Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

>Ice Cube


SINCE HIS EARLY DAYS WITH HARDCORE rappers N.W.A., Ice Cube has been a controversy machine. None of his inflammatory statements supporting Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam or denigrating gays and women have damaged either his standing in the hip-hop community or his sales. The Predator, his third solo disc, entered Billboard's pop and black charts at No. 1, the first record to do so since Stevie Wonder's 1976 Songs in the Key of Life (but Predator hit both the same week).

"I'm pro-black," says the 23-year-old L.A. native (who stars with Ice-T in the new film Trespass). "The only thing I'm anti is poor." Well, not quite. "I'm talking to the brothers out there who are killing their own kind, and I ain't with that.... There's a bigger enemy than another black man in the same situation you're in."

For Cube, "the standards of beauty in America, the TV shows," are part of the bigger enemy. "When a black person tries to follow that, they look at their own features and say, 'Damn, I'm far from that.' You end up hating yourself and anybody who looks like you." Another facet is white complacency: "I'm talking about the whites who ain't speaking out, who sit back and enjoy their luxuries and have no sympathy....We got a race of 400 yards; I done carried you for 300, and now you wanna run the rest out? You got fresh legs. Everything ain't equal, ain't fair, ain't nice. Can we all get along now? It can't happen 'cause we're mentally, physically and economically not in the same position as white America, who we helped to build this wonderful, beautiful country."

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