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Thanking his mother, a humble Ice Cube gets his star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

 (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)
(Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

For 47-year-old O’Shea Jackson -- the rapper, actor and producer better known as Ice Cube (or just “Cube,” as his friends call him) -- receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was more than a testament to the hip-hop icon’s fruitful career.

The star, which was unveiled Monday morning outside the Musicians Institute on Hollywood Boulevard, caps the better part of a lifetime making music that not only reflects his experiences but also has had an impact on the broader culture.

“It’s about damn time,” said rapper WC, a close friend of Ice Cube, who spoke during the unveiling ceremony. “Because this is long overdue.”

Ice Cube's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)
Ice Cube's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

The ceremony took place just three days after the release of the 25th-anniversary edition of Ice Cube’s politically charged album “Death Certificate,” and just three days before his 48th birthday (the news of which sparked an audience call-and-response: “When I say ‘happy,’ you say ‘birthday!’”).

Ice Cube first rose to fame in the late '80s as a rapper and lyricist with the West Coast “gangsta rap” group N.W.A, alongside fellow South Central natives Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, MC Ren (all of whom were present during Monday’s ceremony) and Eazy-E. Ice Cube penned the lyrics to several of N.W.A’s most resonant songs, including “Straight Outta Compton,” “Gangsta Gangsta” and “Express Yourself.”

“He utilized his lyrics to wake up spirits,” WC said of Ice Cube’s repertoire, the great majority of which is infused with sociopolitical commentary.

Ice Cube, left, with fellow N.W.A member Dr. Dre at Ice Cube's Walk of Fame ceremony. (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)
Ice Cube, left, with fellow N.W.A member Dr. Dre at Ice Cube's Walk of Fame ceremony. (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

But while the rapper’s roots lie predominantly in gritty, G-funk anthems -- several particularly enthusiastic members of the crowd rapped along to “You Know How We Do It,” Ice Cube’s 1994 hit, which pulsed through a set of speakers on the outskirts of the ceremony -- he's become something of a renaissance man. Post-N.W.A, Ice Cube went on to launch a solo rap career and ventured into acting and record-producing.

No matter how his career has evolved, he has remained an active “call out” source for racial transgressions (most recently, in a forthright conversation with Bill Maher). And John Singleton -- best known for directing “Boyz N the Hood,” Ice Cube’s first foray onto the big screen -- believes that quality speaks volumes about Ice Cube’s character.

“The mark of a true man is how many people he influences in his lifetime,” Singleton said at the ceremony. “That’s how I see Cube." 

Ice Cube, center, had his parents on hand for his Walk of Fame celebration and specifically thanked his mother. (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)
Ice Cube, center, had his parents on hand for his Walk of Fame celebration and specifically thanked his mother. (Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

But despite the back-to-back exclamations of praise, Ice Cube spoke with a degree of humility. In his acceptance speech -- which ran more than three times his designated two-minute interval -- he thanked everyone, including his mother and his longtime lawyer, Lee Young.

"You don't get here by yourself," the rapper said, sporting a pair of thick-rimmed rectangular shades and his characteristic black snapback with the L.A. Dodgers symbol sewn into its crown.

“Today is not really about Ice Cube,” he said. "It's about all the people that helped me get here."

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