New York Times Magazine sat down with Cube to discuss Straight Outta Compton and the N.W.A reunion at this year’s BET Awards.
NYT: In a trailer for Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. biopic that you co-produced, you say a lot of people don’t realize that your music was a form of nonviolent protest. Is that because the nonviolent part wasn’t very clear?
CUBE: I think it’s very clear. We put our frustrations on a record, and we were creative. We didn’t make a Molotov cocktail; we didn’t loot no buildings or burn ’em down or none of that. All we did was make music.
NYT: After leaving the group, you got into a pretty public conflict with Eazy-E and your ex-manager Jerry Heller. It led to one of your more infamous songs, “No Vaseline.” Did the conflict help you progress as an artist?
CUBE: No. I was making hard-core records without conflict. It was just a distraction. It didn’t help me write or help me focus.
NYT: On that song, you rapped that you would never have dinner with the president. Would you have dinner with Obama?
CUBE: Depends. I’d rather have dinner with him when he’s not the president, and then I could hear all the juicy stuff.