Hip-hop artist Ice Cube, born O’Shea Jackson, rose to prominence in the gangster rap group N.W.A in the 1990s before he went solo in music and Hollywood films. He converted to Islam after going solo and was largely thought to have joined the Nation of Islam, although he denies it.
Ice Cube refers to himself as “a natural Muslim” because he does not go to the mosque or follow the rituals of Islam.
Known for making political and anti-establishment statements, Cube says he cut ties with the Nation of Islam.
Here are five things Cube has said about the teachings of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and Black Islam over the years:
“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. So, I don’t do it,” he told The Guardian in a Feb. 2000 interview.
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“I want to bring up the best man for the job coz he is looking at Louis Farrakhan, who is the best man for the job. My job is pointing to him so that he can point you to the leader. I’d like to introduce Dr Khalid Muhammad,” Cube said as he ended his brief speech during a November 2017 Nation of Islam meeting on “The White Man and Equality”.
In a tweet Cube shared in November 2020, he said, “The Messenger of God: Elijah Muhammad warned America what was coming to her if she didn’t change her wicked ways since the 1930s. But you tried to kill the message because it was too factual for you”.
In 1991 after his album, “AmeriKKKa’s most Wanted,” became a big hit, Cube told the Chicago Tribune, “It’s much deeper than just saying ‘bitch’ and all that, there’s more people listening. With ‘kill at Will’ you see a slight turn. With my next record, ‘Def Certificate’ you’ll see how the Nation of Islam has influenced me. I get deeper into some of the situations that are haunting all black people.”
“I listen to Louis Farrakhan a lot because he teaches self-love. They say he teaches hate, but if you don’t hate somebody after all the stuff, we’ve been through…” Cube told the Chicago Tribune.
“That’s why I think the Nation of Islam is the best organization for self-love when it comes to black people, and I listen and learn from that.”