UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | Are We There Yet? At The Movies with Ice Cube
Today is Ice Cube ‘s 43rd birthday, and on such a good day, UpNorthTrips knew it was our duty to come up with a dope way to honor his contributions to the game. For the past four decades we’ve watched Cube transform himself from a controversial Jheri curl drippin’, St. Ides sippin’, Gangster Wit an Attitude to Coors Light slangin’, rapper-turnt-actor, Forbes listed philanthropist.
At first, we were a bit challenged on how to find a clever way to pay homage to both Cube the rapper, and Cube the actor. So we dug through Cube’s filmography and made a list of twenty or so flicks, then took that list and narrowed it down to a hand-picked selection of hip-hop classics (sorry Torque and XXX: State of The Union , you got cut with the quickness). From there, we checked the soundtracks for each movie. At first, we tried to put together a list of only songs from the movies in which Cube appeared in as an actor. But trust us, there are NO good songs in The Glass Shield or Anaconda . What we finally came up with was THE dopest mix of Cube’s greatest songs featured in movies — and we even made it 43 minutes exactly to celebrate Cube’s 43rd Born Day. YEA YEA!
1. “The Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit”
Movie Soundtrack: Bulworth [Original Score]
Breakdown: This Cube classic originally appears on his 1991 album, Death Certificate , and although the song does not actually appear on the Bulworth soundtrack, it does appears in the film. The soundtrack also includes a brand new Cube cut featuring a pre-Westside Connection collab with Mack 10 titled, “Maniac in The Braniac.” However, from a Cube purist’s perspective, it was a no-brainer in deciding which track to use for the mix.
Fun Film Fact: The word “fuck” and its derivatives are used 111 times in the movie.
2. “How To Survive in South Central”
Movie Soundtrack: Boyz N The Hood
Breakdown: The soundtrack for the West Coast-centric gang tale surprisingly featured cuts from artists on the both coasts. The East Coast sent representatives such as Chubb Rock, Main Source, and even a pre- Juvenile Hell appearance by Mobb Deep’s Prodigy on the Hi-Five song “Too Young.” The West Coast sound was highlighted by appearances by CMW, Kam, and Too $hort. One of the hardest hitting records on the album was Cube’s personal handbook for ‘hood survival, which was produced by frequent Cube collaborator Sir Jinx. Heard today, the formula of Cube’s lyricism and Sir Jinx’s production has only gotten better with time.
Fun Film Fact: The pickpocket who tries to rob Doughboy’s crew and gets beat up wears a T-shirt reading “We Want Eazy.”
Movie Soundtrack : Friday
Breakdown: In 1995, when the Friday franchise sparked off there wasn’t a single place you could go without hearing some reference to either Smokey and Craig, Deebo, or Big Worm. Everywhere you went, “What you got on my 40, homie?” or “You got knocked the fuck out!” echoed from ‘hood barbershops to suburban malls across the country. The success of the film transitioned from the theaters right to the record stores (remember those?) as the movie’s hip-hop heavy soundtrack reached #1 on the Billboard Charts and went double platinum. The soundtrack featured a blend of new joints, and weed-laced classics jams, and also featured Dr. Dre’s hit, “Keep Their Heads Ringin'”.
Fun Film Fact: One of the film’s deleted scenes features Smokey high eating a sugar sandwich while watching music videos.
4. “Steady Mobbin'”
Breakdown: The soundtrack to the comedy film was primarily filled with hip-hop joints, but contained three parodies from the flick’s fictional rap group, CB4. Cube’s record was not included on the soundtrack, but was featured in the film. Cube also makes an appearance in the film as himself , commenting on the successes of the group’s lead rapper, MC Gusto.
Fun Film Fact: At the end of the movie, there is a scene in which “Rock, Chris” haggles idiotically with Isaac Hayes. This is a spoof of a similar conversation between the same two actors in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka , in which Chris Rock played a customer at Isaac Hayes’ rib joint.
5. “Natural Born Killaz” ft. Dr. Dre
Movie: Murder Was the Case
Breakdown: The soundtrack from Snoop’s 1994 short film featured the first collaborative joint that Cube and Dre had worked together since the split of N.W.A. The Dre-produced track was allegedly intended for the scrapped N.W.A reunion album, Heltah Skeltah . The video featured a cameo from Tupac, posing as a S.W.A.T. team sniper who takes out Ice Cube’s character.
Fun Film Fact: Tupac Shakur was paid $200,000 dollars by Death Row Records owner Suge Knight to record a track for the album. The track was recorded, but it was not used on the official soundtrack release.
6. “Dopeman (Remix)”
Movie Soundtrack: Menace II Society
Breakdown: Originally appearing on N.W.A’s ’88 full-length debut, Straight Outta Compton , there’s no question that this record is the blueprint for a generation of gangster rappers that would follow. Cube, Dre and Eazy were ferociously approaching their primes and this drug dealer’s anthem had hustlers going crazy in every ‘hood from West to East. It was actually Cube who originally put us on to Biggie’s Fourth Crack Commandment, letting us know, “Don’t get high on your own supply.”
Fun Film Fact: A prison riot sequence was cut in order to avoid the film from receiving an NC-17 rating.
7. “Down For Whatever”
Movie Soundtrack: Office Space
Breakdown: Lifted off of Cube’s fourth solo album, Lethal Injection , this joint was re-purposed in the cult classic flick, Office Space. The music appears not only on the soundtrack, but also appears in the movie during a scene in which the office co-workers upload a virus to their company’s computers to scam money. From the tracks opening line, “Damn, I’m such a G, it’s pathetic,” Cube let us know that he’s “Down for Whatever.”
Fun Film Fact: Artie Lange from The Howard Stern Show auditioned for the role of Milton.
8. “Trespass” ft. Ice-T
Breakdown: Fresh off of career-changing acting gigs, (Ice Cube in Boyz N The Hood and Ice-T’s role in New Jack City ) Trespass paired two of the West Coast’s rap pioneers on the big screen for the first (and only) time. Although the action-crime-thriller did poorly at the box office, the soundtrack is highly slept-on and featured appearances by hip-hop heavyweights ranging from Public Enemy and Gang Starr to Black Sheep and Lord Finesse.
Fun Film Fact: The movie was initially to be titled Looters , but because of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the producers thought a change to the title would be appropriate.
9. “Street Fighter”
Movie Soundtrack: Street Fighter
Breakdown: This mid-’90s video game-inspired action flick was actually a commercial success, making approximately three times its production costs. However, it was universally shelled by critics and fans of the video game series alike. The soundtrack, though, was easily one of the movie’s highlights. From top to bottom, the tracklist is filled with a who’s who of dope artists. Proven vets such as LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Nas, and The Pharcyde were all featured alongside Cube on the Priority release. Like the movie, the soundtrack never saw critical success, however, there are definitely some rare bangers on there, and this is one of them.
Fun Film Fact: Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat to do this film.
Movie Soundtrack: Higher Learning
Breakdown: This is the film where Cube showcased some versatility in his acting abilities in a dramatic role very different from those earlier parts in his repertoire. No stranger to working with John Singleton and Lawrence Fishburne, Cube excelled in his role amongst this all-star ensemble cast. His contribution to the soundtrack was one of only three hip-hop songs featured, with the other notable act being a young duo from Atlanta, OutKast.
Fun Film Fact: Originally, John Singleton wanted Leonard DiCaprio to play Remy, while Michael Rapaport was originally to play Scott Moss. DiCaprio was cast, but unable to be in the film because of a scheduling conflict.