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Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, and filmmaker. His lyrics on N.W.A’s 1988 album Straight Outta Compton contributed to gangsta rap’s widespread popularity, and his political rap solo albums of 1990 (AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted) and 1991 (Death Certificate) were critically and commercially successful. He has also had an active film career since the early 1990s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of N.W.A in 2016.
A native of Los Angeles, Jackson formed his first rap group called C.I.A. in 1986. In 1987, with Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, he formed the pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A. As its lead rapper, he wrote some of Dre’s and most of Eazy’s lyrics on Straight Outta Compton, a landmark album that shaped West Coast hip hop’s early identity and helped differentiate it from East Coast rap. N.W.A was also known for their violent lyrics, threatening to attack abusive police and innocent civilians alike, which stirred controversy. After a monetary dispute over the group’s management by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, Cube left N.W.A in late 1989, teaming with New York artists and launching a solo rap career. His first two solo albums, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990) and Death Certificate (1991), were critically acclaimed.
Ice Cube entered cinema by playing Doughboy in director John Singleton’s feature debut Boyz n the Hood, a 1991 drama named after a 1987 rap song that Ice Cube wrote. Ice Cube also co-wrote and starred in the 1995 comedy film Friday; it premised a successful franchise and reshaped his persona into a friendly movie star. His directorial debut was the 1998 film The Player’s Club. By 2020, his acting roles included about 40 films, among them the 1999 war comedy Three Kings, family comedies like the Barbershop series, and buddy cop comedies 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, and Ride Along. He was an executive producer of many of these films, as well as of the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton.