Say what?

Ice Cube. Proud Angeleno. Gangsta rap pioneer. Thespian. Former architectural drafting student? Connoisseur of modern design and fan of Charles and Ray Eames? Who would have thought it? Cube…triple threat and Renaissance Man. Consider my hip-hop lovin’, architecture/design consumed-mind blown. Imagine if O’Shea Jackson had pursued his dream of being a master builder instead of hooking up with the NWA crew. This calls for a remix:

(to the tune of It Was A Good Day)

…Had to pop the desk light,
Looking in my mirror not a plan checker in sight,
And the deadline is all right,
I got a beep from Kim and she can draft all night,
Called up the clients and I’m askin y’all,
Which part of this a load-bearing wall?
Get me on the CAD and I’m trouble,
Structure’s weak, fucked the ground now the foundation’s rubble,
Freaking designers every way like I. M. Pei,
I can’t believe, today was a good day…

Brought together by advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles, Ice Cube helps promote Pacific Standard Time (a collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California that celebrate the birth of the Los Angeles art scene) by doing a walk-through and commenting on the Eames House. This unlikely pairing was smart, unpredictable and has already spawned an immediate buzz.


Ice Cube drives Inglewood blvd. describing the Los Angeles that he knows. He talks of landmarks like The Forum, Five Torches, Cockatoo Inn, Brolly Hut, and Watts Towers. He refers to the 110 as “Gangsta Highway”. Cube says coming from South Central LA teaches you how to be resourceful. The video cuts to Cube walking the Eames House perimeter, through the Eames living room, and sitting in the Eames lounge chair. He brings us back to his NWA years when he studied architectural drafting before launching his rap career. One thing he learned that translates is to always have a plan. Cube describes the modern, green and resourceful building design of Charles and Ray Eames. Visionaries of connecting nature and structure. Cube ends by saying “Who are these people who got a problem with LA? Maybe they mad cuz they don’t live here.”

The New York Times: Ice Cube Is in the House!

Cube on the Eameses and design:

I had learned about them when I was studying architectural drafting. Back then, I didn’t know I was going to make money. So being that they put together a house in two days and used discarded materials — something about their style caught on.

As I got older, I could equate it to sampling. I see that’s what we were doing, taking discarded records from the ’60s and ’70s and revamping them.

What I learned from architectural drafting is that everything has to have a plan to work. You just can’t wing it. I can’t get all the materials I need for a house and just start building.

Whether it’s a career, family, life — you have to plan it out.