Ice Cube doesn’t storm the stage of Coachella until April, but he already has a game plan.“I’m looking forward to getting out there and giving them a history lesson about Ice Cube, from N.W.A. to the present,” says the 46 year old rapper-actor-filmmaker. “I’m going to put together a show that touches on everything.”
The other thing on his desert agenda: “I really want to see Guns N’ Roses,” he says.
But right now he has other business to attend to. He reunites with Kevin Hart for “Ride Along 2,” the sequel to the 2013 hit. It follows “Straight Outta Compton,” another blockbuster that told the story of N.W.A. Will that cause Cube, who started his film career in dramas like “Boyz N Tha Hood,” to return to less comedic fare? We talked to him about
Are you a big GN’R fan?
I’ve loved a lot of their tracks. Far as “big fan,” I don’t know. I was so involved with my music [back then]. I didn’t really want to be a fan of nobody at that time, know what I mean? [Laughs]
Do you have much time for music these days, with all the films you’re making?
I haven’t had a lot of time lately. Working on “Straight Outta Compton” took a lot of time and effort. I had movies booked together, so it was just movie to movie to movie. But I am going to go in to the studio with Common and do a song for the “Barbershop 3” soundtrack.
Speaking of sequels, you’ve spoken about how you always want to make sure a sequel is fresh if you do it. What was it that convinced you to do a second “Ride Along”?
People just want to see us again. A lot of these buddy cop movies are hit and miss. When you hit, you really owe it to the audience to give them something new and fresh with the same team. To me, it’s really what you’re in show business for: to give the audience what they want, not necessarily what you want to give them all the time.
You started your film career in dramas. Do you want to return to them now?
I would love to. Ever since I got into movies I’ve wanted to do good ones. I don’t really trip over what genre they are. Comedies snowballed in my career, so I ended up doing more of those. Which is fine. But of course I have dramatic stories I want to tell, dramatic characters I want to play.
I remember “Lottery Ticket” where you played a severely antisocial character who was unlike anyone you’d played before. Do you see yourself stretching yourself more?
If it’s right. I’ve been in the game 25 years and I’m still working on my acting chops. It’s about making sure that it’s something I could do, but not just because I can. People would probably give you money to do a chicken dinner and jump on the table, know what I’m saying? [Laughs] If someone says, “You’d be a great Ku Klux Klan leader,” it’s probably a little bit of a f—ing stretch. [Laughs]
Hollywood seems to be finally inching toward greater diversity. The “Fast and the Furious” series is a now a franchise without a white character, and there aren’t any white characters in “Ride Along 2” either.
It really don’t matter what color you are no more. It’s a situation where people are used to seeing all kinds of movies now. You didn’t have to go to the movies to see that urban film you might want to see. You had home video. Years and years of that have led to people saying, “I don’t want to just wait to get it on DVD. I’m going to see ‘Ride Along’ or ‘Friday’ with the moviegoing audience.” They’re sick of being the last ones to the party.
Do you see yourself doing another “Friday”?
It’s a dream of mine to get it done, but we’d have to do it right. I’m going to keep at it because the fans want it. But who knows if it’s ever going to happen.