O’Shea Jackson Sr. is born in South Central Los Angeles, California.
Jackson begins writing raps as a teenager. He has said the first rap he ever wrote was in ninth grade, his friend bet him he couldn’t write a rap during their typewriting class, and Jackson delivered. He has listed Chuck D and KRS-One as some of his favorite artists.
In their high school years Dr. Dre would play DJ sets at a dance club in LA called Eve After Dark. Often, Jackson, rapping as Ice Cube, would take the mic and rap over Dre’s beats.
Hiphop group C.I.A (Cru in Action!) is formed, and consists of Ice Cube, Sir Jinx, and K-Dee. The group plays parties and works closely with World Class Wreckin’ Cru, a group formed by Dr. Dre and the manager of Eve After Dark.
The group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) is formed. The group is comprised of Compton-based rappers Easy-E, Dr. Dre, Arabian Prince, and Ice Cube.
Ice Cube writes the song “Boyz-n-the-Hood” and shows the track to Easy-E. Easy records the song for the compilation album “N.W.A and the Posse,” and it becomes a hit.
N.W.A, with new additions DJ Yella and MC Ren, release the album “Straight Outta Compton.” The album gains immediate recognition, and the album goes on to be considered one of the greatest Hiphop albums of all time. The lyrics and tone of the album is new, and is seen as a driving force in the development of gangsta rap.
Ice Cube leaves N.W.A after the massive success of the album, citing contract issues as the reason. He files a lawsuit against their manager, Jerry Heller.
Cube releases his first solo album, “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.” The album is a success, and furthers Ice Cube’s reputation of using offensive language and political critique expanding the gansta rap genre.
N.W.A releases “100 Miles and Runnin.’” The EP notably contains disses towards Ice Cube, calling him ‘Benedict Arnold’ and saying that the group is better without him.
Based on the success of his debut album, Ice Cube releases the EP “Kill At Will” in December.
Two events happen in LA that ignite the community and influence the subject matter of Ice Cube’s music. In March, taxi driver Rodney King is videotaped being brutally beaten by several LAPD officers, exposing horrible police brutality. Only weeks later, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins is shot and killed by a Korean liquor store clerk over an altercation involving orange juice the clerk believed was stolen. The ensuing trial does not result in jail time for the clerk, and enrages the black community.
Ice Cube leads in his first starring role in John Singleton’s film “Boyz n the Hood.” The film is a gritty and intense look at life in South Central LA, and is a smashing success critically and commercially. This would help launch Ice Cube’s career as an actor.
Ice Cube releases his second album in October, “Death Certificate.” The album is extremely controversial upon release, especially the tracks “Black Korea” and “No Vaseline.” Despite the controversy, the album is hailed as an amazing concept album, and is constantly named as one of the greatest albums in Hiphop. The “No Vaseline” diss track against N.W.A and Jerry Heller is often considered the greatest diss track in all of rap, and caused many to say that Ice Cube ‘won’ the feud.
The 1992 LA Riots take place, with looting, arson, and assault taking over the streets of South Central, and then much of the LA metropolitan area. Ice Cube comments on the riots, calling them inevitable.
Ice Cube performs at music festival Lollapalooza, which provides great exposure for him and his music.
Ice Cube releases “The Predator,” an album that supports the riots and features two of the artist’s most popular songs, “It Was A Good Day,” and “Check Yo Self.” The album is Cube’s most commercially successful release.
Ice Cube helps his cousin Teren Jones, known as Del the Funky Homosapien, release Jones’ debut album “I Wish My Brother George Was Here.”
Ice Cube releases “Lethal Injection,” his fourth studio album.
Ice Cube works on Tupac’s album “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z,” and is featured on the track “Last Wordz” with Ice-T.
Ice Cube and Dr. Dre reunite for the song “Natural Born Killaz.”
Ice Cube forms supergroup Westside Connection with William “WC” Calhoun and Dedrick “Mack 10” Rolison. The group would release two albums: “Bow Down” (1996), and “Terrorist Threats” (2003). The group would disband in 2005.
Ice Cube branches out and writes the screenplay for the hit film “Friday.” In the comedy, Ice Cube plays opposite Chris Tucker. The movie revolves around the pair trying to pay back $200 to a drug dealer in Los Angeles. The movie is extremely successful, and spawned multiple sequels.
Easy-E passes away from complications from AIDS. Ice Cube patched up relations with the N.W.A founder shortly before his passing.
Ice Cube releases his next, long-awaited, studio album titled “War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc).” It is his first album in five years.
Ice Cube costars with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in the critically acclaimed film “Three Kings.”
“War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)” comes out. The album includes collaborations with Westside Connection, and most notably, former N.W.A counterparts Dr. Dre and MC Ren.
Cube joins the Up in Smoke Tour with Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg.
Ice Cube stars in the hit film “Barbershop.” The movie generates sequels, a TV show, and inspired “Beauty Shop,” which Ice Cube helped produce.
Cube produces for a reality show on FX called “Black. White.” The show follows two families, one black and one white, as they trade places with each other and see what life is like as a member of another race. The show is very controversial, but many critics praise it as a well thought out social experiment. However, the show only runs for one season, and airs in early 2006.
“Laugh Now, Cry Later” releases. This is the seventh studio album from Ice Cube.
Ice Cube is honored at the VH1 Hiphop Honors. Westside Connection performs at the event.
Cube’s next album, “Raw Footage,” is released. The album contains the song “Gansta Rap Made Me Do It,” which features a controversial music video that involves real shootings in America, including the Virginia Tech shooting. The song satirizes people who claim that rap is what causes violence in inner city communities.
Ice Cube directs “Straight Outta LA,” a documentary for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. The movie looks at how the Raiders moved to LA, and what events were happening in the city at the time (the formation of N.W.A, the riots of 1992). Ice Cube has also released two songs for the team.
Ice Cube releases his ninth studio album, “I Am The West.”
Ice Cube earns a role in the Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum comedy “21 Jump Street,” ironically, as the police chief. He would also act in the sequel “22 Jump Street” in 2014. Both films receive positive reviews and are met with success at the box office.
In January, Ice Cube releases the single “Everythang’s Corrupt.” He says the song is more politically focused than his previous work, and reveals that an album of the same name will be released later in the year. The album would later be delayed with no release date.
Ice Cube releases a more pop single featuring 2 Chainz and LMFAO member Red Foo called “Drop Girl”.
The film “Straight Outta Compton” is released in the summer. The movie is a dramatization of the career of N.W.A and the rappers that comprised the group. The film also focuses on Ice Cube (played in the film by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr.) leaving the group, and the impact of “No Vaseline” on the rest of the members. Ice Cube has a producer credit on the film, which is a massive hit. He would also appear on the soundtrack.
VH1 announces a new version of the hit show “Hiphop Squares,” produced by and featuring Ice Cube.
Ice Cube and entertainment industry executive Jeff Kwatinetz’s BIG3, create a three-on-three basketball league; they then sign a broadcasting deal with Fox Sports. The league features many former NBA players.
Cube receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ice Cube’s tenth studio album “Everythang’s Corrupt” is finally released in December of 2018 with the single “Arrest the President” released a month before. It is Ice Cube’s most explicitly politically charged single and album to date.