Sitting down with a man of many hats– rapper, actor, filmmaker and basketball league founder Ice Cube joined Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast to discuss how Cube has thrived in multiple industries over the years.
In the mood of transparency, Marc opened up this episode explaining that he was a tad bit nervous for this conversation with Ice Cube. Not only because the former NWA rapper has a sort of "intense" demeanor along with a scowl that has Marc spooked but also because back in 2020, Ice Cube was accused of being anti-Semitic. But, as a Jewish man himself, he chose peace and decided to stay away from the topic.
However, despite Marc's nervousness the conversation flowed smoothly and the two even shared some laughs and related on the importance of vinyl and record collections over digital streaming.
Diving into how Ice Cube first got started making music and working on movies, it all started when he was younger, taking electives in middle school. He explained that one year, he hadn't met with his counselor so he was thrown in what he describes as "odd-ball a** classes." One was a typewriting class and the other was some sort of film critiquing class. While young Ice Cube thought these classes were "boring," they ultimately prepared him for successful careers in both the music and film industry.
"Sometimes God knows what you gone do before you do it, so if you find yourself somewhere and you don't understand why, just f****ng pay attention," Cube said.
It was in that typewriting class that Cube began writing raps. Out of boredom, he and another classmate challenged each other to see who could write the best rap. At the time, Cube had never wrote a rap before but after he spit his and realized his rap was original and better, "I just never stopped writing," he said. It ultimately became addictive and he started doing rap battles.
The typewriting class also prepared him for his career as a filmmaker as he writes all of his scripts. This is also where the film class came into play because it gave him the critical analysis skills to know what makes a good film and what doesn't.
Talking about his transition from music to filmmaking, Ice Cube said he "thanks God" for John Singleton's persistence and teaching him to "follow your vision."
He recalled the first time he met the incomparable director, he was backstage at The Arsenio Hall Show, where Singleton was working as an intern at the time. "He just kind of popped up every now and then saying 'I got this perfect movie for you' and I'm like 'I'm not an actor,'" he revealed. But thanks to Singleton's persistence, Cube eventually read the script for Boyz n the Hood and was blown away.
Noting how relatable the script was to Cube's actual life he felt like "I could play any of these guys."
The "It Was A Good Day" rapper credits Singleton with giving him the confidence to write scripts and become a filmmaker. But while music and movies are what Cube is most famously known for, his latest venture includes co-founding a 3-on-3 basketball league called BIG 3.
"As a fan I wanted to see it, I'm a guy who hibernates in the summer because sports is so bad. When basketball season is over, don't wake me up till the start of the NFL season," he shared on what motivated him to creating this 3-on-3 summer league. As he continued he revealed that he and partner, Jeff Kwatinetz spent about a year trying to plan out how the league would look and rules.
The league is currently on their sixth season with 12 teams.
He also revealed that he is currently working on a new album, titled Man Down and throughout the process of making it, he says "it feels great, it got a lot of soul in it."
Check out the full WTF Podcast episode with Ice Cube above.