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NYTimes Interview with Ice-Cube
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
11/8/2003 7:23:07 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Ice Cube.

Q You've been touring with your band, Westside Connection, which is putting out its first album in seven years. Do you like the road?

I'm not a tour kind of guy. It's too repetitious for me. You wake up on the bus, check into a hotel, go to sound check, do the show, get back on the bus and drive to a new town to start the whole process over again. After 40 or 50 days, I'm ready to stop.

Is it easier for you to reach people through your movies or your music?

Easier? I can't really calculate that. All I know is that people want entertainment from their favorite artists, and that's what I do.

Can you alternate between making music and acting?

When I first start a movie, I don't like to do anything else. But once I have a grasp of the character and I am confident about how everything is flowing with the people around me, then I will dabble in music, because there's a lot of downtime on a movie.

Do you carry around a notebook to jot down ideas?

I've got a spiral notebook. I got about 40 of those things filled with notes and ideas. I'm not superstitious, but I do like to use the same kind of spiral notebook. It doesn't have to be the same color, though.
I never rip out a page. It might be interesting to somebody someday.

Which makes you happier, making music or movies?

Making music makes me happier, but the music business doesn't make me happy. It's shady. It's a bunch of talented people surrounded by untalented people looking to take advantage of them. That's what the music industry is.

And the film industry isn't just as bad?

They're both bad. It's like comparing two glasses of dirty water. One of them is going to taste better than the other. The movie business is more lucrative. The music business is dying because of piracy. There's more freedom in making records, but you have to deal with the street. In the movie business, you deal with bureaucracy, boards and the stock market, which determines whether or not you are going to make a movie. It's more political, which is frustrating, but the product is more rewarding.

Which industry are you more comfortable with as a businessman?

I don't feel comfortable until the check clears in any business. It's always about them trying to get you for less and you are trying to get more.

Crossing over from musician to movie star has been much easier for rap artists than rock artists. Why is that?

I think the world of rock seems like a fantasy world. But the rap world is based more in the reality of today. It can be a fantasy world, but it's not based in that. Rap artists come across as more believable.

Is Hollywood more receptive to black movies now?

I hope so. Just like Spike Lee knocked down the doors for the John Singletons of the world, who knocked down the doors for the Ice Cubes of the world, I hope that we are knocking down doors, too, for the people coming after us.

Were you hurt when Jesse Jackson spoke out against the humor making fun of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks in your film ''Barbershop''?

I was surprised that it went straight to the media. I would have thought I would have heard about the problem before it was in USA Today. But everybody has his own opinion. I am not surprised that Jesse and some other people didn't like the movie. Those same people don't expect us to like everything that they do.

Are you shying away from humor that could be misconstrued in ''Barbershop 2''?

Nope. We're doing exactly what we did the first time. We're making a movie about what goes on in a barbershop.

Did your mom take you to the barbershop when you were a kid?

I hated it.

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