Ice Cube’s Straight Outta LA
Rapper Ice Cube, a member of pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A., is an actor, writer, producer and director of feature films and has helped launch the careers of many including Chris Tucker and Bernie Mac. Ice Cube’s latest directorial effort is a documentary entitled Straight Outta LA which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary was produced as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series. The sports channel, celebrating its 30th anniversary, recruited high-profile directors to make 30 original films focusing on a sports event of the directors choice from the past three decades.
Straight Outta LA examines the relationship between the Raiders and Los Angeles. The documentary also focuses on N.W.A. and the coupling of music and sports. From a business perspective, the group’s incorporation of the Raiders shield, as well as team colors black and gray, into their look was a precursor to the billion dollar industry of sports merchandise. The visibility of the fan gear turned the sports franchise into a brand. “Some people will ask, ‘How do the Raiders and N.W.A. go together and why should I care?’ You should care because before music and sports got together like this, merchandise and things like that were about a $300 million business. It’s now a $2 billion business” stated Ice Cube. “The craziness with sports wouldn’t be like it is today without music and the merchandise and all these things that used to only happen when the team played, now happen year round. Even when the teams aren’t playing because it’s more than a team thing, it’s a fashion thing, it’s a pop culture thing and that’s what music brought to sports.”