Happy Black History Month! Earlier this week, we highlighted the legendary filmmaker and writer John Singleton who’s film Boyz n the Hood catapulted several notable entertainers careers. Though Ice Cube had already found success in hip hop, it was this movie that put in him in position to become a commercial success in film also. Read more about how one legend made another legend inside.
O’Shea Jackson Sr., better known as Ice Cube, is a rapper, actor and filmmaker, who’s notable lyric’s from N.W.A.’s 1988 Straight Outta Compton contributed to gangsta rap’s widespread popularity. Cube had already crafted a rebellious lane of his own going on to create political and socially conscious solo albums likeAmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate, and The Predator, which were critically and commercially successful.
While Ice Cube had a successful musical start, it was Singleton who activated him to global super stardom with his 1991 acting debut in Boyz n the Hood as the character Doughboy.
Since the film, Ice Cube has appeared in nearly 40 films. Many of his films are highly regarded. Cube began playing characters that fit his persona, but he went on to appear in classic comedy and action films that may have first been out of his comfort zone.
Ice Cube reluctantly accepted the role of Doughboy in Singleton’s seminal film. He actually passed on the opportunity to costar with Janet Jackson in Singleton’s 1993 romance Poetic Justice, a role that Tupac Shakur then played.
Unsure of why Cube ran away from the film limelight, Cube eventually starred as the university student Fudge in Singleton’s 1995 film Higher Learning.
Singleton continued encouraging Cube beyond his acting career. The late filmmaker reportedly told him, “If you can write a record, you can write a movie.”
That’s when the rapper and actor cowrote the iconic screenplay for his 1995 cult classic comedy Friday, which he starred in alongside lesser-known comedian Chris Tucker. The film garnered $28 million in sales worldwide, and subsequently produced two sequels with Next Friday and Friday After Next, respectively released in 2000 and 2002.
The great thing about one legend like Singleton uplifting other legends like Cube is that they go on to do the same. Famous actors and comedians like Tucker, Mike Epps, Katt Williams and more were empowered by Ice Cube in the same way that Singleton pushed him.
This throwback clip of Epps’ audition tape for Next Friday reminded us that the “Upshaws” star was just getting started at that time.
What a blessing. Shout out Ice Cube for leading the charge by uplifting, supporting and empowering Black artists in entertainment one legend at a time.
Today is a good day to give flowers to the legendary Ice Cube: