O'Shea Jackson Sr., who is better known as, "Ice Cube" is one of the godfathers of Gangsta Rap music and is also one of the only MC's in Hip-Hop history who was able to translate his elite songwriting abilities into iconic films such as the cult-classic 1995 film, "Friday". Cube was born on June 15th, 1969 and growing up during the crack epidemic in South Central Los Angeles, California would quickly expose Cube to horrific tragedies such as his half-sister being murdered. These types of horrors would quickly let Cube know that the world he was living in was a very dangerous place.
Instead of falling victim to the vices and traps of his community, Cube decided to be constructive and instead would focus his energies to indulging himself into Hip-Hop's most popularized aesthetic in becoming a legendary MC. Since the beginning, Cube has always predicated himself on articulating the harsh realities and circumstances in his community and began practicing rhyme writing as a sophomore in high school. Jackson's rap moniker would originate from his older brother calling him, "Ice Cube" due to Cube always being smooth with the ladies. In Cube's Behind The Music Documentary, he illuminates that his first written rap was: "My name is Ice Cube, And I want you to know/ I'm not Run DMC or Kurtis Blow".
By 1984, Cube had teamed up with his neighbor, "Sir Jinx" to form the Hip-Hop group known as, "The C.I.A." where Cube would get his first shot to showcase his mesmerizing energetic and fresh rhyming style with the 1987 cut, "My Posse". Cube would finally catch his first big break when he was introduced to Jinx's cousin, "Andre Young" who was a young and talented DJ better known as Dr. Dre . In 1986, Cube was introduced to Dre's longtime friend in, "Eric 'Eazy-E' Wright" and by 1988 one of the most prolific Hip-Hop group's of all time known as, "N.W.A." would be born. The song that would set off their whole movement would be the song Ice Cube wrote for Eazy-E and produced by Dr. Dre in, "Boyz N The Hood". The song would cement the birth of Eazy-E as a rapper and Cube as a bonafide writer.
N.W.A. would release their debut album, "Straight Outta Compton" in 1988 and within a month the album would sell over 500,000 copies (and eventually sell over 3 million units). The album's success was largely due to the brilliant and bluntly honest writing of Ice Cube for the album's standout songs such as, "Gangsta Gangsta" and "Fuck Tha Police". Even amongst the group's perceived success due to their sellout national tour and staggering record sales, Cube felt as though he was not being compensated properly for all the work he had contributed to the group's superstardom success. Against all odds, Ice Cube left N.W.A. and decided to further pursue his Hip-Hop career as a solo artist and would recruit the producers from, "Public Enemy" known as "The Bomb Squad" to produce his debut solo project. By 1990, Cube would release his debut solo album, "AmeriKKKas Most Wanted", a funky dispatch that originates from the frontline of his inner city communities that was filled with provocative humor and brutal honesty. The album's headlining singles, "AmeriKKKas Most Wanted", "Nigga Ya Love To Hate" and "Who's The Mack" would bolster the album to the top of the charts and would effectively sell over 500,000 copies in the first two weeks of its release. Just a year later, Cube would release one of the most vicious and effective diss records to his former group N.W.A. with the iconic and unapologetic diss song, "No Vaseline".
His solo career that showcased his elite songwriting and lyrical skills (over the course of 3 classic albums and 5 solid albums) would only propel his stock into the stratosphere after being recruited to star in John Singleton's iconic movie, "Boyz N Tha Hood". The immediate success of Cube's onscreen performance would influence him to write the cult-classic movies such as, "Friday" and "Barbershop". Ultimately, Ice Cube's accomplishments on wax and on the movie screen alike has forever cemented Cube as one of the godfathers of Gangsta rap music and most accomplished MC's outside of Hip-Hop's arena.