Ice Cube: Hip Hop’s Family Man
You might be too young to remember the days when Ice Cube (also known as O’Shea Jackson) sported a Jheri Curl and waxed poetic about the hardcore days of life in South Central. The former N.W.A rapper has come a long way since serving as a representative for urban strife. You could say that he has been an integral part of the brouhaha between East Coast and West Coast hip-hop entertainers.
But apparently those days are long gone. He is known for expressing his true opinions without holding his tongue. The reflections of hood life through the eyes of O’Shea Jackson have not always been pretty. But again, that is part of Ice Cube’s appeal.
With such a visible presence in the entertainment industry, it wasn’t long before Ice Cube took his skills to the big screen. The 1991 breakout hit, Boyz n the Hood, put him on the map. A string of films followed; soon Ice Cube had amassed a movie empire. As his popularity went through the roof, something incredible happened along the way; he went from a furrowed-browed “menace” to a funny family man.
Indeed, O’Shea Jackson’s image took a slight turn. But his ability to maintain shrewd wit while broadening his fan base has become part of his personal brand.
Ice Cube went from starring in trendy movies, to writing, directing, and producing them; television wasn’t that far behind. The world became painfully aware that Cube had jokes. His Friday movie series is as much a staple in African American culture as any blaxploitation film from the 1970s. As his empire grew, so did the number of public accolades, including VH1’s Hip Hop Honors and a BET Award in 2009.
What makes Ice Cube such an accessible fixture in urban pop culture? Some might say it is the dedication to his family. Others will swear that his “keeping it real” brand of shoptalk still keeps him relevant in the hood. In any case, the man also known as O’Shea Jackson is considered one of the coolest Family Guys of Hip Hop.