On the 33rd episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with rapper, actor, producer, director, writer, sports league founder, and all-around legend among legends: Ice Cube. The conversation covers a multitude of subjects and starts at the beginning — with the story of Cube growing up with aspirations of playing pro-football before transitioning into one of the most respected, prolific lyricists of all-time. The trio discusses the origins of Ice Cube classics like “Boyz-n-the-Hood” and “It Was A Good Day,” the booming growth of the BIG3 basketball league, and emcees who had the most impact on Cube coming up and the development of his pen-game.Later in the episode, Cube is asked if there is such a thing as a good cop, and they discuss police force gang mentality and bullying within the department to escape accountability. Cube also sums up why so much of America loves Trump, how he balances family-friendly entertainment while still maintaining his gangsta-rap persona, and stories surrounding the making of “Janky Promoters,” and the Friday franchise. They also discuss how Cube’s group Westside Connection was formed as a response to some of the East Coast backlash to West Coast rap dominance of the airwaves at the time, and reflect on how he feels about beefs of the past with Common and B-Real of Cypress Hill.
2:22 — Talib recounts the first Ice Cube concert he attended, as well as the first time they met.
4:07 — Cube explains the inspirations for his iconic song “It Was A Good Day.”
5:40 — Cube speaks on growing up a huge sports fan, playing football as a youth, why he stopped, and his full transition to the world of hip-hop after meeting Dr. Dre.
9:19 — The trio discusses the “BIG3” — a 3-on-3 basketball league Cube co-founded, featuring former NBA, and international players as well as talented walk-ons. Cube explains how it came together, and details the unique rules and dynamics of the league.
24:35 — Cube talks about writing “Boyz-n-the-Hood”, tells about how it wasn’t originally intended for Eazy-E, and speaks on how he learned to craft rhymes that tell a story. He also details why, to him, Slick Rick is the greatest “storytelling emcee” of all-time.
30:53 — Cube talks about his Mt. Rushmore of hip-hop — those that had the most impact on his development, and the influence that Public Enemy had on N.W.A. and his early solo outings.
32:57 — Talib asks Cube if there is such a thing as a “good cop.” The trio discusses many police departments being essentially gangs with badges, using loyalty as way to keep any potential whistle-blowers from speaking up.
38:23 — Cube speaks on his quote from a recent interview where he gave his take on Donald Trump’s popularity.
40:03 — Cube touches on moments surrounding the release of his album “Death Certificate,” and the backlash from critics over it’s controversial content.
44:44 — Talib asks Cube how he has been able how to successfully balance making movies like “Are We There Yet,” while maintaining his gangsta rap persona.
49:21 — Cube speaks on his approach to working with comedians on his projects, giving them full creative freedom. The movie “Janky Promoters” gets discussed, as well as Cube’s real-life experiences that inspired making that film.
55:26 — Cube talks about working with the late, great John Witherspoon, and the incredible legacy he leaves behind. The trio goes on to discuss some favorite moments from “The Friday After Next”, and it being the first hood Christmas movie.
1:01:58 — Talib mentions the second concert of Cube’s he attended where rapper King Sun was in the audience, somehow got a mic, and attempted to call out Cube out for stealing the song “Wicked.”
1:07:15 — Cube discusses the creation of Westside Connection and tells the story of how he felt like east coast radio and a couple of rap diss tracks were eating into the respect levels that West Coast hip-hop had gained.
1:19:58 — Cube speaks on his son’s feeling of obligation to play his father in “Straight Outta Compton,” which then led to him having further acting ambitions.
1:22:25 — Talib asks Cube about Common appearing in “Barbershop” and how they squashed any beef between them. Ice Cube details their reconciliation, working together, how he feels about Common now, and discusses how his ending the beef with B Real played out similarly.
1:26:51 — Talib asks Cube about his history of being affiliated with the Nation of Islam, and where he is with religion present-day.