Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
On the set of his new movie Friday After Next, Ice Cube donned multiple hats: actor, screenwriter, producer...and social director. During breaks he could often be found challenging the cast and crew to pickup basketball games, scooter races and PlayStation2 competitions. "We worked hard," says Cube, "but ask anyone—we had fun."
Cube, 33, has been doing a lot of both lately. Since his movie debut in 1991's Boyz N the Hood, he has appeared in more than 20 films, including Next, the third installment of his Friday comedies, which had a solid $13.1 million opening last weekend. Meanwhile a sequel to his summer hit Barbershop is already in development, and he has an album due out next summer. But he isn't ready to relax. Says Cube: "I want to become a brand to America, like Coca-Cola."
At home the only label that matters to the rapper is Dad. "My family are a constant reminder that it's not all about me," says Cube (born O'Shea Jackson), who lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 10 years, Kim Jackson, and their four kids. "We're in Hollywood, but we're not Hollywood." Not that he's averse to the monetary perks. Three years ago he purchased a luxury box at L.A.'s Staples Center so that he could watch his beloved Lakers. "I love my sports," he explains. "In the box, the kids can do their schoolwork and watch games. There are couches, a TV, room service. That's still the best present I bought myself."
When it comes to giving gifts, however, Cube is a bit less creative. "I always ask [my parents and siblings] what they want for Christmas, and they say, 'Get us what you got us last year.' " Which was? "A check," he laughs. "Little pieces of paper that they just love. Man, who wouldn't?"