When you look at Ice Cube now and what he has accomplished, you would rarely think that his beginning was not an easy one. Sure, he is a rapper, producer, movie star and an all-out celebrity, but this were not that way at the start back in the early days in LA when young Ice Cube was known as O’Shea Jackson and was just a young kid who liked hanging around. He actually grew up with strict and very strong parents who raised him properly and instilled some habits in him which would help him throughout his life. He was actually a good student in high school and was even involved in football besides having good grades.
But as times passed, the world around him was noticeably changing, with many of his friends being killed due to drugs and crime which was fueled by the local gangs. As the gangs started defining his life around him, so did O’Shea started making a need to create a better life for himself. He enrolled at the Institute of Technology, where he would earn a two-year degree, and would start getting interested in music more and more.
Right around this time, another young rapper was coming to his own. His name was Andre Young, but you may know him now as Dr Dre. When the two met, Dre was already a part of the World Wreckin’ Cru and has already stated establishing his identity as the Master of Mixology. He recognized the potential and the strong lyrics that young O’Shea Jackson was singing, who at the time stated calling himself Ice Cube. Before meeting up with Dr. Dre, Ice Cube formed a band called CIA along with Sir Jinx.
This was still while they were in high school together, but it helped him get the attention of Dr. Dre who soon recruited him to perform alongside him at “Eve After Dark” nightclub. The duo would perform with Dre providing the music and Cube the lyrics and they initially sang cover songs of famous LA tracks which would become to be known as “Cabbage Patch.” Ice Cube would also start writing lyrics for other signers on the brand and would develop his relationship and collaboration with Dr. Dre even further.
In 1987, Ice Cube made history when he formed N.W.A. (or Niggaz With Attitude), a gangasta rap group, alongside Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren. Ice Cube showed the lyrics to Eazy-E of the song “Boyz-n-the-Hood” who he first rejected, but later decided to use it and the song would become an instant classic and would mark the very early beginnings of N.W.O. Ice Cube was the only member of the band who did not come from Compton, but their talents and relationship flourished as they would mark a period in rap history and solidify themselves as pioneers of the gangsta rap genre by being the first to emulate the strong and profane lyrics into their music and at the same time expressing their mind and mostly dissatisfaction with the current world around them.
He was on board drying the group’s most successful album “Straight Outta Compton” which was released in 1988. But in 1989 things started going sour. Ice Cube soon landed himself in a dispute with the group’s manager, Jerry Heller, as Cube rejected the contract that he was offered and wanted a much bigger cut for himself. Ice was underpaid even with a much bigger involvement in the group’s creation and according to his contract he was also not an official member of N.W.A. He finally decided to leave the group and filed a law suit against Jerry, which they later settled off court.
In 1989, Ice Cube finally left N.W.A. and started making his own solo career and his legacy. His first solo album was produced by The Bomb Squad in New York and was titled “AmeriKKKas Most Wanted.” The album was an instant success and reached a cult following by the fans, even though it was criticized by the critics for displaying strong racist messages and misogyny. Ice would then start making the most of his new found success and even released fist EP, “Kill at Will” which was the first EP to go Platinum.
He also started collaborating with other artists and became a producer. He initially took on a female rapper Yo-Yo and would help with and produce her own debut album. He would also start his acting career as he appeared in a violent crime drama “Boyz n the Hood” which showed off his versatility and ability to do more things with his career.
Ice Cube would steadily continue to develop his career, with his second album coming in 1991. The album was called “Death Certificate” and was divided into two sides with a “Death Side” and “Life Side.” Although the fans liked what Ice Cube had to say, the critics blasted him even more as he was accused of racism, anti-white and even antiemetic.
This did not hamper his career as it just grew stronger. His third album was released in 1992, titled “The Predator,” and was an homage which was specifically related to the LA riots which happened back then. In 1994, Ice Cube put past his feud with Dr. Dre and they collaborated on a duet “Natural Born Killaz” while Dre was still a part of Death Row Records. In 1998, Ice Cube released “War and Peace Vol.1” and in 2000 “War and Peace Vol.2” which were unfortunately the two commercially most unsuccessful and weakest albums that Ice Cube made. Even though the albums saw collaboration with Dr. Dre and Westside Connection, it did not help to make them better.
His seventh studio album in 2007, named “Laugh Now, Cry Later” and was produced by Lil Jon and Scott Storch. This one was followed by “I am the West” from 2010, which is currently the latest Ice Cube release.
But if you thought that Ice Cube net worth is large only because of his singing and producing career, you are wrong. After making his first appearance in movies as Doughboy in 1991, he went on to become an actor. He stared in many movies and has established himself both as an action star and also a comedian. He would make appearances in “Trespass” and “The Glass Shield” before making his biggest commercial success in movies.
A friend of his told him that if he can write a song he can also write a screenplay for a movie, which he did. He would write a screenplay which would turn out to be the movie “Friday” where he stared alongside Chris Tucker. The movie would get two more sequels titled “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next.” His many commercially successful movies included such blockbusters as “Anaconda,” “Three Kings” and “xXx: State of Union.”
But it appears that he is also very comfortable when acting in comedy roles which is seen from movies such as the Barbershop franchise, “Ride Along” and its sequel “Ride Along 2” with comedian Kevin Hart, “21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street,” and the most recent one being “Fist Fight.”
After enduring so much and coming from very low to the top, Ice Cube has developed so much. Come from a skinny kid from South Central Los Angeles to a commercial and rapper icon was what the story behind Ice Cube is. He is happily married to Kimberly Woodruff and they have four children together. According to Forbes, his net worth is 140 million dollars.