Ice Cube

O’Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube, grew up in South Central Los Angeles. While a ninth grade student at George Washington Preparatory High School, Cube began writing raps and by 1986, had formed a trio called C.I.A. with Sir Jinx and K-Dee. Less than a year later, he joined N.W.A with Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, MC Ren, Arabian Prince and Ruthless Records founder Eazy-E. The group’s debut album, 1988’s Straight Outta Compton, introduced gangsta rap to the mainstream and shed light on the police brutality, violence, gang activity and drug dealing littering their community.

N.W.A released one more album, 1991’s N***az4Life, before going their separate ways. Ice Cube took the solo route and released his debut album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, in May of 1990 with the help of Public Enemy’s production crew, the Bomb Squad. The album debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by September of 1990. Death Certificate followed in 1991 (No. 2), The Predator in 1992 (No. 1) and Lethal Injection in 1993 (No. 5).

Among Ice Cube’s most successful records was the second single from The Predator, "It Was A Good Day." The song peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, No. 27 on the U.K. charts and No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his highest-charting single at the time. The album’s third single, "Check Yo’ Self" featuring Das EFX did even better, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts and No. 20 on the Hot 100.

Ice Cube released six more albums: War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc) (1998), War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) (2000), Laugh Now, Cry Later (2006), Raw Footage (2008), I Am the West (2010) and Everythang's Corrupt (2018). Simultaneously, Ice Cube became a legitimate movie star, appearing in cult classics like 1991’s Boyz n the Hood, 1995’s Friday and 2002’s Barbershop. In 2017, he launched Big3, a 3-on-3 basketball league featuring former NBA players.

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