In a way, rap is its own form of literature. Although many liken it to poetry, it also has the power to tell a story. There are plenty of rappers and musical artists who have written all kinds of literary works. From Tupac to Japanese Breakfast, there’s no shortage of poetry and prose coming out of the music industry today.
However, you don’t have to be an author yourself to glean inspiration from the literary world—that much is clear. And there are just as many musical artists who enjoy consuming literature (if not more) than those who produce it themselves. And if you’re a fan of Ice Cube, you might be curious about what kind of content tends to inspire him—or even simply what he likes to read in his free time.
Fortunately, Ice Cube has actually gone into detail regarding his favourite book, and it’s Q by Quincy Jones, his autobiography. When asked about his favourite book, here’s how he described it, “Quincy Jones‘ autobiography Q is very good. Because he’s a master at music, he’s one of our greatest composers and it’s good for him to have a book and tell the good ole days when he was with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan and Ray Charles.”
He continues, “The reason he got to work with so many people was because he was one of the few musicians around who could write out the arrangements. He was in everybody’s session. He learned so much.”
This might not be the expected answer you might imagine for Ice Cube, but it is somewhat fitting, especially when you consider what kinds of books musicians tend to enjoy. Of course, there are celebrities and artists with slightly more esoteric tastes, but when it comes to Ice Cube, you’ll likely find that he has something in his corner that’s a little more suited and applicable to his work.
Learning about the greats of music and the relationships with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Ray Charles is pretty much the basis for a lot of modern music today, and seems like something that would raise his interest.
The book, which came out in 2001, was described by The New Yorker as, “An appealingly convivial blur of deal-making celebrity anecdotes and professional comebacks…Jones is so open that he seems transparent: You can see a whole world of popular music in him.”
If you want to check out just what made Ice Cube so inspired, you can check out some of his music down below.