NT: What would you look back on as your greatest learning experience?
Ice Cube: My greatest learning experience, hmmm, damn . . . I don't know. Maybe I haven't run across it yet.

NT: You talk positive stuff about uplifting the black race, yet you call black women "hoes" and "bitches." What's up with that?

Ice Cube: Women don't realize how much control they have over men just with sex. To a man, sex is basically one of the best parts of life. For real. A man has it hard out here. A black man has it extremely hard. One of the ways he shows his manhood is to make love to a woman. Now, when you have a woman who uses the power of sex to get things, she is negotiating. I'm talking about the woman who says, "If you cut the grass, maybe we can do something." That's a negotiator. All the way down to the woman who has the attitude that says, "If you can't give me what this white lady has on TV, I don't want you."

NT: Were you ever incarcerated?
Ice Cube: Yeah.
NT: For what?

Ice Cube: It was a misunderstanding, and it has something to do with Phoenix. I will not delve into it until after I've left Phoenix. You can call me back and talk; I don't want them motherfuckers bugging me.

NT: Did it have anything to do with you experiencing racism here in Phoenix?

Ice Cube: Well, I lived in Phoenix for a year. I lived in Tempe, and then I couldn't stand not seeing a black person, so I moved to the south side, around by South Mountain; Baseline and the Broadway area. I was here in the fall of 1987 to the summer of 1988.

NT: What are your thoughts on the recent death of former N.W.A member Eazy-E from AIDS?

Ice Cube: It's just unbelievable. I was only recently talking with him. We were just kicking it and laughing and having a good time. I can't believe the shit went down like that. It was sad, because we were just starting to all put our shit together where we could add some more flavor to hip-hop with an N.W.A reunion. And for that shit to happen--damn, it's still unbelievable.

NT: What do you think about that female rap group by the name of H.W.A (Hoes Wit Attitude)?

Ice Cube: I don't know too much about them. That's their business. Ya know, people just take the things we say way too seriously. Rappers are not politicians. We are not preachers. We are simply telling stories, and they have to be entertaining. We all have spinned yarn on our records at one time or another. Meaning we've all lied on our records.

NT: Would you admit to a lie that you told on one of your records?
Ice Cube: Yeah. Me running from the ghetto bird. It was a total lie. The whole record was a lie.

NT: What is a ghetto bird?
Ice Cube: A ghetto bird is a police helicopter that flies over the neighborhood at night scoping for criminals. Running from the ghetto bird is a lie. The whole "Lethal Injection" record was a lie. But it was fun; it's entertainment.

NT: Would you let your children listen to the lyrics of so-called gangsta rappers like Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre?

Ice Cube: All the time. They can listen to anything they want to listen to. My kids are 8, 4 and 1 years old. Whatever they want to listen to, they can listen to. 'Cause I am there to ask them what they like about the song and what they think about it. NT: What if they start cursing and repeating the vulgar lyrics we hear on most rap cuts?

Ice Cube: They can if they want to. As a kid, we've all cursed. Everybody curses, and there ain't nothing wrong with that. It's wrong when you don't know the appropriate time to do it. We all know that when you're sitting on the bus when you have older people around, you don't want your kid in the back screaming, "Motherfucker this and that." You just teach them when it is the right time to express yourself like that and when it's the wrong time to express yourself like that. And your kid won't look at you like some dictator or some motherfucker trying to control them. There is a time and a place for cursing. Ice Cube is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, April 11, at Club Rio in Tempe, with Da Brat. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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