Ice Cube Told Us Why He Was Embarrassed After Watching ‘Whack’ Rough Cut Of ‘Boyz N the Hood’

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  • We sat down with Ice Cube to discuss everything from fame, to the BIG3, to some of the defining moments of his career.
  • The cultural icon revealed why he was initially embarrassed after seeing the rough cut of the classic 1991 coming-of-age drama Boyz n the Hood.
  • Check out our other celebrity interviews here.

“Whack” is not a word a reasonable human would use to describe Boyz n the Hood. 

How could you? Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Regina King, Angela Bassett, and  Cuba Gooding Jr. in his first role, all directed by a 24-year-old filmmaking phenom in John Singleton who would become the first black director to be nominated for an Oscar in 64 years.

But the term “whack ass” is the phrase Ice Cube used to describe his first viewing experience of the 1991 coming-of-age classic, before it had gone under the editing knife.

We spoke to the cultural icon on our Endless Hustle about making his film debut titled after the 1987 rap song he wrote four years prior, and how the movie was very much not a sure thing.

“I saw the movie in a rough form. If you see a movie in its rough form, the sound ain’t right, it’s very flat. You don’t have all the Foley sound effects, music. It’s not cut right. You see dropouts.

So when I saw that, I called my manager, Pat Charbonnet, and I was like: “How did you let me do this movie? I don’t understand it. It don’t feel right. It’s not going to work.’

[John Singleton] said “Man, just give me a few months and come back and see it.”

So I was actually sweating and I’m like, ‘This whack ass movie’s going to come out on me and mess up everything I got going.’

So when he showed me the finished product, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that what I saw before had transformed into this masterpiece.”

Ice Cube’s convincing portrayal of Doughboy helped establish a career thus far that consists of rapping, acting, writing, directing, and pioneering a 3-on-3 hoops league that has attracted Joe Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, and most importantly, Brian Scalabrine.

The 52-year-old is worth an estimated $160 million but given all that he’s contributed to the culture, he’s still in the red.



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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.