Ice Cube is an American rapper, actor, and filmmaker who has an estimated net worth of around $160 million. He initially gained fame in the late 1980s as a member of the seminal gangsta rap group NWA. However, Ice Cube has gone on to have a successful career as a solo artist and actor.
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Ice Cube Net Worth
Ice Cube has an estimated net worth of $160 million as of 2023. He has accumulated wealth through a thriving music, film, and business career.
Ice Cube gained initial fame and income as part of the highly influential rap group N.W.A in the late 80s. However, he left the group over financial disputes and quickly achieved solo success in the early 90s with platinum albums like AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate, and The Predator.
Ice Cube has sold over 10 million albums in the United States alone as a recording artist. His albums in the 90s regularly topped the charts and went platinum. Ice Cube earned even more from his acting roles in hit films such as Boyz n the Hood, Friday, Barbershop, Ride Along, and many others.
Ice Cube also profits from his film production company Cube Vision, clothing line, and BIG3 basketball league. His business acumen and diversified investment portfolio have significantly grown his net worth.
Early Life and Education
Ice Cube was born O’Shea Jackson on June 15, 1969, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles. His father was a groundskeeper at UCLA, and his mother worked as a hospital clerk.
Ice Cube attended William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California. He started writing raps in his early teens with his friend Sir Jinx, who lived in the apartment above him. However, Ice Cube studied architectural drafting at the Phoenix Institute of Technology after graduating high school.
Career Beginnings with N.W.A.
In 1987, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre teamed up with Eazy-E to form the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes). Besides, Ice Cube wrote the lyrics to most of the group’s songs, including their breakout 1988 album Straight Outta Compton.
However, Ice Cube left N.W.A in 1989 due to financial disputes with their manager Jerry Heller. He quickly released his debut solo album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, in 1990, which was an instant hit. The album went platinum and established Ice Cube as a rap superstar.
Solo Music Career in the 1990s
Following his departure from N.W.A, Ice Cube remained very productive throughout the 90s, releasing several successful solo albums that contained his signature mix of gangsta rap and social commentary. These albums included 1991’s Death Certificate, 1992’s The Predator, 1993’s Lethal Injection, and 1998’s War & Peace Vol. 1.
Ice Cube was particularly acclaimed for his 1990 EP Kill At Will, which spawned the hit single “Jackin’ For Beats.” He was one of the founding artists of gangsta rap, and his lyrics caused controversy for their anti-authoritarian, violent, and misogynistic content. Ice Cube helped cement West Coast hip hop’s mainstream popularity, and his albums went platinum in the 90s.
Acting Career Takes Off
Ice Cube pursued acting in the early 90s. He debuted in John Singleton’s 1991 coming-of-age movie Boyz n the Hood. Ice Cube’s performance as ex-con Doughboy earned him praise and kickstarted his acting career.
He followed up his role in Boyz n the Hood with a supporting part as a Repo Man in the 1992 comedy Friday, which he co-wrote with DJ Pooh. Ice Cube went on to star in other feature films such as Anaconda, Three Kings, and the Barbershop franchise.
Ice Cube particularly excelled in action movies, appearing in XXX: State of the Union in 2005 and the family comedies Are We There Yet? and Are We Done Yet? in the mid-2000s. His film roles have taken advantage of his comedic and tough-guy personas.
Earnings and Salary
In his musical heyday of the 1990s, Ice Cube likely earned $15 million per year from record sales. His albums consistently went platinum, selling over 1 million copies each.
For example, his 1991 album Death Certificate was certified platinum, and his 1992 album The Predator went double platinum, meaning it sold over 2 million copies. With royalty rates in the 10-15% range, Ice Cube stood to earn at least $1-2 million per platinum album release. Touring and merchandise added even more to his annual earnings.
In terms of acting salary, Ice Cube earned his first big check of $33,000 for his acclaimed performance in Boyz n The Hood in 1991. Two years later, he earned $1 million for his role in The Glass Shield. By the 2000s, Ice Cube made between $5-10 million per movie. For instance, he reportedly earned $7.5 million for Three Kings and $5 million for xXx: State of the Union.
Ice Cube has made savvy business moves to boost his wealth. He established his clothing line called Solo by Cube in 1991. In 1994, Ice Cube started his own film production company, Cube Vision, which has produced many movies he has starred in.
In 2008, Ice Cube joined forces with basketball star Baron Davis to launch the BIG3 professional 3-on-3 basketball league. He currently serves as president of the league, which has helped make major contributions to his current net worth. However, Ice Cube has proven to be an astute businessman with a diversified portfolio.
Acting and Filmmaking Ventures
Ice Cube’s career took a pivotal turn toward acting and film in the early 1990s. His acting debut came in the 1991 drama Boyz n the Hood, written and directed by John Singleton. Ice Cube played the role of a young man involved in gang violence, delivering a gritty and compelling performance. Also, he earned praise for his screen presence and dramatic skills.
This breakout dramatic role ushered in a successful parallel career in film for Ice Cube. He went on to appear in numerous hit films throughout the 90s and 2000s, including Friday (which he co-wrote), Anaconda, Three Kings, Barbershop, 21 Jump Street, Ride Along, and more. Ice Cube proved his versatility through comedic, dramatic, and action roles.
In 1994, Ice Cube launched his film production company called Cube Vision. That allowed him greater creative control and to develop projects for himself. Cube Vision has produced many of Ice Cube’s films, including Friday, Barbershop, Ride Along, Straight Outta Compton, and Are We There Yet?
Ice Cube married Kimberly Woodruff in 1992, whom he first met when he was 12. Together, they have four children – O’Shea Jackson Jr., Darryl Jackson, Shareef Jackson, and Deja Jackson. His eldest son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., portrayed his father in the 2015 N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, which Ice Cube produced.
Ice Cube has stated that he does not adhere to any particular religion but believes in a higher power and is interested in astrology. His cousin is fellow West Coast rapper Del the Funky Homosapien.
Despite his gangsta rap persona, Ice Cube avoids drugs and alcohol. However, he is an avid Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Lakers fan.
FAQs on Ice Cube Net Worth
How much is Ice Cube worth?
Ice Cube’s net worth is around $160 million as of 2024. He built wealth through a successful music career, hit Hollywood films, a production company, and business ventures like the BIG3 basketball league.
How did Ice Cube get discovered?
Ice Cube first gained attention rapping with N.W.A in the late 1980s. Their seminal album Straight Outta Compton became a huge hit and put West Coast gangsta rap on the map.
What was Ice Cube’s first solo album?
Ice Cube’s first solo album was AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted in 1990. It was released after he left N.W.A over a financial dispute.
Ice Cube has led an impressively multifaceted career spanning over 30 years. He first rose to fame on the rap scene as a founding member of N.W.A, writing aggressive and controversial lyrics on their groundbreaking albums.
Though initially known as a gangsta rapper, Ice Cube successfully transitioned into acting in the 90s, starring in acclaimed films like Boyz n the Hood and Friday.
However, Ice Cube has proven to be an astute businessman. He launched his own film production company, Cube Vision, and co-founded the BIG3 basketball league, among other ventures.
Benedict is an entertainment enthusiast and a passionate blogger. He loves to share his insights and opinions of the ever-evolving entertainment world. When he’s not writing, you can find Benedict immersing himself in the latest releases, following the latest industry events, and engaging with fellow entertainment enthusiasts online.