O'Shea Jackson Sr. (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. One of the founding artists of gangsta rap, Ice Cube initially gained recognition as the primary songwriting and performing member of the seminal hip-hop groups C.I.A. and N.W.A, the latter of which gained extreme notoriety for pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music, as well as visual imagery in music videos.
After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, Ice Cube embarked on a successful solo career, releasing the albums AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (1990) and Death Certificate (1991), both of which have attained platinum certification in the United States, while also being classed as defining albums of the 1990s. Much of his musical output has contained harsh socio-political commentary and storytelling, which has earned him several accolades from multiple publications and artists, often being cited as a consistent influence, as well as one of the best rappers of all time.
Following the release of Death Certificate, Ice Cube's popularity was further enhanced by his role in the critically acclaimed film Boyz n the Hood (1991), while also writing and starring in the Friday film series, largely reinventing his public image as a movie star. Ice Cube also featured in the Barbershop, Ride Along, and XXX film series, while also serving as a producer to several other films, including Straight Outta Compton (2015), a biographical film depicting the career of N.W.A.