One of the iconic founders of gangster rap, Ice Cube has made an impressive living for himself as both an entertainer and entrepreneur. As a teenager, Ice Cube was as ambitious as he was intelligent as he sold his first song by age 16 while being enrolled at the Phoenix Institute of Technology where he studied architecture. His newest business venture, BIG3, is a 3-on-3 basketball league that allows retired players to relive their glory days as competitive basketball players while allowing fans to watch their favorite idols compete on a personable level. Given Ice Cube’s consistent success, the essential question remains of how much is the ubiquitous entertainment icon actually worth?
Ice Cube’s Net Worth as of 2017: $145 Million
How did the world-renowned rapper get there? And how have Ice Cube’s various pursuits earned him this type of wealth? Let’s take a closer look.
In 1987, Ice Cube released a single, which was produced by Dr. Dre titled My Posse. While the single was recorded with his group C.I.A., Ice Cube was quickly initiated into the rap group N.W.A for his impressive abilities as a song writer. Throughout his three year span with the group, Ice Cube wrote most of the lyrics for the groups landmark album Straight Outta Compton and Easy-E’s solo album Easy-Duz-It. However, Ice Cube was underpaid for his contributions and, according to his contract, he was not even an official member of N.W.A. Ultimately, Ice Cube left the group to pursue a solo career and filed a lawsuit against them, which was eventually settled out of court.
1989 saw Ice Cube release his first solo album titled AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. The album was released in May 1990 to favorable reviews and was immensely impactful in the rising of rap’s popularity into the mainstream. While the album was considered controversial as the message appeared to be racist and misogynistic, Ice Cube continued to release his own popular works while producing albums for various artist. Female rapper Yo-Yo was one of the first artist to release an album under Ice Cube’s record label Ruthless Records.
From 1991-1992, Ice Cube would release two more albums, each one more popular than the last. His second album, Death Certificate, was considered to be more focused albeit much more controversial than his first first solo offering. Ice Cube’s third album, The Predator, remains his most commercially successful album to date.
Throughout the 90’s, Ice cube starred in a variety of film roles, most notably as Doughboy in Boyz n the Hood. After becoming respected as an actor, Ice Cube was encouraged to write a screenplay for his own film. Given his success when it came to writing musical lyrics, Ice Cube used his talents effectively when he wrote the screenplay for the movie Friday. The film earned $28 million on a $3.5 million budget, which allowed Ice Cube to write two sequels titled Next Friday and Friday After Next.
Coming into 2000, Ice Cube’s rap and acting career never lost steam and he continued to elevate is well-rounded entertainment status to new heights. He joined Dr. Dre, Eminem and Snoop Dogg on tour in 2000 while continuing to write and act in various films.
In terms of his rap career, Ice Cube released the album Laugh Now, Cry Later in 2006, which was his most commercially successful album since he released The Predator in the early 90’s. While Ice Cube has not released an original album since I Am The West in 2010, he has created a couple of anthems for his favorite NFL team the Oakland Raiders.
Most recently, Ice Cube announced the creation of his own basketball league called BIG3. A 3-on-3 concept that features former NBA stars, the league features eight teams that play in a new city each week over a eight week regular season schedule. Not only does this allow some of the best players from yesteryear to compete in a fun and free flow setting, it engages fans on a personable level as they watch several of their favorite former franchise players compete.
Looking back on Ice Cube’s career as a whole, it becomes abundantly clear that the versatile entertainer has always strived to be true to himself while increasing the popularity of his brand. While Ice Cube’s visions for greatness were highly ambitious, he never lost sight of how to achieve success in a way that allowed him to become more versatile while enjoying the aspects of the entertainment industry that he was truly passionate about. Since creating the Big3 league, Ice Cube has continued to set the bar high for any entertainer that wants to step beyond their comfort zone to create something wholly unique and impactful.