Ice Cube Got His Name After Trying to Woo Ladies Away From His Brother

Veteran entertainer Ice Cube has been a household name for three decades. But he wasn’t born with that cool moniker, and some fans may wonder how he got his stage name. Here’s the scoop on how the nickname originated well before Ice Cube became a music legend and movie mogul.

Ice Cube
Ice Cube | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty

Ice Cube became a household name through music and films

Ice Cube began his career in entertainment as a rapper and member of the West Coast hip hop group, N.W.A. His magnetic personality made him a stand-out performer in the group. Up-and-coming director, John Singleton, took notice of the performer’s charisma and cast him in his first film, Boyz n the Hood, which became a breakout hit.

Since then, Ice Cube has logged over 50 television and feature film credits, excluding his numerous appearances in music videos. What’s more, he takes charge behind the camera in writing and producing roles. The artist has been a creative force behind blockbusters, including the Friday and Ride Along film series.

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Unlike some other rappers-turned-actors, Ice Cube opts not to use his birth name, O’Shea Jackson, for television and movie gigs. But film buffs will note that his first-born child, actor O’Shea Jackson Jr., chose to use the name they share for his acting credits.

The junior Jackson was the ideal actor to portray his father in the musical biopic, Straight Outta Compton, produced by none other than Ice Cube. The film tells the story of N.W.A. as rising stars, but Ice Cube got his stage name long before connecting with his musical collaborators.

The origin of a cool stage name

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“You gotta have a nickname in the hood,” Ice Cube told film critic, Peter Travers. While on a promotional tour for his film, Ride Along 2, he visited Travers’ entertainment talk show, Popcorn with Peter Travers. During the interview, the entertainer shared the origin of his stage name, saying this:

My brother gave me that name when I was younger. I was about 12 [or] 13, and he’s nine years older than me. And, you know, around that time I’m coming into puberty. I’m kinda ready to figure out what the world is all about.

And he was never at home, and his girlfriends would always call, and I would pick up and try to talk to them and try to convince them to leave him and come with me.

And he got so mad with me one day; he said, “Man, you know what? I’m gonna slam you in that refrigerator. You know, [as a] matter of fact, I’m gonna shove you in the freezer, [and] pull you out when you’re an ice cube.

I said, “Oh, OK.”

So, when I went outside that day, I’m like, “Man don’t call me O’Shea no more, man. It’s Cube.  Ice Cube.”

Ice Cube on Popcorn with Peter Travers

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