Ice Cube stopped by Last Call with Carson Daly on Friday to pitch for his new movie ‘Friday After Next’. His gig on the NBA entertainment league, the rising success of hip hop in Hollywood, and more. Read on for a rough transcript.
Carson: Please welcome the man behind “friday after next,” the one and
only ice cube.
[ Cheers and applause ] Relax. Make yourself at home.
Ice Cube: No doubt. No doubt, man.
Carson: It’good to have you here, cube. Thank you.
Ice Cube: Thanks, man. Thanks for having me.
Ice Cube:Arson: You’ve been working on ysketball game, I unde
Ice Cube: A little bit, you know, I got a little skills.
Carson: You always had skills. You play in a league out in L.A. Or something?
The big, like —
Ice Cube: Yeah, the nba have
entertainment league, and all ths me out on sundays, and we all play
for teams. I play for the cavaliers.
Carson: Who’s on your team?
Ice Cube: We got flex on my team, a couple other cool people.
Carson: Are you guys good?
Ice Cube: Yeah, yeah, we tight this year. We tight this year. Ar who
else plays the league?Y?
Ice Cube: You know wh roger lodge from —
Carson: Who’s that?Ice Cube: Tuy from “blind date.” Uld shoot three
[ Laughter ]
Carson: The guy w hosts “blind date” is a good outside jumper?
Ice Cube: He could shoot three pointers, man.
Carson: Do guard him?
Ice Cube: Sometimes, you know what I’m saying, but you gotta stay tight
Carson: He’s that good, huh?
Ice Cube: He’s pretty good.
Carson: Well, listen, there’s so much I want to talk to you about. I
respect you. I was mentnining, when I was in high school in L.A., We used
to play “‘f’ the police” when parties were getting broken up. I think I
might have told you this before. The first time I ever met chuck D., I
went up to, and I was, like — obviously being white, growing up in santa
monica, california, nwa was a group that very much moved me as did P.E.
And I told him, and he was, like, “get away from me, you creepy white kid.”
I was reciting lyrics to him. He’s like, “get away.” But I respect you
and everything you’ve been able to do since then. You wereeally a eer.Hip-hop
and hollywood right now are closer than they’ve probably ever been, especially
with “8 mile” and eminem, and a lot of rappers doing it — but how did
you hook up
singleton back in the day for “boyz n the hood”?
Ice Cube: Oh, you know, singleton, he kind of — ursued me. He seen
me at a couple places, and he actually seen me at a public enemy kind of
affair one time. And he just came up to me. He said, “look, I’m a junior
at usc. I got this script called ‘boyz n the hood.’ You’d be perfect for
it.” And I told him, “get out of here, man. I ain’t trying to do that.
I’m rappin’, I’m in N.W. — I’m doing my thing.” So for two years, he kept
after me. Ony, he sent me a script, told me to come down and audition.
Went down and auditioned.
Carson: But at that point, wh was it like when you went down to audition
for your first
Ice Cube: I w weak. I was whack.
Carson: Was there a bunch of people in the room, and they’re like, “all
right now, go,” and you would just start reading the part?
Ice Cube: Yeah. It was me, him and a couple of producers. You know what
I’m saying? But I did terrible, man. It was a whack experience.
Carson: Were you nervous?
Ice Cube: No, it didn’t read the sc. I juidn’t take it serious. And
he ended up saying, “you know, I’ll give you one more shot. Go home, read
my script, come back. I’ll give you one more shot.” And when I read it,
you know, it was, man, this was my neighborhood unfolding in the movies.
So I got the part the next time I went in.
Carson: Does this surprise you now how well hip-hop has done in hollywood?
Ice Cube: It doesn’t surprise me, man. To me, it’s a natural progression.
You know what I mean, a lot of hip-hoppers are a fan to movies, you know
what I’m saying. You hear a lot of movie influence in the records. We have
chances to be around cameras and do videos, put videos together. You know,
and just do things that kind of get us ready for the film world.
Carson: And aren’t really the best actors the ones that are simply believable
in bringing reality to the screen? And wouldn’t somebody from a hip-hop
background probably be better than others at that? Like, you haven’t taken
anyacting classes, have you?
Ice Cube: No, no, never took an acting class. It’s just a natural thing,
and you know, I log. I studied the grt actors, but I don’t think going
to a class and doing all these crazy exercises is gonna help me do a movie
Carson: Shut your eye you’re a tree. Show me nervous. Show me nervous.
Ice Cube: You’re a chicken dinner. Go ahead.
[ Laughter ]
Carson: Was it hard for you, a guy — you had a verse in “burn, hollywood,
burn,” with big daddy kane and chuck. Was it hard for you to get accepted
Ice Cube: No, you know, with “burn, hollywood, burn,” we was wanting
to burn it down ’cause we were excluded. But now we’re trailblazing through
hollywood. We’re setting trends, and we making it easier for rappers to
come behind us to pursue they dreams. And just become bigger.
Carson: Cubevision, which is your company, tell me about “barbershop.”
It was a big box office hit, but the criticism was for some of the humor
in the movie — were you surprised at where the criticism came from? Because
it came from jesse jackson and al sharpton.
Ice Cube: Yeah, you know, I thought it was a non-issue, to be honest,
as far as what they was beefing about. We had a fictional movie with fictional
characters, and the people who were really protesting the movie hadn’t
even seen it. So I just didn’t pay no attention, man, because don’t criticize
me if you haven’t seen what you’re criticizing. I thought it wasn’t even
reason for me to even come out saying anything about it.
Carson: Nobody I know who ever even saw the movie was offended by that
or thought that. Everybody thought it was just funny.
Ice Cube: Exactly. The movie was about honesty. It was about a place
where you can say what you want to say, be who you want to be. All the
public figures gotta understand, when people go to the barbershop, they’ll
sit in the chair, talk about they sister, they uncle. They’ll talk about
they family members. So they’re gonna talk about public figures, too. You
know, nobody’s exempt from being criticized or even talked about or even
Carson: And they’re all characters, anyway, from the barbershop. There’s
always that one guy that says stuff like the rosa parks line or the O.J.
Line or whatever it might be. There’s just different personalities in the
barbershop. Tell me a little bit about cubevision and how it’s going for
you because you seemingly have done well. You’ve had six new line films
that have all been profitable. You’ve been able to keep budgets low and
have great returns. Do you feel like you’re just an extremely hot commodity
to hollywood with your company?
Ice Cube: You know, I hope so. We out there. We doing the kind of movies
that we know that won’t get made any other way. Having fun doing it. The
company is growing, and people are starting to respect the company because,
you know, we’ve made successful movies. Knock on wood, “friday after next”
will be successful. Just trying to maintain a level of quality, you know,
in this arena.
Carson: As an actor, writer, prucer, director, who is it thook hen you,
let’s say, study to direct a film or something? Who e of the greats to
Ice Cube: Oh, some of theats. You gotta saat scorses of the world, but
in my area, you gotta talk about the spike lees and you know, just some
people who kind of took a concept and blew it up. You gotta talk about
the john singletons that took something that he lived through. Experiences
of growing up in a neighborhood and blew it up. Now everybody is kind of
borrowing from that even years later.
Carson: Opening some doors for that. True, “friday” is the most stolen
video at video stores.
[ Laughter ]
Ice Cube: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Carson: Is that good or bad?
Ice Cube: It’s a good thing. You know, it’s a good thing.
Carson: That people are walking in and stealing your dvd?
Ice Cube: They love the movie, you know what I’m saying, that’s what
it’s all about. If they love the movie —
Carson: Doesn’t it upset you that they’re not paying the 20 bucks to
Ice Cube: You know, everybody gets paid from theseovovies, and people
don’t care when they watch a movie how much it costs or how much it made.
People just want to enjoy it. If they can watch our movie over and over
and over again, even steal it to see it, to me, that tells me that we did
our job. We made a hell of a movie, and that’s the real — the real art
in this is trying to make a good movie that people can enjoy more than
Carson: Right, and were you worried ’cause chris tucker didn’t come
back for “next friday.” I know some people were written out, it might have
been weird, although you still had a great opening weekend. The film was
about $10 million, made $60 million or something with mike epps as the
replacement. Did that make you nervous?
Ice Cube: Well, you know, you want to be — you want to please all the
— and “friday” can have traditionalists. You know what I’m saying, you
want to make sure that everybody’s digging that. So the second movie was
more of an introduction into a life without chris. Ne”friday,” new characters
and just to see if people would take to it, people love mike epps, and
bringing him back for the third one was just a piece of cake.
Carson: All right. You know this clip we’re about to see right here?
Ice Cube: Yeah, yeah, this is a clip where — the movie’s called “friday
after next.” It’s christmas in the ‘hood, d this is a clip where, you know,
we get our apartment broke into by a santa claus who’s not giving presents.
He’s stealing presents.
[ Light laughter ]
Carson: What kind of santa is that, by the way?
Ice Cube: A janky santa claus, you know what I saying.
Carson: All right, take a look. “Friday after next,” here’s a clip.
Ice Cube: What the hell you doing in my house?
Ice Cube: I’m santa claus.
Ice Cube: Santa claus! Get out of here!
[ Yelling ] Help me, man!
Ice Cube: Merry christmas.
Carson: That’s not santa.
[ Cheers and applause ] That’s not taken from one of your holiday experiences,
Ice Cube: No, no, but you know, anybody going in the ‘hood know that
around this time of year, crime does go up, and I’ve heard about people
in all my life getting their house broken into around this time of year.
So everybody watch out. It’s a janky santa claus in your neighborhood.
He might whoop you with a tree, so be careful.
Carson: Lock your doors. I wanted to mention “torque,” if you could
tell me a little bit about it.
Ice Cube: Oh, yeah, “torque” is a big-budget action motorcycle movie.
I play the leader of a motorcycle gang. I’m out for revenge, and I think
this guy killed my brother, but he really didn’t do it. So I’m after him
the whole movie trying to get revenge. I ain’t gonna tell you how it end.
Carson: And you’ve got joseph kahn directing it, who’s done videos for
britney, everybody else. Are you a fan of music videos, directors crossing
over to film and working with you?
Ice Cube: Yeah, you know, just because I’ve done a lot ic videos, so
I’ve worked with some of the people who I’ve hired to work m movies. Even
though joseph kahn, that was kind of a side thing. That was not cubevision
project, but yeah, I like working with guys who — I sit back and say,
“well, why hasn’t this guy done a movie? What’s taking so long?” And if
he’s available, and I know that they’re ready, I’ll give them a shot.
Carson: Well, merry christmas to you. Thanks and congratulations on
the film. Good to have you, man. Ice cube, everybody. Check out “friday
after next.” It’s out now.