Ice Cube
Birth Date:
June 15, 1969
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Famous for:
His hit debut album Straight Outta Compton (1989)
actor, musician, director, song writer
Hawthorne Christian School, Los Angeles, California
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First coming to prominence as part of the influential West Coast group N.W.A., multi faceted Ice Cube emerged as a successful solo rapper in the 1990s thanks to his platinum releases “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted” (1990), “Death Certificate” (1991), “The Predator” (1992), “Lethal Injection” (1993) and “War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc)” (1998). During this period, he also produced five No. 1 rap hit singles: “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted,” “Wicked,” “It Was a Good Day,” “Check Yo Self” and “Pushin' Weight.” His musical career decreased significantly when he began concentrating on acting. His upcoming ninth studio album, “I Am the West,” is scheduled to be released in September 2010.

Ice Cube made his promising acting debut in John Singleton's Academy Award nominated feature “Boyz n the Hood” (1991), where he picked up a Chicago Film Critics Association Award for his performance. He continued to gain recognition in “Higher Learning” (1995), “Dangerous Ground” (1997), “Anaconda” (1997), “Three Kings” (1999), “xXx: State of the Union” (2005), “The Longshots” (2008) and “The Janky Promoters” (2009), among other movies. He is also known for playing Craig Jones in the comedy “Friday” (1995, also wrote the screenplay) and the sequels “Next Friday” (2000) and “Friday After Next” (2002), as Calvin Palmer in “BarberShop” (2002) and “BarberShop 2: Back in Business” (2004) and Nick Persons in “Are We There Yet” (2005) and “Are We Done Yet” (2007). He made his directorial debut with “The Players Club” (1998), where he also served as executive producer, wrote the screenplay and had a small role. The Los Angeles native ventured into television producing with “Barbershop: The Series” (Showtime, 2005), “Black. White” (FX, 2006) and “Are We There Yet” (TBS, 2010).

O'Shea Jackson

Childhood and Family:

Ice Cube was born O'Shea Jackson on June 15, 1969, in Los Angeles, California. He was raised by his father, Hosea Jackson, a machinist and groundskeeper at UCLA, and his mother, Doris Jackson, a custodian and hospital clerk. He attended Hawthorne Christian School in Los Angeles and graduated from William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California, where he began writing rap in keyboarding class. He spent one year studying architectural drafting at the Phoenix Institute of Technology in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1992, Ice Cube married Kimberly Woodruff. The couple has four children. Ice Cube is cousins with hip hop artist Del the Funkee Homosapien (born Teren Delvon Jones) and emcee Kim (born Craig Miller).

Ice Cube converted to Islam in the 1990s.

The Predator


Ice Cube formed his first hip hop group, C.I.A., in 1984 with Sir Jinx and K-Dee. The group first performed at parties organized by Dr. Dre and then provided backup vocals on “Cabbage Patch,” a song by Dr. Dre's hip hop group World Class Wreckin' Cru. Prior to their breakup in 1987, C.I.A. launched an album titled “My Posse,” which was produced by Dr. Dre.

Ice Cube’s partnership with Dr. Dre continued when the two joined the group N.W.A, founded by former drug dealer Eazy-E. On November 6, 1987, N.W.A. released the compilation album “N.W.A. and the Posse” under Macola Records. It peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and was certified gold by RIAA. Ice Cube wrote the album's single “Boyz-n-the-Hood,” which became the debut single of Eazy-E.

Ice Cube's first big break arrived with “Straight Outta Compton” (1988), the debut studio album by N.W.A. The album received primarily positive reviews from music critics and was a commercial success. It made the Top 10 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (#9) and peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard 200. Considered as the pioneering record of gangsta rap, the album was eventually certified double platinum by RIAA. Ice Cube rapped the opening verse on the title track, which he also co-wrote with MC Ran and Eazy-E. He also lent his writing talents to the singles “Gangsta Gangsta” (#11 US Rap) and “Express Yourself” (#2 US Rap). Despite the album's success, Ice Cube quit N.W.A. in late 1989 over royalty disagreements.

In 1990, Ice Cube made his debut as a solo artist with the release of “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted.” Released under Priority Records, his debut album was a surprise hit. It charted at No. 6 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and went gold within 10 days of its release. The album eventually went platinum thanks to the title track, which rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs.

By 1991, Ice Cube had branched out to acting when he made his debut in John Singleton's “Boyz n the Hood” (the title was taken from Ice Cube's N.W.A.'s single), where he was cast as Darin “Doughboy” Baker, opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr., Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Angela Bassett, Regina King and Laurence Fishburne. The film was nominated for Oscars for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Ice Cube won a Chicago Film Critics Association in the category of Most Promising Actor for his performance. Also in 1991, Ice Cube released his second solo studio album, “Death Certificate,” which rocketed to No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The album went platinum within two months of its release. However, because of some of its controversial content, the album became the subject of criticism upon its release. Also that year, Ice Cube released a successful extended play named “Kill at Will” (#34 US, #5 US R&B).

On November 17, 1992, Ice Cube resurfaced with his most successful album, “The Predator,” which went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts. It was certified double platinum in the U.S. and silver in the U.K. The album spawned three No. 1 rap hit singles with “Wicked” (1992), “It Was a Good Day” (1992) and “Check Yo Self” (featuring Das EFX, 1993), which went to No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Later that same year, Ice Cube costarred with Bill Paxton and rapper Ice-T in Walter Hill's “Trespass.”

The album “Lethal Injection” followed on December 7, 1993. Marking another commercial success for the rapper, the album became his third consecutive No. 1 release on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and his third Top 10 hit on the Billboard 200 (#5). The album yielded three Top 10 singles with “Really Doe,” “You Know How We Do It” and “Bop Gun (One Nation)” (featuring George Clinton).

Ice Cube next landed roles in Charles Burnet's “The Glass Shield” (1994, as Teddy Woods), John Singleton's “Higher Learning” (1995), where he earned an Image nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of Fudge, and the short film “Murder Was the Case” (1995), which was directed by Dr. Dre and Fab Five Freddy and starred Snoop Dogg. He also contributed the song “Natural Born Killaz” (with Dr. Dre) to the “Murder Was the Case” soundtrack. Ice Cube then co-wrote (with DJ Pooh), executive produced and starred with Chris Tucker in “Friday” (1995), a movie directed by F. Gary Gray. The film received primarily favorable reviews from critics and grossed over $28 million worldwide. For his performance, Ice Cube was nominated for a 1996 MTV Movie in the category of Best On-Screen Duo, which he shared with Tucker. He also performed the title track for the film's hit soundtrack.

In 1997, Ice Cube co-starred with Elizabeth Hurley in Darrell Roodt's “Dangerous Ground” (also executive produced and sang “The World Is Mine” on the soundtrack) and teamed up with Jennifer Lopez for the box office hit “Anaconda” (directed by Luis Llosa) before making his directorial debut with “The Players Club” (1998), which he wrote and produced. Starring Bernie Mac and LisaRaye McCoy, the dramatic comedy grossed over $23 million at the box office with an original budget of $5 million. Ice Cube also played the small role of Reggie and produced and performed several songs on the soundtrack, including “We Be Clubbin'” and “You Know I'm a How” (with Master P). The same year, he appeared with Master P in the comedy “I Got the Hook Up.”

After a five year gap, on November 17, 1998, Ice Cube released his fifth studio album, “War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc),” which rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and No. 7 on the Billboard 200. The album went platinum in the U.S. and gold in Canada and produced the rap No. 1 single “Pushin' Weight” (featuring Mr. Short Khop). The follow up, “War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc),” was released on March 21, 2000. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The most successful single from the album, “You Can Do It,” (featuring Mack 10 & Ms. Toi) peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs. Meanwhile, in 1999, he was featured in the independent film “Thicker Than Water” (with Fat Joe and Mack 10) and “Three Kings” (with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg). Playing Chief Elgin in the David O. Russell film, he shared a 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment for Favorite Action Team and was nominated for a Black Reel for Theatrical - Best Supporting Actor. In 2000, he reprised his role of Craig Jones for the sequel “Next Friday,” which he also produced and wrote. The role brought him a MTV Movie nomination for Best Comedic Performance.

Next up for Ice Cube, he starred in John Carpenter's “Ghosts of Mars” (2001), as Detective Bucum in Kevin Bray's “All About the Benjamins” (2002), which he co-wrote with Ronald Lang and produced, and Tim Story's comedy “Barbershop” (2002), for which he earned a Black Reel nomination for Theatrical - Best Actor and an Image nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. He again reprised his role of Craig in the 2002 installment “Friday After Next.” 2004 saw him in the motorcycle feature “Torque,” directed by Joseph Khan, and the sequel “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” (2004), this time helmed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan. His performance in the latter film earned a BET Comedy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Box Office Movie and a Black Reel nomination for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy. He went on to receive a BET Comedy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Theatrical Film, a Black Movie nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture and a Kids' Choice Blimp Award nomination for Favorite Movie Actor for his portrayal of protagonist Nick Persons in Brian Levant's “Are We There Yet” (2005, also a producer). The same year, he played Darius Stone in “xXx: State of the Union,” a sequel to the 2002 film “xXx.” He also executive produced the comedy film “Beauty Shop” (2005; starred Queen Latifah and Alicvia Silverstone), a spin off from “Barbershop,” as well as the TV sitcom “Barbershop: The Series,” which appeared on Showtime from August 14 to October16, 2005, and the six part FX documentary series “Black. White” (2006).

Back to music, Ice Cube released the album “Laugh Now, Cry Later” on June 6, 2006, under his own indie label, Lench Mob Records, which was founded in 2004. “Laugh Now, Cry Later” peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. In 2007, he executive produced “Friday: The Animated Series” and recreated his role of Nick Persons on the sequel “Are We Done Yet” (directed by Steve Carr; also a producer), for which he was nominated for a Kids' Choice Blimp Award for Favorite Male Movie Star. He next starred as Durell in David E. Talbert's “First Sunday” (2008), Curtis Plummer in “The Longshots” (2008) and Russell Redds in “The Janky Promoters” (2009, also a writer). Ice Cube also produced all the films. His eighth studio album, “Raw Footage,” was released on August 19, 2008. It peaked at No, 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 5 on the Billboard 200.

Recently, in 2010, Ice Cube executive produced the small screen adaptation of his movie “Are We There Yet,” which debuted on TBS on June 2, 2010. He also played the recurring role of Terrence on the show. He returned to the director's chair to helm an episode of ESPN's documentary series “30 for 30” called “Straight Outta L.A.,” which aired on May 11, 2010. On the film front, Ice Cube played the supporting role of Mr. Washington in “Lottery Ticket” (2010, also executive produced), a comedy starring Bow Wow that was directed by Erik White. He will play a role in the upcoming action movie “Rampart” (2011).

Ice Cube's new studio album, “I Am the West,” is set to be released on September 28, 2010.


  • Urbanworld Film Festival: MECCA Movie Award, Acting Award, 2002

  • Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Action Team, “Three Kings,” 2000

  • Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA): Most Promising Actor, “Boyz n the Hood,” 1992

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