No matter the weather, Historic 25th Street is getting stone-cold next Friday night.
Los Angeles' entertainment entrepreneurial legend Ice Cube will take to the street for a free centerpiece concert as part of the Winter Dew Tour, the world-class snowboard and freeski events being hosted by Snowbasin Resort Thursday through Feb. 13.
Last year's Dew Tour-sponsored Dashboard Confessional concert attracted throngs to downtown Ogden.
BJ Carretta, director of marketing and communications for the competition, in charge of booking all concerts and music around the Tour, thinks the Ice Cube show will be at least as successful.
"If last year's crowd is any indication, well, bringing in a name like Ice Cube will be phenomenal," said Carretta, calling from Alli Sports headquarters, the organizers of the Dew Tour, in Burr Ridge, Ill.
Though the Dew Tour featured indie rock at last year's Ogden concert, hip-hop has been the go-to music for the three-year-old winter tour. Featured artists on this year's tour have been Chicago alt rappers The Cool Kids, in Colorado, and New York rapper, DJ Cassidy, in Vermont. Past Dew Tour performers have included big-name hip-hop artists like Common, Lupe Fiasco and Ludacris,
"I think this type of music has big appeal to our audience," said Carretta. "It is really ingrained in this particular sports culture. And a lot of our athletes tend to listen when they practice, and sometimes, even when they ride during the comp. Just the overall vibe and beat of what hip-hop is, I think, helps them perform."
Ice Cube has something of a colorful past, with his association with West Coast gangsta rap and compositions about the thug life. However, Carretta said, Dew Tour organizers are not concerned in light of the artist's present-day accomplishments and status.
"There was no discussion at all as to any controversy," Carretta said. "He is one of the founding fathers of the rap game, so to speak. But he has also developed over the years, and had really gone completely mainstream, crossed over into other business avenues in a big way, such as TV and movies. It is pretty amazing -- here is a guy who took what he did with N.W.A. and turned that into an exceptionally lucrative and extremely successful career. His films do very well. His records still do well, too.
"And he's got a family himself. He knows how to perform to any audience that he is playing for. I really think it will be something the community will enjoy."
Not only does Carretta expect the people of Utah to be rocked to their socks by this show, he says that people directly involved with the tour can't wait to see Cube kick out the jams on 25th Street.
"Our athletes are super-excited about it -- even our CEO is super-excited about it, because he came up in that generation. I think that, from an audience perspective, this is going to be one of the biggest and broadest shows we've done yet."
Cool things to know about Ice Cube
In music ...
- Ice Cube was born O'Shea Jackson in South Central Los Angeles on June 15, 1969
- His first two rap groups went by initials only -- first C.I.A., then N.W.A.
- Rapper Dr. Dre was an early champion of Cube. The two joined forces in 1987 under the name C.I.A. to record Cube's first song, "My Posse." They swiftly added to the lineup fellow Compton, Calif., artists DJ Yella, Arabian Prince, Eazy-E and MC Ren, and called the group N.W.A.
Along with groups like Public Enemy, N.W.A. was essential in pioneering what is now known as West Coast hip-hop and, more specifically the controversial, often violent-imaged subgenre known as gangsta rap.
Their second album, 1988's "Straight Outta Compton," went double platinum, helping transform rap from a fairly fringe element in pop into a powerhouse.
- In 1990, at the height of the group's fame, Cube departed N.W.A. He has since released nine successful solo albums. He has collaborated with diverse artists including the late Tupac Shakur, British house music DJ Paul Oakenfold and the hard rock band Korn.
- Cube's musical kinfolk include his cousins Del the Funky Homosapian, who has had a successful solo career (and also worked with the groups Hieroglyphics and Gorillaz), and Kam, of the rap group The Warzone.
Cube's sons, who work under the name OMG and Doughboy, are also rappers, and were featured on their father's 2010 album "I Am The West" from his own record label, Lench Mob.
- He has sold more than 10 million albums to date.
In TV and movies ...
- Cube first broke into the movie business with his critically acclaimed performance as Doughboy in John Singleton's 1991 release, "Boyz N the Hood."
- He has since appeared in 28 film and television roles. Noteworthy turns include his starring role alongside George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in 1999's "Three Kings" and his appearance in 1995's "Friday," opposite a then up-and-coming Chris Rock. "Friday" was also Cube's screenplay writing debut.
- Along with "Friday," he is credited with the screenplays for four other films. He has acted as producer or executive producer on 17 film and television projects. He also directed the 1998 feature "The Player's Club" and "Straight Outta LA," a 2010 documentary for ESPN about the relationship between the Raiders football team and their fans during the team's 13-year tenure in Los Angeles.
- The 2010 video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops" features Cube's voice-acting in the role of Chief Petty Officer Bowman and as an announcer in the game's multiplayer mode.
- Cube is executive producer of the sitcom "Are We There Yet?" which debuted in summer 2010 on TBS. The series is based on a 2005 movie of the same name, and on its sequel from 2007, "Are We Done Yet?" Cube is credited as a producer on both films as well.
The show revolves around a blended family's good and bad times. Cube reprises his movie role of Terrence, brother and uncle to members of the central family in the story.
Sources: www.icecube.com; press materials from the Dew Tour; "Ice Cube: Attitude," Joel McIver (Sanctuary Press, 2002); www.allmusic.com; www.imdb.com; archived interview of Ice Cube on NPR's "Fresh Air," original air date, Jan. 10, 2005