O’Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, and filmmaker. His lyrics on N.W.A‘s 1988 album Straight Outta Compton contributed to gangsta rap‘s widespread popularity. His solo albums of 1990 and 1991 consist of political rap. In 1991 and 1995, entering film, he starred in Boyz n the Hood and cocreated Friday.
He formed his first rap group called C.I.A. in 1986. In 1987, with Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, he formed a pioneering gangsta rap group, N.W.A. As its lead rapper, he wrote some of Dre’s and most of Eazy’s lyrics on Straight Outta Compton. A landmark album that shaped West Coast rap’s early identity and helped differentiate it from East Coast rap. this album introduced lyrics extremely violent, threatening to attack abusive police and innocent civilians alike, lyrics that redrew boundaries. Leaving N.W.A in late 1989 via monetary dispute with its management by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, Cube teamed with New York artists and launched a solo rap career. His first two solo albums, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted in 1990 and Death Certificate in 1991, were critically acclaimed.
He entered cinema by playing Doughboy in director John Singleton‘s feature debut Boyz n the Hood, a 1991 drama named after a 1987 rap song that Cube wrote. Cube cowrote and starred in the 1995 comedy film Friday, “coarse and ribald,” premising Friday sequels, reshaping his persona into friendly movie star. His directorial debut was the 1998 film The Player’s Club. By 2020, his acting roles include about 40 films, like the 1999 war comedy Three Kings, family comedies like the Barbershop series begun in 2002, and the Ride Along comedies near 2015. He was an executive producer of some of these, and of the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton, on N.W.A’s story.