Cali’s most successful hip hop star talks visual arts and what he's doing to help people with AIDS/HIV in the Black community.
Ice Cube is the kind of artist who has mastered the art of transformation. From the early days of hip hop when he was rolling Straight Outta Compton with N.W.A. in the late '80s in plaid shirts and Dickies, to the launch of his solo and Hollywood careers with classics like Boyz N the Hood and Friday to his religious conversion to Islam in 1996, Cube keeps it moving in ways that are awe-inspiring and authentic.
Most recently, he's venturing into the visual arts world by collaborating with RareInk and a worldwide network of artists to create some rare art pieces inspired by the Renaissance Man. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Cube explains once RareInk approached him with the concept he was instantly excited, thinking the idea was a creative way to offer his fans memorabilia. From artistic renditions of different album covers to the star's handprint on two different portraits, an idea he says came from Japanese Sumo wrestlers who do the same, Cube’s latest project hits close to home.
With every sale, 10% of the proceeds go to the Minority AIDS Project, which he says needs it because “AIDS and HIV is a major factor in the Black community and not a lot of programs out there are geared toward the people of my own community, so I've been involved with them since the '90s.” Cube sees this as a great way to collect some limited-edition art pieces as well as a way to give back.
If folks think this art thing is new, it seems the multi-talented 42-year-old has always been an artist. “When I got into high school I went into architectural drafting. It gave me an understanding of how to build things and it's really helped me put things in perspective,” he tells the Huffington Post. “With my music and my movies, to me it's all art.” Cube fans couldn’t agree more.
(Photo: Brad Barket/PictureGroup)