Cube explains that after doing “Boyz N the Hood,” he didn’t always want to be seen as “the L.A. gangbanger.”


Ice Cube is one of the most accomplished rap artists to pursue an acting career in Hip-Hop history.

Over the past three decades, Cube has landed a number of culturally iconic roles, such as Doughboy in Boyz N the Hood and Craig in his Friday trilogy. Yet, when asked if there are any acting roles that Cube regrets passing on, he mentioned the role of O-Dog in the 1993 film Menace II Society as the one that got away. According to Cube, his decision to decline the role was strategic, as he wanted to avoid being typecast as the “L.A. gangbanger” following the success of Boyz N the Hood.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images

“I would say Menace II Society,” Cube told the host of On The Guest List podcast. “I had a shot to do O-Dog, even though I think Larenz Tate killed it. I just didn’t wanna be type cast, you know what I mean? I was like, ‘I just did Boyz N the Hood, and they just gonna have me be the L.A. gangbanger,’ you know what I mean? Every damn movie and [Menace] was like the second movie I got offered, so I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t wanna play that.’ That was one movie that when I saw it I was like, ‘Ooh, that role is cold.’”

As it turns out, Cube’s regret about passing on portraying O-Dog would be actor Larenz Tate’s big break, as he would ultimately be cast as the hot-tempered gangbanger in Menace II Society, a memorable performance that ranks among Tate’s most popular roles to date.

Tate’s feature film breakout performance minted him as one of the hottest young Black actors in Hollywood, as he would go on to star in multiple high-profile films including Inkwell, Dead PresidentsLove JonesWhy Do Fools Fall in Love, Biker Boyz, and Ray.

Watch the Ice Cube episode of On The Guest List podcast below.

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