You may recognize Ice Cube as the mild-mannered star of family fare like “Are We There Yet” or, reaching back a little bit, the masterpiece that is “Friday” or — keep going — as one of the founding members of NWA, the rap group that launched his career and gave him a platform to sing about his hometown, Los Angeles.
In a new short film produced by Pacific Standard Time, we get a little deeper into Ice Cube’s past and his astute take on L.A., architecture and — in particular — Charles and Ray Eames.
“A lot of people think L.A. is just eyesore after eyesore, full of mini-malls, palm trees and billboards,” he says. “They don’t know the L.A. I know — the good, the bad and the ugly … One man’s eyesore is another man’s paradise.”
He ticks off a list of his favorite L.A. landmarks and explains the important distinctions between freeways before taking us on a visit to an L.A. home designed by the Eameses.
“What I love about the Eames is how resourceful they are,” he says. “Before I did rap music, I studied architectural drafting and one thing I learned was you always gotta have a plan.”
He continues: “They was doing mash-ups before mash-ups even existed. It’s not about the pieces, but about how the pieces work together. Taking something and making it special. Kind of like sampling.”
He explains how the Eameses — a husband and wife design team — used off-the-shelf products to create their unique ando organic structures
“This is going green 1949 style, b****.”
Earlier videos in the series include Jason Schwartzman celebrating John Baldessari and Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis taking Ed Ruscha for a drive on the Sunset Strip.
“Who are these people who got a problem with L.A.,” says Ice Cube as the clip wraps up. “Maybe they’re just mad they don’t live here.”