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If N.W.A. And Acting in Friday Hadn’t Worked Out, Ice Cube Could Have Gone Down A Wildly Different Career Path

Ice Cube in Friday
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

For decades, the world has known Ice Cube for decades as a prolific rapper, a high-grossing movie star, and a successful media mogul. For today's rap stars, his career has served as the blueprint for crossing into other entertainment ventures. As viewers know, he started as one-fifth of the seminal West Coast rap group N.W.A. before leaping to film with Boyz n the Hood. Of course, it was the cult classic Friday that shot him to Hollywood superstardom. While music and movie stardom have paid off for him, it turns out the legendary hip-hop star's career could’ve gone in a wildly different direction.

The Barbershop star opened up about the alternate career path he could've taken during an interview Architectural Digest. Apparently, before N.W.A.’s seminal album, Straight Outta Compton, dropped, Ice Cube (whose birth name is O'Shea Jackson) was preparing for life as a college co-ed. The multihyphenate mentioned he had enrolled at Phoenix Institute of Technology to get his college degree. But his courses weren’t related to music or film:

I missed the deadline to register for my elective, and there were two open classes left: architectural drafting and cooking. And I didn’t want to take cooking.

Who would’ve thought Ice Cube had an interest in architecture? Of course, his tale isn't too unusual, as many college students have found themselves signing up for classes at the last possible minute. While it was all about choosing the lesser of two evils for the rap icon, the drafting class wasn’t a complete bust. As he later explained, it taught him a valuable lesson:

The principle behind building anything starts with a plan. That helped me design a career for myself—it all happened with a plan.

Taking the principle of architectural design and applying it to his entertainment career proved to be a genius move on his part. Any structure must have a plan before construction can commence and, oftentimes, there are multiple phases a building must go through before even ground can even be broken. Apparently, the entertainer wanted that type of structure in his quest for superstardom.

It goes without saying that having structure has proven to be valuable in Ice Cube’s multifaceted career. The rap legend has been making huge contributions to movies for years by displaying all of his talents. He's also produced many of the movies that he's starred in. But for many, the Friday franchise remains arguably his biggest contribution to cinema, and he's eager to make another movie in the series. Though the project has faced setbacks, like Chris Tucker's decision not to return as fan-favorite character Smokey.

Ice Cube may have been great at designing homes or repurposing a local downtown areas, but I'm glad that we have his body of work. Right now, it’s unclear what he has coming up since he exited his buddy comedy with Jack Black, Oh Hell No, with Jack Black. As you wait for updates on his next project, check out what's going on with this year’s upcoming movies.

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).