A Salary: Rap, Race and Resistance, Brian Cross wrote of the album's impact, "Amerikkka's Most Wanted sought to give a face to (the) criminal underclass and this face was to be furrow-browed, jheri-curled, beanie-clad face of Cube himself. Cube to this day is the foremost hip hop meta-critic, providing listeners not only with stories, but potential criticism of his practice from different perspectives." The follow-up EP Kill At Will went gold just as quickly. In contrast to the booming "Endangered Species" remix and the club friendly "Jackin For Beats," "Dead Homiez" was a surprise. When it was first released, Cube ran the risk of the appearing soft, exposing a vulnerable, sentimental side; instead, audiences embraced the track. He had correctly measured the depth of emotion amongst his violence-weary fans. "Dead Homiez" created an entirely new theme for gangsta rappers. Cube was thinking seven steps ahead of the game. "I was reading a lot of books. I was just learning about the world, paying attention to world history, political views. Up to that point, I was just rolling through life trying to get money," says Cube. His readings "gave me my freedom mentally to deal with this world. The main focus on what I was learning was coming from Minister Louis Farrakhan and the honorable Elijah Muhammed. I did a lot of self-studying knowledge of self, because I'm far from a follower." On Halloween 1991, Book Ice Cube for shows and concerts at Heavy Rotation booking agency. Worldwide Bookings with HR Booking. Ice Cube Booking, Book Ice Cube. Book artists like Ice Cube, Ice Cube booking agent, contact Ice Cube email, Ice Cube manager, Ice Cube management for concerts, bookings, biography, pictures, videos. Ice Cube may be available for your club shows, private party, festivals or other events.

Videos

Book Ice Cube Now