Happy Birthday Ice Cube. May It Be A Good Day…

Today (June 15), MC/actor Ice Cube turns 46 years old. As he gears up for the Straight Outta Compton N.W.A. biopic (August 14), an on-stage reunion with MC Ren and DJ Yella, and a Barbershop 3 costarring Common, it seems safe to say it will be a good year for O’Shea Jackson.

From Hip-Hop to film to pop culture, Ice Cube has become one of the most recognizable faces on the planet. He’s come a long way from the outspoken N.W.A. member, who 25 years ago released solo breakout AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, with the Kill At Will EP follow-up. That year of 1990—when Cube was a mere 21 years old, he would make the pivotal moves (on screen and in verse) to where he is today. If you ask Hip-Hop Heads, this was the era of some of Don Mega’s definitive verses, attitudes, and commentary.

From a sheer MC standpoint, “Jackin’ For Beats” from Kill At Will is one such standout. Before Styles P, Fabolous, and Jadakiss were building anticipation through grabbing others’ beats, Cube—snatched a gang of hit tracks and went to work. The video, not as popular as some of Ice’s others, features WC and Da Lench Mob. Notably, Dub is still Cube’s right-hand-man 25 years later. This is Ice Cube proving to the world he was not just a memorable rapper, but a great MC. A playful jab at some of the rest of the industry (Public Enemy, D-Nice, EPMD, Digital Underground, LL Cool J, X-Clan), Cube masterfully marketed himself. This was not unlike 50 Cent’s subliminal strategies in the 2000s, or even Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse. More than a gimmick, the Chilly Chill-orchestrated song, simply put it down for Priority Records’ flagship artist (for more than a decade to come).

And, if that gives you a taste for more Ice Cube, here’s a mix by Patski Love courtesy of Club Juicy that gives a retrospective of Cube’s career, year-by-year. Check it out.

Happy birthday, Cube. May this be a definitive year.

Related: Ice Cube To Perform With MC Ren & DJ Yella For First Time Since 1989