Really, Ice Cube? Must you be in a constant state of one-upping poor Dave Franco? It wasn’t enough that Franco’s winning turn in 21 Jump Street was outdone by Cube’s endless reserves of angry black police Captain sass. Now, mere hours after The Disaster Artist became a weird Franco family reunion, Cube has gone to The Wrap with reports that he is doing the same. Only better. And weirder.
According to The Wrap, the upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton has cast its first member of the legendary rap group- O’Shea Jackson Jr. will be playing a pre-Are We There Yet? Ice Cube. And for those who don’t know, O’Shea Jackson is Ice Cube’s given name, making O’Shea Jackson Jr. the eldest son of House Cube.
As blatant as the nepotism is, there are a few benefits to the casting. One is that no actor will look more like Ice Cube than someone with roughly fifty percent of Ice Cube’s DNA. Another is that Jackson Jr., having been raised by the man he will be portraying, probably has a pretty good idea of Cube’s mannerisms, motivations, and general personality.
There are downsides, of course — the primary one being that Jackson Jr. is not what you’d call a “professional actor.” But Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray sees that as a plus; he previously told Rolling Stone that he was looking for amateurs with a particular “Hood Factor” that can’t really be found in trained Julliard thespians. And anyway, Jackson Jr. and his brother Darrel are rappers (under the names OMG and Doughboy), so the nepotism might be for our benefit after all.
At least it’s a kind and warm-hearted nepotism, because Cube has been lobbying for Cube 2: Hypercube to get the role since February, but still wanted to “make sure that he’s the best man for the job,” and put Jr. through the audition process just like everybody else. Sure, he may have got the job because of his father’s love, but it’s a street-tough, foul-mouthed kind of love, like the one Cube also holds for Korean Jesus.
Also there’s the huge potential for creepy incest, which we should probably get to at some point. Because, according to Cube himself, Straight Outta Compton will follow “the inception of NWA to the death of Eazy-E.” So, roughly between 1987 and 1995. And Ice Cube married his wife, Kimberly Woodruff, in 1992, well within the movie’s timeline.
So there is a chance that, if Woodruff shows up in Straight Outta Compton, O’Shea Jackson Jr. will have to pretend that his mom is his wife. Or, more accurately, that he will play Dad and another woman will play Mom and the two of them will pretend to be his parents while on camera (and while Real Dad stares at them, without blinking, just offscreen). The script may even call for them to show affection for each other- a kiss on the cheek, a holding of hands, etc. With his mom. And it’s all happening at the behest of Ice Cube, who put all this in motion for some reason.
The film will have sex, however, because fellow N.W.A. rapper Easy-E died from complications due to AIDS, and he contracted AIDS from lots and lots of unprotected sex (Fun Fact: Easy-E’s son was in the running for a second case of son-plays-dad, according to The Wrap’s report). For obvious reasons, we shouldn’t expect any explicit sex scenes with Jackson Jr… but if there are any, we can officially classify Straight Outta Compton as nothing but a front for Ice Cube’s terrifying inner desires.
For months, Cube’s gone to bat for his son’s acting ability and that he can handle his own major motion picture. Hopefully he vetted Jr.’s emotional stability at the same time, because Straight Outta Compton has the potential for decades of Cube family therapy. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.