150 Ice Cube Quotes to Inspire Gangster Rap Fans

Learn about rap, films, and the realities of life through these top 150 Ice Cube quotes.

Ice Cube is O’Shea Jackson Sr.’s professional name as a rapper, actor, and filmmaker. He started his career at the early age of 16 in 1986 and was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

O’Shea produced political hip hop and gangster rap that made him controversial. He is also an actor featured in famous comedy films such as Three Kings and 21 Jump Street. Read our complete collection below to know more about him and his enlightening words.

Let’s get started.

And don’t forget to check out these Eminem quotes and J. Cole quotes.

Best Ice Cube Quotes

Best Gangster Quotes
Best Gangster Quotes

1. “The worst thing you can do about a situation is nothing.”

2. “I know that there are obstacles. I know that there are hills to climb. I know there were people before me that made my journey easier and there are people behind me that I have made the journey easier for.”

3. “You can do it, put your back into it.”

4. “Truth is the ultimate power. When the truth comes around, all the lies have to run and hide.”

5. “If you love what you do, and you believe in your talent, there is nothing better than breaking through. There’s no better feeling than breaking through.”

6. “I do what I do. You like it, great. You don’t, go listen to somebody else. I’m sticking with the people that stuck with me.”

7. “Ice Cube is the piece of me that I give away to the public.”

8. “I can’t believe today was a good day.”

9. “Don’t worry about being a star. Worry about doing good work, and all that will come to you.”

10. “I was ready to get out of the box and play something a little different than what everybody has seen.”

11. “The moral is that a career can be gone in an instant, and all you have in this world are the people you love.”

12. “Doing it your own way, not having to go exactly by the book to be successful.”

13. “I think, to me, reality is better than being fake.”

14. “I love any time you can enlighten people to mistakes, that is how I started my career.”

15. “I love music. It’s freedom, a way to deal with pent-up frustration.”

Inspirational Ice Cube Quotes

16. “Create your own path, hone your talent, be ready to show your talent, and don’t doubt yourself.”

17. “Speak a little truth, and people lose their minds.”

18. “Embrace what makes up you. Some stereotypes are true, I love chicken, but that’s a stereotype, I love basketball, but that’s a stereotype too. But who cares? Embrace it. Be who you are, and don’t be ashamed of what that is.”

19. “Stop expecting people to support your dreams. It’s yours.” 

20. “I have a really beautiful life right now, so there is no reason to be hostile. I’m a husband, a father, and a man who tries to do the right thing in life and in my work.”

21. “I think everybody likes a person that stands up for themselves. Nobody likes a punk or a coward.”

22. “Sometimes, you got to start somewhere, and it’s cool, as long as where you start is not where you plan on finishing.”

23. “If you think about stuff that happened when you were young, it stays with you forever.”

24. “I don’t want to get rich and die trying.”

25. “Stay creative, and just because somebody starts to pay you, that doesn’t mean all your creativity goes to that, and you don’t save none for yourself to be able to do other bigger and better things and still follow your dreams even if you start off inside of a box.”

26. “If you born in the mud, you going to be dirty, and people don’t understand that.”

27. “When you’re talking to lions, you can’t meow like a pussy cat.”

28. “Stop buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like with money you don’t have.”

29. “You don’t want to mess up what you’ve done. It’s like Jordan coming back. You’re scared to mess up the legacy.” 

30. “Don’t get a movie confused with real life. I’m a well-rounded human being like everyone else.”

Also read: Nas Quotes, Eazy-E Quotes

Ice Cube Quotes on Life

31. “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” 

32. “Keep doing what you’re doing. Fall in love with what you’re creating, and everything else will fall into place.” 

33. “Just waking up in the morning, got to thank God.” 

34. “You have to resist falling in love with the money they want to give you. You have to really resist that, and you have to just think about the work and whether it’s a movie that you would want to see.”

35. “I believe our society has fallen into a pyramid system where there are people relegated to the bottom of that pyramid, and there are people that feel like they’re entitled to the top of that pyramid.” 

36. “What I wanted people to recognize is that racism is in all of us in layers. Some in more layers than others. It’s not just the Klan guy and the black-fist guy, and it’s about peeling away those layers.”

37. “Money comes and goes, but your inner feelings, your gut feelings, your manhood, your womanhood, whatever, that stays with you. That don’t go anywhere. So you are either proud of who you are and how you handle situations, or you are not. If you handle a situation wrong, it will haunt you.”

38. “Young people are dying for no reason all over the world that don’t know why. It’s ugly everywhere.”

39. “Sometimes, when you want to laugh, reality steps in.”

40. “You got to learn that you ain’t gonna react to everything, just let clowns do what clowns do and watch the show.”

41. “I’m just an entertainer, man. I don’t like to pigeonhole myself to anything. I love to do it all.”

42. “Success really comes down to the product, not to me, my personality, or what club I’m seen going into or coming out of. None of that matters. What’s important is whether or not people feel like they wasted their time or money when they pay for a movie or a CD.”

43. “Creating is really what I like to do. The best thing in the world is to have an idea in the back of your head, and then to make that idea into a movie and have people all over the world enjoy it.”

44. “There’s nothing wrong in starting off in a box, but you got to have a plan to come out that box.”

45. “If you don’t wanna shake that hood mentality! How the fuck we suppose to change our reality?”

Meaningful Ice Cube Quotes That Are Full of Wisdom

46. “You want to be remembered for making an impact and changing things. I guess for the good or for the bad, it don’t matter. But I guess you just want to be remembered when it’s all said and done.”

47. “I have great people, smart people that are around me, and we love the challenge. I guess it’s like climbing a mountain or building a building. It’s a challenge, but you love every challenge that it brings or presents itself.”

48. “What I learned from architectural drafting is that everything has to have a plan to work. You just can’t wing it. I can’t get all the materials I need for a house and just start building, whether it’s a career, family, life. You have to plan it out.”

49. “It’s funny how people who ain’t never been down there can think that America is so fair and that we should be alright. It’s funny that the people who have their foot on our neck are telling us, ‘Get up. What’s wrong with you?'”

50. “Music has done a lot to enhance the emotions of sports. It’s played in arenas. Whenever there is footage cut together, they’re always using music, and it goes together, you know.”

51. “I’m not sure if music got a future. We have all these electronic ways to download, and steal music, and get music, but there’s no money in making music.”

52. “The thing is with hip-hop, it has its waves, and the waves crash against the beach, and the new waves come in. So to stay relevant. you have to roll with that.”

53. “The biggest change in the government’s behavior has been because of TV and its ability to show to the world what has happened in this community. That’s the biggest change. But without TV, the separation between the government and the people would be much worse than it is.”

54. “I was a very interested art student, I was always into that part of school, and when I got into high school, I went into architectural drafting. It gave me an understanding of how to build things, and it’s really helped me put things in perspective. With my music and my movies, to me, it’s all art.”

55. “I’m trying to cut down a little on eating, on sodium, keep my blood pressure down, which is tough because I love food! I do, but it’s unfair how everything that’s bad for you tastes so good, and all the good stuff, veggies and green things, doesn’t match up.”

Ice Cube Quotes That Will Make You Laugh

56. “My thing is, I know kids cuss. They do their thing, but I tell my kids, ‘Don’t do it in earshot of any adults, or you’re in trouble.'”

57. “Twerking has to end. Not for the ones that look good doing it, but for all the ones that you feel, ‘You don’t have enough to twerk back there. Your twerking look like jerking.'”

58. “Tupac was one of the biggest thugs I know, and he always wore his seat belt.” 

59. “I’ve got a basketball signed by all the greats from Julius Irving to Oscar Robinson. It was at an all-star game. I got them all to sign it. So that ain’t going nowhere. I’m going to die with that in my casket.”

60. “I go light on breakfast. Sometimes it’s a yogurt, but a lot of times it’s leftovers from one of my wife’s dinners.”

61. “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall with a joint, drinking some eight-ball.”

62. “Obama reminds me of the Black kid at a White school that don’t nobody want to play with.”

63. “My worst ever car was a green Datsun B210, back when they called it ‘Datsun,’ now it’s ‘Nissan.’ Very unsexy, unattractive. Girls hated the car. I was embarrassed to even be in it, but it was my transportation.”

64. “There’s a whole lot of money out there. All I got to do is put my name on it.”

65. “They’re teenagers, man. They’re really stupid, so you should blend right in.” 

66. “Now, I believe you about the missing wallet, but the lotto, uh-uh.”

67. “I’ve been caught in parachute pants, and on my high school yearbook, they used the wrong picture. They were supposed to use the picture of me with a nice suit on. They used me with my collar flipped up in a fuchsia and white striped shirt. I blame Prince and Michael Jackson in the ’80s for that.”

68. “I know you don’t smoke weed, I know this, but I’m going to get you high today ’cause it’s Friday. You ain’t got no job, and you ain’t got shit to do.” 

69. “I make a mean cup of coffee if you give me the right ingredients.”

70. “Today, I didn’t even have to even use my AK! I got to say it was a good day.”

Ice Cube Quotes About Music

71. “Music is where I have the most creative freedom, but I love producing. To me, that’s kind of where all the action is. You get a chance to have your hands in every aspect of a film. From picking a director, sometimes picking a writer, to the actors, the wardrobe, set design, editing, music, and marketing.”

72. “I still enjoy doing music. I’m not going to stop doing it and doing it the way that I feel it should be done.”

73. “People wanted to have fun more than they wanted to learn from their music, and that’s where the shift started to happen.” 

74. “Rap is just somebody getting something off his chest. That’s all it is.”

75. “I think rap music is brought up, gangster rap in particular, as well as video games, every other thing they try to hang the ills of society on as a scapegoat.”

76. “If it was all about me, I’d do a whole lot of pop records, make a whole lot of money, just rake in the dough, but it’s never been all about me. It’s all about being a voice for the voiceless. People who can’t speak for themselves, who don’t have a mic, don’t have a say.”

77. “Sports without music, it’s nothing but a game. Music adds the emotion.”

78. “But with rap music, not just N.W.A., but rap music in general, seeing these artists wearing these team logos all the time started bringing a synergy and energy about having to rep your city, your team, everywhere and all the time.”

79. “For me, rappers and dancers are poets and artists, and often times the most interesting performances are given by them.”

80. “It’s not like I’m the first man ever to do this, you know? You got to go back to Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Sammy Davis Jr. Those are people who’ve done music well and movies well, and you know. Frank Sinatra, and Elvis, and all these dudes have made the transition. I don’t know about Elvis, about doing them good, you know? It’s nothing new.”

81. “Rap is always evolving. It’s easy for the old school to hate the new school, but it’s music that got a little stifled, I think, by the internet a little bit.”

82. “Our records, if you have a dark sense of humor, were funny, but our records weren’t about comedy. They were about protests, fantasy, confrontation, and all that.”

83. “No matter what part of the country you come from, you can always come together to make ground-breaking hip-hop.”

84. “I have a lot of milestones that I’m proud of when it comes to music, ‘Amerikkka’s Most Wanted,’ I’m extremely proud of that. Just because of what I had to go through to get that music produced, that album produced.”

85. “The best thing to do is to write about what you know, and if you write about what you know, you can always pull those nice little tidbits that hook people, that shows that you know about this world and can bring people into a world that they may not know nothing about.”

Ice Cube Quotes That Show His Love for His Family

86. “I really appreciate family. I really can’t imagine life without them!”

87. “Nothing wrong with being from the hood, but I’d rather my kids be visitors than residents.” 

88. “My son, O’Shea. He looks like me, and he can rhyme.”

89. “The best thing I’ve done with my money is buy a house for my family. You wake up to a house you love, and you feel like somebody.”

90. “I was given the name by my brother when I was about 11 or 12 years old. He was older than me, and around that age, I was starting to get into girls, and when they would call the house for him, and when he was not there, I would try to talk to them. I was trying to be the man and trying to get them to come and see me, not worrying about him. When he found out, he started calling me Ice Cube as a joke because he said I was trying to be too cool. I just liked it and started telling everybody in the hood, ‘My name is Ice Cube.'”

91. “I did ‘Are We There Yet?’ because I wanted to do a movie for my fans’ kids. Black kids don’t really see movies on this budget for them, starring them, and there are so many White kids that love that movie.”

92. “Even though I have a nice house, nice family, the rest of my generation is still in South Central L.A. My cousins, my brothers, my sisters, they don’t want to move out. They don’t want to, and they don’t have the means to sustain it. That’s where my heart is, and that’s what I think about all the time.”

93. “Everybody who comes from the gangster life, they want what that man in the suburbs wants. Nice family, nice house, nice cars, bills paid, kids in school, food on the table. Nothing more.”

94. “I’m not actually from Compton. I’m from South Central Los Angeles, and my father still lives in the same house I grew up in, so I’m there all the time.”

95. “I wake up at 5:30, 6 in the morning, but don’t head into the office right away. I like to hang out with my wife, talk about things, get some coffee, you know.”

Ice Cube Quotes That Focus on Movies and Acting

96. “I always say the movie came out good if they want another one. That always tells me that people really liked the movie.”

97. “I want to do more drama. Comedy is the path of least resistance for my company. People know we can do them. People know they get a good response. People want to make them. Who am I to push up against that?”

98. “We’re in this entertainment business really to give the audience what they want.”

99. “When I did ‘Boyz N The Hood,’ I never thought how we grew up in South Central was interesting enough for a movie.”

100. “It never gets old. Working with somebody like Kevin Hart is rejuvenating in a lot of ways. He’s such a pro. He’s so good.”

101. “The hardest period for a writer is the period in-between writing. That’s when you can go crazy if you don’t allow the creative juices to flow.”

102. “You can measure films on box office success or people loving the movie whenever they see it. That’s what I measure my movies on. How much people love these movies after they get a chance to see them, no matter how they get a chance to see them.”

103. “I believe how you measure a good movie is how many times you can see it. With comedies, I like to be a producer because comedies can get corny and go off track real fast. I’m always the ‘less is more’ guy when it comes to a scene. So I’m a be the one who will keep it grounded.”

104. “I’m not really into the political game as far as paying politicians and stuff like that. I’m not into that. You do your job, and I’ll do mine.”

105. “There’s never really been a real hood Christmas movie.”

106. “Once you figure out what your own thing is, it’s all about trying to develop shows, programs that can, I guess, enhance what you already have and what you can add to Hollywood.”

107. “Most actors have to sit by the phone and wait for somebody to call them up to audition and stuff. I don’t think I can exist in Hollywood just on that. I think I need to be proactive and making sure that things I really want to do are being developed to the point where somebody wants to make them.”

108. “I’ve done movies for certain reasons. I did ‘Anaconda’ because the Black man lives, simple. The Black man isn’t dead in the first three pages, like Jurassic Park. It’s like, ‘The Black man kills the snake with a Latino girl? Damn! I got to do this.'”

109. “With film, I have to be a team player. It’s a whole different thing. I can’t just be a one-man show. I have to learn how to use people to the best of their ability and motivate them to be as passionate about the project as I am.”

110. “If you give anybody the chance, they can always make a decent human being out of themselves. It’s the people that don’t have a chance that we look down at like they’re monsters, or they’re animals, or that they want something different than the rest of us.”

Coolest Ice Cube Quotes

111. “I think I’m unique to the game ’cause of my versatility.”

112. “I am only 33. I’ve got a lot to do. This is the first half of my career. I’m looking forward to the future, and I’m proud about the past.”

113. “I believe every pencil has to be sharpened every now and then to stay sharp, or you dull out. So my records, I chose to speak on what Black people do, what White people do, what women do, what men do.” 

114. “Drink some coffee, put some gangsta rap on, and handle it.”

115. “I wish the world would become what God wanted it to be in the first place before we tampered with it.”

116. “I’ve never really taken myself too seriously. That’s everybody else, listening to the music or whatever. I’ve always said what I’ve felt, said what I thought was right, but I’ve always had a comedic bone.”

117. “I don’t get nothing but love in every ghetto all over the world, nothing but love. They respect that I came out of there, and I’m doing it the right way. You can’t do nothing but respect that.”

118. “Early in my career, people wanted to hear music about protest, about trying to change things.”

119. “Money is the root of all evil. Yeah, money is the root. It’s not racism, and ‘this-ism,’ and ‘that-ism.’ It’s our thirst and hunger for money, and that’s where all the bodies are buried.”

120. “I’ve been fighting my whole career to show a different side and prove naysayers. Not prove them wrong because I don’t think you should get your energy from negative people.” 

121. “Sometimes, when you’re relegated to your neighborhood, you forget that there are more important things than your neighborhood going on out in the world.” 

122. “There are things people say in the barbershop they won’t even say in their own living room because it’s just one of those zones where nobody’s going to judge you too much about your dumb opinion.”

123. “When I was six, God was a White man with a big beard riding on a white cloud. That’s the image television pumps.”

124. “It’s always great when you’re able to give fans what they expect and even a little more.” 

125. “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” 

Ice Cube Quotes to Expand Your Mindset

126. “People associate clothes with actual behavior, and it’s kind of crazy. If you get shot in some Levi’s, you don’t go after Levi’s. It’s not the clothes. It’s always the people.”

127. “Anytime there’s racism somewhere in sports, we should get it out of there because sports is a place where everything’s supposed to be fair.” 

128. “Everybody thinks the grass is greener on the other side. If you talk to most artists, they think they can play something, you know. ‘If I had stayed playing football in high school if I had been doing basketball.’ Everybody’s got their fantasies and thinks the grass is greener. It’s not. It’s not.”

129. “I used to love to draw. I didn’t want to go to art class because I felt that would be too corny when I was young, but architectural drafting was the cool thing to do because there was more precision. It taught me a lot about building, and structures, and doorways, and frames, and windowsills.”

130. “I always was like, ‘Yo, I’m here, I might as well get what I could take.'”

131. “A lot of people have a misconception of what the ghetto is all about. You know, it’s only a small percentage of the people that are bad. Everybody else is good.”

132. “Usually, people who attack the rap are people who aren’t even fans.”

133. “Anything that got to do with a pig, I ain’t eating.”

134. “I think people if you really want to be happy, you have to find God yourself, and you’re going to have to have a personal, one-on-one relationship and not look to get through these traditions or these rituals and all this crazy stuff when you could talk to him right here, right now, anytime, anywhere, any place, from any position. And that’s the kind of relationship you want, not a standard.”

135. “I been all around the world, and I haven’t found a city that I’d rather be from or rather come back to than Los Angeles.”

Ice Cube Quotes That Tackle His Career and Experiences in the Industry

136. “When I was in N.W.A. and didn’t get paid all the money I was owed, that’s when the business side of showbiz hit me.”

137. “I never get tired of ‘It Was A Good Day’ references, or jokes, or anything like that. It’s just, you know, keeping my biggest hit alive. Nothing wrong with that.”

138. “The silver and black may have another home, but the Raiders will always belong to the people of Los Angeles.”

139. “I’m not trying to turn into Eddie Murphy and just do kids’ movies the rest of my career. I’m going to still do a wide variety of movies, as well as do hardcore rap.”

140. “Do not turn into just cookie-cutter producer, cookie-cutter this, but a producer that people say wow when they do something, it’s great, or just unique, or whatever.”

141. “I know I ain’t too old. I always think of my fans about 10 years older and 10 years younger than me.”

142. “Everybody that wants to be successful should always be careful of what you wish for. A lot of artists and entertainers want to put the genie back in the bottle and wish they could go back to being what they were.”

143. “You can do anything in the world if you say, ‘Hey man, don’t blame me, the devil made me do it.’ It’s an easy way to escape responsibility.”

144. “There’s a lot of potential that goes unused in places like South Central L.A. A lot of brilliant, smart people who just don’t have that chance to show it.” 

145. “Gangsta to us didn’t have anything to do with Al Capone and stuff like that. It’s just about living your life the way you want to live it, and you’re not going to let nothing stop you.”

146. “We should love the fact that we’re not just getting one point of view. That we have this diversity in entertainment, and people are not scared to be themselves, and people are not scared to make people uncomfortable, and that’s all part of it. That’s all part of being free.” 

147. “I think reading is important in any form. I think a person who’s trying to learn to like reading should start off reading about a topic they are interested in, or a person they are interested in.”

148. “‘Boyz-n-the-Hood’ was actually supposed to be written for Eazy’s group. He had a group out in New York called ‘Home Boys Only,’ called HBO. One of them looked like LL Cool J. Eazy wanted to write a song for them, a street song, like what we were doing on the mixtapes. So when I wrote it, it was too West Coast for them.”

149. “I never was in the Nation of Islam. I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim, ’cause it’s just me and God. You know, going to the mosque, the ritual, and the tradition, it’s just not in me to do it, so I don’t do it.”

150. “I definitely support cop acting more than cops, but all of them ain’t bad, just some of them.”

Are You Ready to Work for a Better Life?

O’Shea Jackson Sr. grew up in an environment where violence and illegal drugs are everywhere. He was shaped in a transgressive community, but his determination for music and having a better life landed him in his career.

People can be easily discouraged when their passions are not being supported. Ice Cube shows how walking your path can be very hard, but it is rewarding to reach your dreams.

Moreover, his kindness and respect for the people he grew up with only fueled him to be an icon of music and Hollywood. It is inspiring and motivating to witness people work to be better people and to have a better life. 

Did you learn a lot from this collection? Which Ice Cube quote is your favorite? Comment down your thoughts below.