O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, screenwriter, film director, and producer. He began his career as a member of C.I.A and later joined the rap group N.W.A. After leaving N.W.A in 1989, he built a successful solo career in music and cinema.
In late 1989, Ice Cube recorded his debut solo album in Los Angeles with Public Enemy's production team the Bomb Squad. “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted” was released in 1990 and was an instant hit, riding and contributing to the rising tide of rap's popularity in mainstream society. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #19 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The single, “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted” peaked at #1 on the Billboard Rap Tracks chart.
This was followed by a critically acclaimed role as Doughboy in John Singleton's 1991 hood-based drama, “Boyz n the Hood.” In the same year as “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted,” Ice Cube released the acclaimed EP, “Kill At Will” which sold well, becoming the first hip hop EP to be certified both gold and platinum.
His 1991 follow-up, “Death Certificate,” debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #2 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #1. The album is thematically divided into the “Death Side” and the “Life Side.” It featured “No Vaseline,” a scathing response to N.W.A's attacks and “Black Korea,” a track regarded by some as prophetic of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Ice Cube toured with Lollapalooza in 1992, which widened his fan base.
Ice Cube released “The Predator” in November 1992. “The Predator” debuted at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, the first album in history to do so. Singles from “The Predator” included “It Was a Good Day” and the “Check Yo Self” remix both of which topped the Rap Singles chart and were Top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album remains his most successful release, with over three million copies sold in the U.S.
After “The Predator,” Ice Cube's released “Lethal Injection” in the end of 1993 and again topped the and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart while also reaching #5 on the Billboard 200. He had successful hits from “Lethal Injection,” including “Really Doe,” “Bop Gun (One Nation),” ”You Know How We Do It” and “What Can I Do?”
In 1994, Ice Cube had reunited with former N.W.A member Dr. Dre, who was now part of Death Row Records, in their duet “Natural Born Killaz.” After 1994, he took a hiatus from music and concentrated on film work and developing the careers of other rap musicians, Mack 10, Mr. Short Khop, Kausion and Da Lench Mob.
In 1998, he released his long-awaited solo album, “War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc).” It peaked at #2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart while also reaching #7 on the Billboard 200. The lead single from the album, “Pushin’ Weight,” went to #1 on the Billboard Rap Singles chart.
In 1996, Jackson formed Westside Connection with Mack 10 and WC, and together they released an album called “Bow Down.” Most of the album was used to engage in the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry of the 90s. The album's title track single reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album itself was certified platinum by the end of 1996.
His solo album “War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc),” was released in 2000. The albums featured appearances from Westside Connection as well as a reunion with fellow N.W.A members, Dr. Dre and MC Ren. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.
In 2006, Ice Cube released his seventh solo album, “Laugh Now, Cry Later,” on his Lench Mob Records label, debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200 and peaking at #2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album featured production from Lil Jon and Scott Storch, who produced the lead single “Why We Thugs.”
He released his eighth studio album, “Raw Footage,” in 2008, featuring the controversial single “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It.” The album debuted at #1 on both the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and Rap Albums chart and at #5 on the Billboard 200.
In 2009 he released a non-album track called “Raider Nation” in tribute to the Oakland Raiders NFL football team which he supports.
“I Am the West,” his ninth solo album, was released in 2010 and debuted at #22 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Singles from the album included “I Rep the West” and “Drink the Kool-Aid.”