Real name: O'Shea Jackson
Birthdate: June 15, 1969
Partner: Kim Jackson
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Ice Cube was born as O'Shea Jackson to Doris Benjamin, a hospital clerk, and Andrew Jackson. Whom later worked at UCLA. He was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. At age sixteen, he developed an interest in hip hop music, and began writing raps in Taft High School's keyboarding class. He attended the Phoenix Institute of Technology in the fall of 1987, and studied Architectural Drafting. With friend Sir Jinx, Cube formed the C.I.A., and they performed at parties hosted by Dr. Dre.
After Dr. Dre left N.W.A. and Ruthless Records, he and Cube fostered a brief reunion. They planned a new project together, Helter Skelter, also to include appearances by MC Ren and Snoop Dogg with writing from The D.O.C.. Tiring of his label's gangster rap image, Dre admonished Cube to follow an "end of the world type of ". When reporters asked the pair what they were working on in Dre's studio, they joked N.W.E. - Niggaz Without Eazy.
The two quickly recorded a heavily P-Funk-influenced song with George Clinton called "You Can't See Me"; the song would later be taken by Suge and used for 2Pac's Death Row debut, which Dre had been neglecting. Dre instead began work on beats for Helter Skelter, bouncing concepts off of an increasingly disgruntled D.O.C. who, despite severed vocal cords and Dre's advice, wanted to rap. Eventually he got fed up and moved out of Dre's house to Atlanta, taking his possessions with him - as well as the reels of music - to record his own version of Helter Skelter. With other personal and business commitments by Dre, work on the album trailed off and eventually stopped.
The message that Ice Cube conveys in "Black Korea" is not completely accurate, even in his own estimation. He admits that the song contains generalizations made for greater impact: "'Black Korea' is my observation on the situation of how some Korean businesses treat black customers," he explains. "I can understand how some people hear my records on the wrong level. I mean, rap is more of a bragging thing. You don't make rap records that say, "Yo, I'm mad, so I'm gonna bring financial pressure on you." His motive is to elicit a response from the black community, not to terrorize all Korean grocers. In his attempt to heighten black awareness, however, Ice Cube unnecessarily detracts from the Korean Community. His lyrics are not only degrading, but they project as general truths what he admits are isolated incidents. Rather than fostering knowledge and concern, they incite undue anger and suspicion.
Cube's rap technique is often straightforward, without the use of many similes. He is known for the social commentary in his songs, and implies that he just reports things how he sees them, though some critics accuse him of racism for epithets such as "caveman" and "devil". His solo style never differed from his N.W.A. days, using defensive and offensive violence or simply bragging, narratives and political hip hop like several popular East Coast acts of the time.
His first album, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, deals with straightforward topics such as poverty, racism and drug abuse in the ghetto. In order for the listener to easily relate, Cube would often use first person narration, as he does in the song "Once Upon A Time In The Projects", where he is arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His style has shown to influence the early work of 2Pac .