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Ice Cube On Why He Does Mostly Comedies: "It's The Path Of Least Resistance"

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 12, 2011 4:49 AM
12 Comments
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It's the path of least resistance... I don't want to be a dude like Stanley Kubrick, pop out every five or six years... They know I can make comedies work, so that's what they want. It's not like you go to McDonald's and ask for a taco... It's not easy.. they want comedies. And if they do a drama, it won't deal with race issues, it will deal with family issues, like Precious.

From an interview with LA Weekly, posted earlier this morning. I remember he once said, about a year ago, that comedy is the path of least resistance for blacks in Hollywood, which, I recall, turned off a lot of folks.

Even though I'm not necessarily a fan of his film work, I kinda like that he just flat out owns up to it. He doesn't get defensive, or try to make excuses for it. He just essentially says, yes, as an African American in this business, Hollywood wants me to do comedies; not serious dramas that address issues; and if I want to work (within that system anyway) I have to give them what they expect of me.

I think it's safe to say that Ice doesn't give a shit about your "burden of representation" laments. It's all about the benjamins.

Don't hate the player, hate the game, right?

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12 Comments

  • Cooleyhi | August 23, 2011 1:18 AMReply

    Death Certificate was an album that dealt with the issues his filmwork doesn't. Did he not work with Chuck D on that album? I dont particularly like his work nowadays in whole, yet addressing his music, his 2nd album was his best. I don't see his comedies as degrading. And I haven't seeen anyone post about his TV show Black and White dealing with racial issues, like his music with NWA. People forget so quick...

  • JMac | August 13, 2011 6:20 AMReply

    Sick and tired of the Cosby Show digs. It's only white washed for hoodrats that never stuck their heads out the projects.

    Ice [and Snoop] was always a house negro in my book. Hated his music (and misogynistic videos) then, refuse to listen/watch them now. His just in it for the money stance has been ever present throughout his career. Can't be shocked. Can be disappointed- not that I would be holding my breath to see whatever Boyz in the Hood regurgitated drama he'd ever produce.

  • urbanauteur | August 13, 2011 2:37 AMReply

    Ice Cube 'jack'd up premise' is predicated on some convoluted idea of working within thesystem and not straying to far from the porch. he need enrich his vocabulary with some Victor Perlo and [ jettisoned] that "Red Sea Stragegy",because us folks down here on the ground are facin the River Jordan.

  • Dr. Lyrical Surgeon | August 13, 2011 1:53 AMReply

    @other song you have a point - he sees himself as a person and that is it. "If you want to take on the "burden of representation" then YOU do it" (that is what it seems like he is saying)

  • reg | August 13, 2011 1:49 AMReply

    @ that dude. You'd have a very good point if the black comedy movies Ice Cube or Hollywood in general were making were anywhere as good as any of the comedies you listed. But fact is they aren't. So until we start seeing Fail Safe or Dr Strangelove or Annie Hall types of black film comedies, ain't no fucked up presumptions" here.

    Also the other point you seem to be missing is that for as long as film has existed the people who control shit have preferred to see their black folks acting fools in movies. This is just a continuation of that. Limit us to comedies. And not even really smart challenging humor. So i can't side with you on this one.

  • that dude | August 13, 2011 1:12 AMReply

    There's a fucked up presumption in this conversation, which is that comedies are inherently lesser and embarrassing.

    FAIL SAFE and DR. STRANGELOVE are both great movies, but STRANGELOVE is ultimately more effective because of its use of humor.

    Which is a more profound look, into humanity - ANNIE HALL or INTERIORS? What, you say you never saw INTERIORS, but ANNIE HALL is a beloved film? My point exactly.

    It's not the genre, it's what you do with it.

    Negroes buy into the Puritan bullshit of "if it feels good, it's not good" and co-sign all types of middlebrow pretentious crap because it's "serious".

    Is SOUNDER a better film than PUTNEY SWOPE?

  • T'Challa | August 12, 2011 12:41 PMReply

    The man gave us the Death Certificate album.. his work is done.

    He's older, has kids to feed, plus he's employing Black folks while making movies that while not very funny, are no where near as coonish as Tyler Perry.. let the man live.

  • Troy | August 12, 2011 8:13 AMReply

    Haha, the most radical artist of the most radical music group ever is considered a house negro by people who show such an affinity for the most oppressive art form ever created. His tv show accomplishes what very few before him have, not looking colored. Even the Cosby Show was a powerful white wash project that reflected a life very few in our community experienced but we should have been introduced to it because we would want to do better. His comments had a level of honestly traditional actors and filmmakers run from. Blacks only subvert other blacks and remain scared of whites hoping they will let them in the door.

  • JMac | August 12, 2011 7:20 AMReply

    Don't like the game change the rules.

    Are we there yet sucks.

  • Mecca | August 12, 2011 7:05 AMReply

    He definitely has the house negro mentality. Yes, Massa! I will do whatever you say! As long as I can work, eat, earn some dough and make a living. It's all good!

    First off, Cube is not an "actor". So, I don't think he cares too much about delivering a performance on screen and receiving accolades for his work. He simply just wants to get his loot and fulfill the wishes of the "man" and move on.

    It is real disappointing that there are no "realistic" images being portrayed on screen or no captivating stories about us in Hollywood.

    Instead, we get coon comedies like "Madea", "Big Momma's House: Like Father like Son" and "Lottery Ticket"

  • Gary C. | August 12, 2011 6:41 AMReply

    That's right. Stay in ya place, boy! It takes principle to care about the burden of representation. Cube obviously sold his. F*ck his honesty. Props isn't given to a slave who proudly admits he's a house negro.

  • other song | August 12, 2011 6:24 AMReply

    Yeah, Ice has alluded to "I'm just trying to make dough" mentality before.

    And oddly enough, I respect him for it. He's just pointing out the truth and he's made his decision about where he stands on it. He doesn't hide or obfuscate.

    I might not agree with his decision, but I respect that he keeps it real.

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