Ice Cube was a guest on last night's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the first episode of the show since Maher drew ire by referring to himself as a "house nigger" live on air last Friday.
"I knew you was going to fuck up sooner or later," Ice Cube told Maher last night. "I love your show, you've got a great show. But you've been bucking up against that line a little bit. You got a lot of black jokes[...] Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker." Maher pushed back on that comparison, but Ice Cube continued: "What made you think that it was cool to say that?"
"I just explained, there was no thought put into it," Maher responded. "Comedians, they react, and it was wrong and I apologized. More than that I can't do."
"I accept your apology," Ice Cube said as a section of the audience applauded. "But I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche. Because there's a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they're too familiar—or they think they're too familiar. Or it's guys that might have a black girlfriend or two who made them some Kool-Aid now and then, and they think they can cross the line. And they can't"
"You know, it's a word that has been used against us," Ice Cube continued. "It's like a knife, man. And you can use it as a weapon, or you can use it as a tool. It's been used as a weapon against us by white people, and we're not going to let that happen again by nobody. Because it's not cool. Now, I know you heard, it's in the lexicon, everybody talking. But that's our word now. And you can't have it now. I know you trying to get it back. And I'm not talking about you Bill. I'm talking about guys who cross the line every day because they got some black homies, they got some friends, they think it's cool. And it's not cool. Because when I hear my homies say it, it don't feel like venom. When I hear a white person saying it, it feels like a knife stabbing me, even if they don't mean it."
"I just don't know sometimes—is this a political show or is this a show about jokes?," he asked. "This to me is a political show. And i think you just have to not step on some of the political messages that you're saying with a joke, because somethings just ain't funny. This is real right here that we're going through. And I'm not trying to get on your case, Bill. I'm telling you: I like your show, I like you. But I think this is a teachable moment, not just to you, but to the people that's watching right now."
"I think the people watching right now are saying, 'That point has been made,'" Maher interjected.
"Not by me," the rapper responded.
Ice Cube had already made clear that he would confront Maher on his use of the word. "He knows that's a bad word to a lot of people," he told Rolling Stone earlier this week. "You'll see me on there Friday and I'll say what I gotta say."
Ice Cube reissued his second studio album, 1991's Death Certificate, yesterday as part of a new deal with Interscope.
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