Art, Conversation

The Believer Interview: Ice Cube

Most of the problems that we have are brought on by the government and not by music. Music is a mirror of what we’re going through, not the cause of what we’re going through. It’s a reaction, it’s our only weapon, it’s our only way to protect ourselves, it’s our only way to fit, it’s our only way to get there. But that’s all right, music kind of thrives on talking about what’s the problem, you know, sometimes glorifying it. You know, when you’re in this pool of poverty and lower education, pretty soon you start wearing all that as a badge. “I’m from the poorest area, I’m from the slums, I came from nothing.” That becomes a badge of honor.

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The Craiglist Killers

That’s it? Confess to God and then you’re in heaven?

He nodded. That’s it.

He asked one more thing, though, at the end of our visit. Please ask people to write me, he said. I may be able to counsel them in their lives. And if I could communicate with men outside these walls, he said, it would make me feel free, too.

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