He was part-founder of the notorious N.W.A in the late eighties and early nineties, but what was Ice Cube’s first song?
Ice Cube’s first song was a controversial single titled AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. This track was released in 1990 and served as the lead single on the debut album of the same name.
Read on to learn more about Ice Cube’s infamous early musical years.
Not Straight Outta Compton
Everybody who knows N.W.A is likely aware of their connections to Compton. It’s where the group was founded, and where they grew out of. In the eighties and nineties, Compton was altogether a lawless district, and helped spawn the ‘gangsta’ rap genre of music.
Coincidentally, although he wrote lyrics suggesting the opposite, Ice Cube wasn’t from Compton. He did grow up in Los Angeles, but didn’t hail from the district that the N.W.A boasted as its foundation.
Some of the pioneers of this brand and sound were the N.W.A, a group of individual artists that joined together. They were notorious, and controversial, with their music being mostly banned in mainstream radio across the United States.
They were outspoken against the government, particularly the police and law enforcement. Although the group weren’t destined to last long – barely even five years – their legacy remained after they separated.
Ice Cube himself left the group in 1990, at the start of the year. He attributed his departure to financial disputes, but he wouldn’t linger on the decision. In the same year, he produced and released his debut album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.
He’d served as a lyricist and lead rapper for N.W.A, and that had cemented him as a credible contender in the industry. His solo albums began to see fantastic success, and through the nineties alone he released five albums.
Although his ratings slid a little as years went on, he remained a successful artist as time went on. He’d release a further five albums by 2018, while also enjoying a successful string of appearances in film and television.
Change of Pace
Ice Cube appeared in his first movie in 1991, with Boyz n the Hood marking his breakout acting role. He’d go on to star in a string of successful films throughout the nineties, but would begin acting in earnest after the millennium.
His filmography became quite extensive, and by 2020 he’d starred in around forty movies. He always gravitated toward the same character type: gruff, strict, and brash. He developed a comedic streak, and tended to land roles in humorous movies.
Ice Cube also tried his hand at producing and writing, already being accomplished with words. There was a one-off movie in 1998 titled The Players Club, which Ice Cube directed, produced, wrote and starred in. It wasn’t a huge success, but had a considerably strong cast.
You can see a trailer below for the 2015 movie, Straight Outta Compton, produced by Ice Cube.
The success experienced by Ice Cube in film and music permitted him a considerable fortune. As of 2020, his net worth was around $160 million, making him one of the richest rappers in the world.
However, he isn’t the most successful ex-member of N.W.A. That title is attributed to Dr. Dre, another co-founder of the infamous group. He branched out after the separation of the group and gravitated towards producing. He worked with some of the biggest and best industry names, and founded a huge list of brands.
Dre’s net worth would be almost one billion dollars in 2019. This extreme wealth can be attributed to his entrepreneurial spirit, endorsements, music and movie escapades, and business acumen.
Ice Cube certainly came a long way from his earliest beginnings in N.W.A. He’d established himself as a true, instantly recognizable persona among the world’s stars. In 2020, at fifty-one years of age, he showed no signs of stopping.