Interview | Ice Cube: Real Life OG

Published August 19, 2010

Ice Cube is an OG in real life, so when it comes to his music and movie career, it makes sense that he’d play one on film too. In his latest role, Erik White’s “The Lottery Ticket,” Cube is Mr. Washington, a guy who appears to be the neighborhood weirdo until Bow Wow’s character, who in picking up valuable life lessons, discovers that he’s really just an ex-boxer who is misunderstood.

Cube says he got the inspiration for the movie character from his father and uncles. “You know, 70-year-old men who even though they’re up there in age, they still got that swagger about them.”  Apparently that inspiration also applies to Ice Cube’s work ethic. His career spans over 20 years and hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. BET caught up with Mr. “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” to get more details on “The Lottery Ticket,” his forthcoming album, future projects and whether or not there will be another “Friday.”

BET: Tell us about “The Lottery Ticket.”
Of course it’s about a dude who wins a lottery ticket, but more than that, to me, it’s about how everybody hates on you when you don’t got nothing.  Then, you come across love and people are real fake when you get successful.  So Bow Wow has to figure out who his real friends are. It’s a funny movie when it gets to that, and it deals with a lot of materialism.

There are some parallels to “Friday,” in a way.
I could see that comparison. When we did the “Friday” movie, we were fans of Cheech and Chong; it was born from Cheech and Chong. Now you got this young director, Erik White, who’s coming along getting his shot. I’m pretty sure he’s a fan of “Friday” and the “Barbershops,” and in this movie, of course, he’s paying homage to those movies.

Just going back to “Friday,” it’s been 15 years. There were rumors of a “Last Friday” coming out; what’s up with that?
I don’t know for sure, but I hope there’ll be another one. I would only do it if Chris Tucker was going to be in it, but as of now he doesn’t want to be in it.  Right now it’s just kind of in limbo.

Why doesn’t he want to be in it?
I don’t know exactly why. He never said it; he just said he wanted to do something else.

Are you guys still cool?
Yeah.

You’ve done a lot of movies, but what’s your favorite Ice Cube role of all time?
Dough Boy (from “Boyz n the Hood”) is one of my favorites because it’s my first movie and it’s a movie about the kind of the neighborhood we grew up in, and for a lot of sentimental reasons.

How about your least favorite role?
My least favorite is the character I did in “Ghosts of Mars.” I didn’t really like that movie so I was mad I did it. [Laughs]

How about your least favorite role?
My least favorite is the character I did in “Ghosts of Mars.” I didn’t really like that movie so I was mad I did it. [Laughs]

I was just having that conversation, wondering what it was like to agree to do a movie but then seeing it after the fact and being like, ‘What the heck?,’ when you realize it was bad.
[Laughs] Yeah, a lot of movies look good on paper, but when you shoot ’em and put ’em together it’s like, “Damn, that was kind of wack!”  

There was a lot of buzz about the “I Am the West” album for months but when is it coming out?
It will be out next month, the 28th of September. Go to icecube.com and check it out.

What can people expect?
It’s a West Coast record. It’s like all the West Coast artists from the last 10 years been trying to figure out what kind of record we need to do to—I hate the word get back on top—but just get back in the game. It has been too long and it’s really time for us to do what we do best and that’s what this record is.

Just like how we were talking about regretting movies, do you ever have moments where you look back at your music and regret some things?
Not at all. I feel like records are like time capsules so that’s how I was feeling at the time. That’s the record that came out, I’m cool with it.

Do your kids listen to your music?
Yep.

Are you cool to them or do they think you’re corny?
They like it.

What do you think Furious Styles (from “Boyz n the Hood”) would do if Trey and his girlfriend put out a sex tape?
[Laughs] He’d be furious, I guess.

Seriously, what are your thoughts on Montana Fishburne’s choice of a career path?
I don’t like it. I feel for Larry Fishburne and it’s just a sad situation. Every father ‘s job is to keep their daughter out of that. But it’s really on her. He didn’t do nothing wrong. She trippin’.

Are you in touch with him at all?
Nah, I see him when I see him.

When is “Black and White” coming back to television?
I wanted to bring it back but the network, FX, they got scared of it. It was too real for them so I kind of just left that concept where it is and I’m just moving on.

What else are you working on project-wise?
I got “Are We There Yet?” the television series, that’ll be back on in December. I’m about to film a movie with Woody Harrelson called “Rampart.” “Rampart” is one of the most corrupt divisions of the LAPD, so that’s cool. I’m also touring with my record, hustling and keeping it moving.

Any last words about “The Lottery Ticket”?
It’s funny. Anybody looking to come up, go check it out because Bow Wow shows you how to do it.

"The Lottery Ticket" is in theatres tomorrow.

Written by <P>By Starrene Rhett</P>

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