At 8 years old, Emmanuel Jal was carrying an AK-47 rifle as a child soldier in the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Taken from battle and adopted by a British aid worker, he is now a rising international music star. He discusses his experiences and music. Jal's new album is titled Warchild.
Known today equally as a musician and actor, Ice Cube was born O'Shea Jackson. He first gained notoriety in the late 1980s with the revolutionary group N.W.A. He now also acts in and produces movies, including this year's comedy Are We There Yet? (This interview originally aired Jan. 10, 2005.)
The new film Are We There Yet? stars Ice Cube as a man so eager to get close to a woman that he offers to travel many miles to reunite her children with their mother. The film was made by his production company, Cube Vision, which also developed Friday, as well as Barbershop.
She's currently starring in the film adaptation of "Chicago" as Mama, a no-nonsense prison warden. She also has a new CD, "She's a Queen: A Collection of Hits" (Motown). At the age of 19, Latifah was the first female solo rapper to have a major record deal. She also had breakthrough roles in TV's "Living Single" and in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" and had a leading role in the film "Living Out Loud." Latifah is the author of the memoir "Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman." (REBROADCAST from 3/15/99)
Rapper and actor ICE-T...one of the original "gangsta" rappers. He’s got a new CD,”Greatest Hits: The Evidence” (Atomic Pop). Greg Knot of The Chicago Tribune has written that "ICE-T is that rare gangster rapper who leads with his brain instead of his gun or his crotch." ICE-T's 1992 song "Cop Killer" landed him at the center of a controversy about gansta rap--is it a legitimate form of expression or is it incendiary hate-mongering? In addition to his singing career, ICE-T is an actor.
Writer and critic Nelson George. He's one of this country's most prominent chroniclers of black music and culture. His new book "Hip Hop America" (Viking) is a history of Hip Hop, and a memoir of his own life, growing up to the musical strains of Hip Hop.