Af­ter 25 years, Ice Cube’s still got some­thing to say

Khaleej Times - City Times - - TOP TUNES AND MORE -

It’s been more than 25 years, and Ice Cube’s still got some­thing to say.

The 48-year-old en­ter­tainer has come a long way from his start as part of the West Coast rap group N.W.A. and later a solo artist, branch­ing into movies and now found­ing a soon-to-be­launched half-court bas­ket­ball league. But some things haven’t changed, like his will­ing­ness to call out law en­force­ment on the way he sees polic­ing done and to speak his mind on race is­sues, like he did re­cently when he took late-night host Bill Ma­her to task for his use of the N-word dur­ing a show.

He brought that at­ti­tude to the 25th an­niver­sary rere­lease this month of his 1991 solo al­bum, Death Cer­tifi­cate, with its newly added-on lead sin­gle, Good Cop, Bad Cop. Asked for his thoughts about where the coun­try is with polic­ing, es­pe­cially in the wake of sev­eral high-pro­file shoot­ings of mi­nori­ties by of­fi­cers, he was blunt: “Same as we al­ways been.”

“Po­lice have a phi­los­o­phy, they have a the­ory, they have a way of do­ing stuff, it’s win at all costs,” Cube, born O’Shea Jack­son, said Tues­day in an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated

Press. “Win now, apol­o­gize later, that’s the model. By hav­ing that way of think­ing and that phi­los­o­phy, it’s all about ‘Us against Them,’ that’s the men­tal­ity.”

Good Cop, Bad Cop calls on good cops to speak and act against cor­rupt po­lice of­fi­cers, a far cry from the at­ti­tude in N.W.A’s in­fa­mous song, F--- tha Po­lice, but Cube said he’s “al­ways re­ally hoped good po­lice would take care of bad cops,” that while the 1988 song was a “re­venge fan­tasy” type of thing against po­lice abuse, the new song is a plea for hon­ourable cops to step up and speak out.

“They’re our last line of de­fense against this on­slaught of abuse,” he said.

He has seen changes he thinks are pos­i­tive, he said, point­ing to of­fi­cers in fa­tal shoot­ings at least get­ting to the stage of un­der­go­ing tri­als, even if con­vic­tions are still ex­tremely rare. In the days of his youth, “po­lice could do no wrong ... now you fast for­ward 25 years later, at least the cops are be­ing put on trial for their ac­tions.”

And it’s not just the po­lice that Cube is will­ing to, well, po­lice. His ap­pear­ance on

Real Time With Bill Ma­her was noted for his strong crit­i­cism of Ma­her, who had jok­ingly re­ferred to him­self by us­ing the N-word dur­ing the pre­vi­ous week’s episode. Cube told Ma­her, “That’s our word, and you can’t have it back.”

He told The AP, “I know some peo­ple say, ‘You from a group called N----- With At­ti­tude and you got a prob­lem with other peo­ple say­ing that,’ and yeah, I do. I re­ally do.”

What’s he up to these days? Cube re­cently launched Big3, a three-on-three pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball league he co­founded which kicked off last Sun­day.

Peo­pled by former pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball play­ers like Allen Iver­son and Gary Pay­ton, Cube en­vi­sioned a league that func­tions like a trav­el­ling “bas­ket­ball fes­ti­val” for fans like him.

Po­lice have a phi­los­o­phy, they have a the­ory, they have a way of do­ing stuff, it’s win at all costs.” Ice Cube

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