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Ice Cube XXX

 

The Diva's interview with
Ice Cube
One of the Stars of
XXX2 (2005)

 

 

 


 

 

To see Ice Cube in a movie such as xXx: State of the Union is a personal tour for myself as much as it is an awakening. Granted Cube has seen himself in several movies up to this point such as Friday, the Barbershop films and Are We There Yet? but we have yet seen him dare to venture into the extreme realm of action films... until now, and no, Torque does not count.

For me Ice Cube is and always will be a member of the now defunct gangster rap group N.W.A. and the author of such CDs as "Death Certificate" and "Lethal Injection," and never to forget "Amerikka's Most Wanted" with the phat track "Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside)" that is certainly one not to forget, long live Cube and long live Chuck D, but we are here to talk movies, and Cube is here to guide us through our discussion.

Starring in the soon-to-be-released spy-thriller xXx: State of the Union Ice Cube has some shoes to fill, starting with Vin Diesel who began the xXx series in 2002 but also those of James Bond as the xXx franchise is an obvious re-imagining of the popular British spy for the new age, so what does Cube think of the opportunity?

"I grew up on James Bond. My favorite one was Roger Moore. I mean, I don't remember - I'm a little young, I don't remember Sean Connery. When I got into James Bond, Roger Moore was the man in the '70s. After that, I kind of fell off with him, but with movies like xXx and the Die Hards, movies like that and Matrix, if you're in this game, you definitely want to get one of these under your belt somewhere."

Such a statement makes it easy to realize Cube has a head on his shoulders, but let's not forget who we are talking about. Ice Cube is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, hardcore rappers of all time, a man who spat in the face of the police and never had a kind word for authority, so what are his thought's on government now days?

"What do I really think of government? Oh, you know, I've got a lot of thoughts on the government. There's a lot of improvements. I don't know if America's ever going to live up to its promise until it really stops preying on its own citizens in so many ways. I never wanted to throw away the government. I just wanted to change it and adjust its policies a little bit."

Up to this point Cube is probably best known for the comedic movies his talents have been featured in such as Friday and the Barbershop films, and this year's highly successful family comedy Are We There Yet? So how does he transition into this hardcore action film?

"When I found out that they wanted me to do xXx, that it was going to be the real deal, I started training when I was on Are We There Yet? So every day after we would shoot, I would go down into the hotel gym and train for an hour, hour and a half or as much as I could get in. So I had it in the back of my mind, I didn't really think about xXx until I finished Are We There Yet? in a way. Only thing I did was worked out and I'm glad I did because I needed some of that even shooting Are We There Yet? because Are We There Yet? is a physical movie too. I was glad I got a jump on xXx but I wasn't really tripping on it. I was glad that I had xXx coming because I knew that my fans would, or people that are just into my career, would think I'm about to flip and try to be Eddie Murphy and do these kids movies, so this is a way to say, 'Okay, that first one was something for the kids and this is something for the big kids.'"

That last statement is music to my ears because the last thing we need is another Eddie Murphy. As for his thoughts on the xXx sequel he has lofty goals, "I want them to forget about the first one after they see this. I want them to say, 'Vin who?' No, nah, nah, nah. I just want them to believe that we delivered. What xXx was, the brand that it is, I just wanted to deliver on it and give people exactly what they expect out of the movie."

So what about Cube's future in music and movies, and what about the Friday franchise?

"Yeah, that's starting up again. It's starting to rekindle. Every time I put it to be, people start to ask about it. Mike Epps is asking about it and John Witherspoon wants to do another one, so when you get those people excited, you start to say, 'Hey!'"

Definitely, but as far as Chris Tucker's involvement in another Friday film Cube says, "He doesn't want to do it."

How about the music? Personally I think rap has become too mainstream and the hardcore rappers that once were, the Ice Cube's, Dr. Dre's and even Snoop Dogg to a point have disappeared, it has all turned to the bling, bling and showing off cars on "MTV Cribs." Does Cube feel the same?

"I don't know if it's gotten soft, it's more accepted. The focus is not on a political change but more partying, so I think that's what's softened up. The political aspect of us trying to become better through the music or trying to explain our position on certain policies the government, that's changed."

For me that is a change in the wrong direction as rap has become a spoken form of pop music with a better beat, so does Cube have anything up his sleeve, "You know, I still do hardcore music. I'll talk about what I see fit at the time. I really like repeating myself, but this new record that I'm working on, to me, has elements of old hip hop, the old stuff I used to do."

Can't argue with that, and with so many rappers turning to film Xzibit has got to enjoy having the chance to work with Ice Cube, one of the successful rappers to make the cross-over, so did Cube take this chance to mentor X about the craft of acting and the movie making biz?

"Yeah, I just told him each movie you do is your audition for your next one, so take it serious. Each day you can give a better performance, each day you step onto the scene, so stay focused. It's only a few months that you have to stay focused on this one thing, but if you nail it, you can set a career for yourself. I think he has a future in it. I think he's got a new movie already lined up, a football movie, so I think he's going to be kind of like the new up and coming guy who jumps in line with me, Will [Smith]and Queen Latifah."

A football movie Xzibit has, with another up and comer, The Rock, in Gridiron Gang, so maybe some of Cube's advice will be taken to heart. As for Cube's future films, there are a couple he is attached to but nothing in production as he tells us, "We've got a few things in development, in the mix. I don't really like to talk about it until I know that they can be made. Nothing specifically."

So until he decides what is next for him we can take solace in the fact that he isn't attaching himself to every film he is offered and besides Torque he hasn't made a bad choice to date.

xXx: State of the Union opens on April 29th and stars Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Nona M. Gaye and Xzibit. For more on the film including pics, trailers and clips click here.

I would like to thank Brad at Rope Of Silicon for his collaboration on this article.
 

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