Ice Cube Explains Why He Does NOT Want To Be On The Forbes List (Video)

Ice Cube once co-wrote, produced, and starred in the film All About The Benjamins. However, the 50-year-old mogul seemingly does not live his life under that tenant. From a chart-topping music career, to becoming a power-player in film, to launching a professional three-on-three basketball league, O’Shea Jackson is at the top. However, the MC who was recently mentioned in Rick Ross’ Top 5 MCs list would much rather get that recognition than power-rankings from Forbes. He spoke about wealth, power, and messaging and offered some insights into his brand and thinking.

Nick Cannon recently asked Cube about why he is not a braggart like some of his fellow well-heeled peers. “It ain’t about the watch or the chain that Cube has; it’s never been about that,” Cannon says near the 11:00 mark. “You always seem like somebody that’s tangible, that you can connect with. And you’re speaking to the community…is that a product of your longevity?”

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“I’ve never been really crazy into bragging about material stuff,” Cube responds on the Power 106 show. “Hip-Hop is a braggadocious, boisterous-type of [aesthetic]. I thought [bragging] would make me seem out of touch with my audience. Even though I know everybody wants those things. But everybody don’t have those things. I’m the kinda dude where you gotta notice me wearing it, but I’m not about to tell you I got it on. See what I’m saying?” He adds, “To me, certain things don’t have to be said. When you say ’em, it makes you look small. It doesn’t make you look bigger; it makes you look smaller—you flossin’ on anybody [especially] people that don’t got it.”

Cannon then brings up the annual Forbes lists. While Cube’s onetime band-mate Dr. Dre has topped that high-profile list along with past collaborators JAY-Z and Puff Daddy, Ice Cube’s name is often missing. Cannon asks his show guest if he is bothered by the omissions, which are often guided by publicists jockeying for their clients to appear. “I feel like they don’t look at people like you because you’ve been doing it so long,” Cannon says. “If they added up all the value from Ice Cube—from The Big 3 to the movie [box office sales], the album sales, Hip-Hop Squares, all these things that you’re involved in, it’s beyond billions. But, I don’t look on those lists and see Ice Cube’s name every year. I think that’s a problem.”

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“I don’t,” Cube replies with a chuckle. “To me, that shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter to nobody but me, to be honest. It ain’t all about what I got, it’s all about what I can give you—what I can produce that you can be a part of.” Cube says that can be film, music, or other ventures. “Do it make you happy? Do it make you feel good? Did it make you feel like you didn’t waste your time and waste your money? To me, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about how much this one got or that one got—or this one don’t got or that one don’t got. It’s about how much product are they producing? What are they doing that’s dope? How many things are they leaving on the earth, when they’re gone, that will still be here to entertain people? That’s really what it’s all about.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Nick Cannon asked Cube for his Top 5 MCs. “I always look at the influencers, the pioneers, the ones who virtually created a style or flavor all they own,” the legend stated. “So my greats are people like [Grandmaster] Melle Mel, Ice-T, Chuck D, KRS-One, and I’ll put Rakim in there.” He further qualified the choices. “To me, those are the trendsetters, the ones who changed the trajectory of the game in a major way. It was about skills and talent, and really having their own style and taking it and running with it.”

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Last year, Cube released Everythang’s Corrupt. The album reunited the Rap legend with Too Short and longtime producer/Friday collaborator DJ Pooh.

#BonusBeat: To see some of Ice Cube’s beginnings, check out this interview with Dee Barnes from the early days. Cube takes Pump It Up into his mother’s house and childhood room (which he was still living at the time). There is also an appearance by Sir Jinx: