*Ice Cube chopped it up with writer Gerrick D. Kennedy for the L.A. Times about N.W.A’s Hall of Fame induction, his Coachella set and forthcoming album, the success of the “Straight Outta Compton” biopic and the latest entry from the Barbershop franchise.
Cube’s involvement with N.W.A. ended 1989, after he discovered how little he was being paid. A year later, he released the first of several critically acclaimed albums, “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.” In 1992, he launched his movie career with a highly praised performance in the John Singleton directed coming-of-age ‘hood film, “Boyz n the Hood.”
Today, the rapper gets candid with Kennedy while reflecting on career and controversy that has followed.
Check out excerpts from their chat below.
It’s on New Line and Warner Bros. It’s solely on them. Do they want to pay for an ensemble with a lot of great comedians that are more expensive than they were then? Right now, the answer is “no,” so the movie won’t get made. It’s a shame … I’d love to take the movie somewhere else, but they won’t give it up. Technically, they gave up “Ride Along” and “Straight Outta Compton.” They don’t want to give up nothing else, but they don’t want to pay for it either.
Getting inducted into the Hall of Fame has to feel great, especially after being passed over three times before.
I’m humbled and honored. I don’t think I’m a better artist because I’m in the Hall of Fame, and I wouldn’t think I was any less of an artist if I didn’t make it. These things are cool, but never have [and] never will I hang my hat on awards and accolades. My reward is when a project works. Anything else is just another layer of icing on my cake. I don’t agree with competing with other artists anyway. All artists should be thanked for putting stuff into the world that we can love, or hate.
And the notion that N.W.A isn’t rock and roll?
I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful guy, or arrogant. But a group like N.W.A is supposed to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We are just as much rock and roll as any other artists that’s in that hall. Rock and roll is not a guitar, it’s not long hair — that’s not rock and roll. Rock and roll is a state of mind, a state of nonconformity. It’s not about an instrument, it’s about spirit.
N.W.A partially reunited for a performance ahead of the biopic’s release. What was that moment like for you?
You know it’s always cool getting us back together. You get nostalgic…. We’ve still got our voice and flavor and people want to see it. And that’s cool because we feel like it was something special, and it still is. It’s moments that you always remember.
There are groups you always want to see. I remember seeing Run-DMC and Public Enemy for the first time and every time I can see them onstage after that I cherish it because I know it’s only a moment in time. Hopefully people look at us the same way.
Read the full Q&A here.