Ice Cube , byname of O’Shea Jackson, Sr. (born June 15, 1969, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), American rapper and actor whose membership in the seminal gangsta rap group N.W.A gained him acclaim and launched his controversial but successful solo career. Ice Cube is known by hip-hop critics and fans as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time; to many others, he is best known as a television and movie star.
Jackson was born in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood in South-Central Los Angeles. His mother, Doris, was a hospital clerk, and his father, Hosea, worked as a groundskeeper at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Ice Cube has credited his older brother, Clyde , with the conception of his stage name; when they were children, Clyde threatened to put his younger brother into the freezer until he became an ice cube.
Ice Cube became interested in hip-hop in his early teens and took to writing lyrics. After beginning the rap group C.I.A. (Cru’ in Action!) and performing with it for some time, and while still in school at George Washington Preparatory High School, he sold his first song to rapper Eazy-E and Ruthless Records. The song, originally titled “The Boyz-n-the-Hood,” was passed over by one rap group before being recorded by Eazy-E himself. The result was a major success as both Eazy-E’s first single and as the first collaboration between future N.W.A members Ice Cube, Eazy-E, producer and rapper Dr. Dre, and producer DJ Yella.
Ice Cube was credited again on the collaborative album N.W.A. and the Posse, which included the retitled “Boyz-in-the-Hood,” “8 Ball” (also written by Ice Cube), and “Dope Man,” which featured vocals by Ice Cube. Though the album featured songs by artists who were not members of N.W.A, the record company (Macola Records, not N.W.A’s own Ruthless Records) marketed it as an N.W.A album, bringing the group some recognition leading up to the 1988 release of its album Straight Outta Compton.
Between the two releases, however, Ice Cube left N.W.A to study