Learn How Ice Cube Reportedly Got His Rap Name & His Previous Prince-Inspired Moniker (Audio)
Whether you read the books on Hip-Hop history or caught Straight Outta Compton in theaters, it’s documented that Ice Cube’s Rap career began with a group known as C.I.A. In the days prior to N.W.A., O’Shea Jackson was working with Dr. Dre’s cousin Sir Jinx, in a group that pressed some of those mid-1980s recordings to independent label wax. However, C.I.A. was more than two artists. K-Dee (a/k/a Darrel Johnson) was an MC that was also down with the South Central, Los Angeles clique.
In the years after Cube’s exit from N.W.A., both Jinx and K-Dee would come back into the fold. K-Dee, an affiliate of Cube’s Da Lench Mob, would appear on Lethal Injection, Westside Connection’s Bow Down, and Devin The Dude’s The Dude, among other albums. First heard on N.W.A.’s breakout single “Panic Zone,” K-Dee (short for Kid Disaster) is somebody who rolled with Cube in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s.
Although K-Dee says he and Cube are mysteriously not speaking today, the MC did an interview with the Murder Master Music Show. There, he traveled back to the mid-1980s to reveal some powerful history on one of the coldest Rap names of all-times.
“[Ice] Cube was a fan of Ice-T, that’s how he first started liking Rap. He said, ‘That dude is hard,’ and I ain’t gonna put him out there, but that’s like almost how his name came about. He will tell a different story but his name was ‘Purple Ice’ before that because he was into Prince and Ice-T. That was his name at first,” said K-Dee of a period just before C.I.A. made noise. “One day he was like, ‘Man, I need to change my name,’ and his mom kept soda up under the counter, and he was getting a lukewarm soda, he put it on the counter and got the glass and he got the ice cube tray and was like ‘Ice Cube.’ He looked at me and I said it was tight. I heard him tell a different story, but that’s how it went down.” As K-Dee tells it, all it took was a soft drink and a desire to sound harder.
By 1986, Ice-T has released “6 ‘n The Mornin’,” “Reckless,” and “The Coldest Rap.” Two years prior, Prince had released Purple Rain as a film and soundtrack. Ice-T and Ice Cube would later work together on Tupac Shakur’s “Last Wordz” song.
The entire K-Dee x Murder Master Music Show interview is available for stream:
K-Dee’s own album, Ass, Gas, Or Cash, features Ice Cube and Bootsy Collins.