Ice Cube Explains Why Leaving N.W.A. Was “A Big Risk” For His Career

The Rap icon reflected on parting ways with the group and trusting himself and his vision in the process.

BYErika Marie
Ice Cube Explains Why Leaving N.W.A. Was “A Big Risk” For His Career

In life, we all take risks in order to reach our next milestones, and while they can prove to be difficult, many believe those risks are worthwhile. When Ice Cube decided it was time to part ways with N.W.A. in the late 1980s-early 1990s, he was frustrated with his experiences with the group but also determined to continue his career as a solo artist. We've heard stories about N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller being accused of not paying Cube all he was owed, and in a recent interview, the Rap legend explained taking the biggest chance in his career.

“I think leaving N.W.A., that was a big risk,” Cube told HipHopDX. “It could have went all bad from there after reaching the mountain top and you just kind of throw yourself off."

Ice Cube Explains Why Leaving N.W.A. Was "A Big Risk" For His Career
Raymond Boyd / Contributor / Getty Images

"So that could have went bad, but it taught me how to trust myself, trust what I see and what I believe. And I was dedicated to not letting this business change who I am," he continued. "I feel nothing is worth saving. Do what you feel or don’t do it. Don’t worry about the past or the future, just do what you feel. And you’ll be able to live with yourself at the end of the day, whether anybody like it or not. As long as you can live with yourself, that’s all that matters."

Cube's N.W.A. exit would spell contention between him and his former collaborators, and Hip Hop received diss tracks that turned into classics. Cube and Eazy-E were able to reconcile before the latter passed away from complications with HIV/AIDS in 1995.


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About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.