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‘He Didn’t Wanna Change It, So I Didn’t Wanna Do It’: Ice Cube Reveals the One Thing That Made Him Turn Down Tupac’s Role in ‘Poetic Justice’

When discussing artists who’ve made a successful transition from music to film, there’s no doubt rapper Ice Cube is on that list. The Crenshaw, California, native has appeared in several cult classics, including the “Friday” and “Barber Shop” franchise and the NAACP Award-winning film from the late John Singleton, “Boyz in the Hood.” 

Needless to say, with nearly five dozen movies in his arsenal, the 52-year-old appears to be serious about his craft and the characters he represents, so much so that there were times he declined film offers because they simply didn’t align with his values. 

In this image released on April 17, Ice Cube of hip-hop supergroup Mt. Westmore performs during the Triller Fight Club: Jake Paul v Ben Askren event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Triller)

During an appearance on “Big Boy Neighborhood,” the “Ride Along” star revealed that Singleton, who passed away in 2019 after suffering from a stroke, offered him the role “with pay” in the film “Poetic Justice,” alongside Janet Jackson. However, the director wouldn’t let the rapper read the script. When he did, the “Check Yo Self” artist didn’t like it.

According to several reports, it had long been public knowledge that the former NWA bandmate was set to star in the project, but the role subsequently went to the late Tupac Shakur.

“He didn’t wanna change it, so I didn’t wanna do it,” Cube recalled around the 48:50 mark of the talk. “The problem was, me playing Tupac, I don’t think I’d kick my homeboy out the car for a girl I just met when we got to Oakland. I didn’t think that was cool. It kinda made the character a sucker to me.” In the film, Tupac’s character Lucky, a mail carrier and aspiring rapper, attacks his friend Chicago, played by Joe Torry, and tells him to exit his vehicle after he hit Jackson’s character, Justice. 

Still, the rapper admitted he wanted to go for the role because of Jackson’s involvement, but at the time, he “wanted to love the movies” he was in. But, he added, “I’m glad 2Pac did it. I think he killed it.” 

Later on, Cube revealed another film he turned down, the role of O-Dog in “Menace II Society.” This time around, the star said he didn’t want to be typecast. However, it was unclear whether he was officially offered the part, but after having played a street guy in “Boyz n The Hood” the year before, the rapper opted not to take on the project. Check out the interview with Ice Cube and Big Boy down below. 

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