Friday, July 1, 2022

Ice Cube on Revisiting ‘Barbershop,’ Radicalism & #OscarsSoWhite


*With a successful acting career and legendary status as one of the best rappers to ever touch a mic, Ice Cube has come a long way since bringing the reality of West Coast street life into ears of fans around the world as a member of N.W.A.

Nowadays, you can catch Cube making radical moves in a different way as he brings the third installment of his “Barbershop” film series to the masses with “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” The comedy, which arrives in theaters on Friday (04-15-16), utilizes a positive outlook and humor to address important social issues like race, gender and class as Cube’s character, Calvin Palmer, takes a stand against street violence by brokering a 48-hour ceasefire between gang leaders, with free haircuts as the olive branch pacifying the two warring crews.

Chatting with Uproxx, Cube reveals his reason for revisiting Calvin’s Barbershop on Chicago’s South Side 12 years after the last “Barbershop” movie as well as his thoughts of radicalism being a young man’s and the *OscarsSoWhite controversy.

Highlights from the interview are below:

Why revisit the franchise now, 12 years later?
People who love these characters would love to see what they’re doing after all this time, that’s one good reason. But now there’s 12 more years of celebrities to clown on and roast, too. And Chicago has a bad problem, youth killing each other and shooting each other. So with Calvin’s son being 14 now, it’s the perfect time to do this movie and make a statement, too.

Watching Barbershop, I kept thinking back to the Ice Cube I saw in Straight Outta Compton last summer, who was more radicalized. Do you think radicalism is a young man’s game?
Not at all. I mean, hey, Donald Trump’s a radical! But, what I think, is that you’re only radical when you don’t believe you’re getting a fair shake, or you feel you’ve been wronged – something’s been done to you that’s not fair. As a young man, I saw limited opportunities for myself to change my reality, that causes you to be more radical. Since I’m famous, things have changed now, more opportunities come my way, so that’s what I was radical about in the first place. But at the same time, it’s also my job to speak up for people who haven’t gotten these opportunities. If that was a gimmick, I’d just do the same sh*t you expect me to do. I’d keep it gangsta, blah blah blah. But as a real person, I evolve and gain a better understanding of things. I’m going to change with that, I’m going to be who I truly feel I am. Sometimes it doesn’t match up with who I was as a teenager.

With the all-white Oscars controversy this year, and the fact that the only nominees from Straight Outta Compton were the white screenwriters, do you feel positive about where we’re at right now?
I feel positive, because the Oscars is the end of the road. That’s not where we need to make the most progress. We need change at the beginning, at the studios, with the gatekeepers who chop our budgets and don’t greenlight our movies over other movies. And I think we’ve made a lot of progress since N.W.A. Back then, I did the song “Burn Hollywood Burn,” because there was none of us in high places making decisions about which movies are made. It’s a different landscape now, not all the way where it needs to be, but in due time, we’re getting there. Hollywood cares about green more than they care about black and white, to be honest.

To read Cube’s interview in its entirety, click here.




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