O’Shea Jackson, Jr. could not be more thankful to his father, Ice Cube, for the opportunities he’s had in his career. The successful actor, 32, spoke out against the recent “nepo baby” controversy, which accuses many of today’s stars of getting ahead in Hollywood because their parents were already famous. “I’m forever grateful for everything that my dad had to do to give me the opportunities that I have,” O’Shea said on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Friday, February 24.
And O’Shea has had many opportunities, with roles in 2022’s Obi-Wan Kenobi mini-series, 2019’s Just Mercy, and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He also portrayed his father in the 2015 N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. “If I were to run away from that or shy away from it in any way, in my eyes that’s disrespectful to everything he had to go through,” he said on the talk show. “He didn’t work as hard as he did for me to not accept and appreciate it.”
Ice Cube first catapulted into the spotlight alongside Eazy-E and Dr. Dre in the group N.W.A after they released their legendary 1998 album Straight Outta Compton. He then enjoyed a successful solo career as well, dropping hits like 1992’s “It Was A Good Day” and 1993’s “You Know How We Do It”, and working on five platinum albums and one platinum EP. In addition, he’s had an impressive film career that only keeps on giving. Some of Ice Cube’s biggest movies include 2000’s Next Friday and 2014’s Ride Along.
“I have a lot of people, they have an idea of what I’m going to be before I get to any set because of their idea of what my dad is,” O’Shea added on Kelly Clarkson. “They think I’m coming to set feeling entitled, or I feel like I need to have ‘a posse’ of 15-20 people with me, straight rap stuff. But no, I’m here to work. I pride myself on my professionalism.”
This isn’t the first time O’Shea spoke out on the “nepo baby” controversy, which all started when New York Magazine released a cover story about nepotism in Tinseltown, and featured Dakota Johnson, John David Washington, Jack Quaid, Maude Apatow, Lily-Rose Depp, Ben Platt, Maya Hawke, and Zoe Kravitz. Shortly after the article was published, O’Shea took to his Twitter to comment.
“My dad told me in a perfect world, I would play him in ‘Straight Outta Compton. I accepted the challenge. And auditioned for two years before getting the role. After that it was up to me, he couldn’t hold my hand through my career,” he tweeted. “I had to get my ass up and make it work. Once the door was opened it was up to me to walk through it and thrive.”
“But none of that. NONE. OF. THAT. Happens that way without the love of my father,” he continued. “Bust your ass! Do the work! And leave something for your kids to do the same thing! It is not a shadow for you to get out of! It is an empire to which you are growing! “