It's a rare that an artist manages to maintain successful careers in both rap music and acting. Whilst there are similarities – both are concerned with storytelling and strong characters – they are in many ways the complete opposite. Acting is just that, pretending to be someone you're not, and in hip-hop this is considered blasphemous.
While many have tried, things normally go one way or the other. Will Smith hasn’t put out any music for some time (and when he did, did we ever take it seriously?), and there aren’t many Drake fans out there whose affections took hold due to his role in Canadian teen drama Degrassi. But Ice Cube is a rare beast, one that manages to maintain credibility in both callings.
The man who once spat, “F*ck the police coming straight from the underground / A young n*gga got it bad ‘cause I'm brown,” on N.W.A’s ‘F*ck Tha Police’, is currently on set in Los Angeles shooting the movie Ride Along 2, where he reprises his role as undercover detective James Payton. Simultaneously, he is promoting his forthcoming album ‘Everythang’s Corrupt’, as well as working alongside Dr. Dre as a producer and consultant for the long awaited N.W.A movie, Straight Outta Compton, expected in cinemas next year.
“I want to let people know why we did that kind of music,” he says of his personal agenda for the biopic. “It was our only weapon at the time against everything that was going on around us. Everything that was going on as far as drugs, gang banging, police brutality, Reaganomics, aids, riots, freedom of speech. Dealing with all of these things is why N.W.A was the world’s most dangerous group.”