By the age of 21, O'Shea Jackson had not only earned a college degree in drafting, but had established himself as a rap superstar named Ice Cube due to his participation in the ground-breaking and influential ensemble N****z With Attitude; N.W.A. was the group largely responsible for reinventing West Coast rap and launching the controversial gangsta sub-genre. A native of L.A.'s South Central, Cube came from a strict two-parent home, and early on preferred rapping and writing to gang life. More than any other rap artist, Cube has kept the heat on in terms of incendiary storytelling and controversial viewpoints. His rage seems to explode unchecked by a concise political agenda; indeed, his is a shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach.
Claiming that N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller cheated him out of royalties, Cube split the group following their hit Straight Outta Compton. Though a hero of the West Coast Cube headed east for his first solo recordings to work with the Bomb Squad, the production team responsible for Public Enemy's tracks. The result, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, is a violent and exciting ride both lyrically and musically, and is considered a rap c. His anger towards Heller remained intense, and on Death Certificate's notorious track, "No Vaseline," he disses his old N.W.A. crew for "letting a Jew break up my crew. Bend over for the goddamn cracker--no Vaseline."
Cube also launched a successful acting career with Boyz 'N The Hood, a film which took its name from his earliest hit with N.W.A. The crew that has backed his solo work, Da Lench Mob, has also gone onto success, beginning with Guerillas In Tha Mist, which was produced and co-written by Cube. Although his ongoing influence in hip-hop is undeniable, Cube hasn't released any new material since 1993's Lethal Injection. His next move, be it film or music, is open to speculation.… Expand