Ice Cube On 'Are We There Yet?'
Rap icon and producer Ice Cube has made a smooth transition from the music industry to movies and television, as he has already established himself as a successful actor, screenwriter and director. Producing and starring in the upcoming TBS comedy, Are We There Yet?, Ice Cube hopes this new project will contribute greatly to his already legendary career.
Ice Cube’s claim to fame started in the late 1980s when he was a member of the gangsta rap group, N.W.A., which consisted of other famous rappers such as Dr. Dre, Easy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren. By the time Ice Cube was a full time member of the group, he would find himself writing the majority of the lyrics to the group’s debut album, Straight Outta Compton, which would be released in 1988. Many fans viewed the album as a turning point in rap history, as it has been often credited for pioneering gangsta-rap music. With hits such as “Straight Outta Compton,” “Gangsta, Gangsta” and “Express Yourself,” the album would peak on the U.S. Billboard’s Top LPs list at number 37. Straight Outta Compton’s most famous song, despite not being released as a single, was the controversial track, “F*ck Tha Police.” This graphic number highlighted the many tensions that occur between the black youth and law enforcement, along with lyrical resentment toward cops. Ice Cube left the group in late 1989 over differences with manager, Jerry Heller.
In 1990, Ice Cube kickstarted his solo career with the release of his debut album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. The album was an instant success, as it peaked at number six on the US Billboard 200 charts. Like his former group’s previous album, this work was met with controversy, as its lyrical content included issues such as racism, drugs and poverty. Ice Cube would find even more success with the release of his second album, Death Certificate, which included hit singles such as “True To The Game” and “Steady Mobbin.” The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 charts. His third album, The Predator, remains the rapper’s most successful to this day as it peaked at number one in the U.S.. Hit singles such as “Wicked,” “Check Yo Self,” and arguably his most well known song, “It Was A Good Day,” all contributed to helping The Predator become one of the most successful rap albums in history. Ice Cube’s next studio album, Lethal Injection, was met with heavy criticism despite debuting at number five, due to many fans accusing Ice Cube of toning down his controversial content from previous records. In 2000, the rapper released War & Peace Volumes 1&2, which ended up being a commercial success peaking at number three in the U.S. Ice Cube’s last two albums, Laugh Now, Cry Later and Raw Footage both ended up in the top five of the Billboard 200 charts, solidifying his status as one of the successful rap artists in history.
During the mid-nineties, Ice Cube put his rap career on hold to focus more on film. After already being featured in movies such as Boyz N The Hood, Trespass and The Glass Shield, Ice Cube was encouraged by director John Singleton to take up screenwriting. The rapper-turned screenwriter would eventually write the screenplay for Friday, along with it’s two sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next. The Friday film series would feature such A-list actors Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac and John Witherspoon. Few years later, Ice Cube would make his directorial debut in The Players Club. Ice Cube would also find himself starring in films such as Anaconda, Three Kings, Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Torque and XXX: State Of The Union.
In our exclusive interview with the rap legend, Ice Cube discusses topics such as his involvement, the process of being an executive producer and his most memorable experience working on Are We There Yet? Check it out here:
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Joe Roth, who runs Revolution Studios which is where the movies were made, said he wanted to do a third movie. I really wasn't interested in doing that role again on - as a feature. So he said, you know, 'I've got another idea.' He said, 'What if we took it to TV? Are you interested in producing?' That really kind of turned me on especially when he said that he had talked to Ali LeRoi and we were thinking about Terry Crews - it just kind of all came together. It was like a no-brainer. TBS who had done these shows with Tyler Perry so well - it was the perfect place for a sitcom like Are We There Yet?
Well, just being a producer, period. It allows me to work on multiple projects and be really in the mix, you know, where the decisions are being made. And the shape of the show and, what we're trying to do. It's a little tricky with ten episodes, hopefully we'll be able to really dig in there and do some very, very interesting television.
Just going out and getting with the cast for the first time on the set. We're shooting in Connecticut. And, after talking about this thing but to actually come together and start shooting, Episode 1. I think we're all going to remember that time, especially if we get picked up. I think we're all going to remember the first day because, if we get picked up, after we get going it's definitely going to just be a memory.