"I've had people in my family, myself and a lot of my ancestors have been victims of discrimination. So I don't want to discriminate on nobody," the hip-hop star, actor and Coors Light pitchman told Ad Age today in a wide-ranging interview. "And I'm not worried about what people do in their bedrooms."
"I'm cool with it. I'm already married, so I ain't worried about too many other people, what they're doing."
The rapper's comments come after Jay -Z earlier this week told CNN that he supported President Barack Obama's decision to back same-sex marriage. "I've always thought it as something that was still, um, holding the country back," Jay -Z told CNN. "What people do in their own home is their business, and you can choose to love whoever you love."
The subject came up while Ad Age spoke with Ice Cube about his views on marketing, acting and his ongoing Coors Light gig. In the spots, Cube confronts the beer brand over which is colder -- himself or the brew, which recently passed Budweiser as the nation's No. 2 beer brand. "It's fun," he said. "It's fun to be on this ride with Coors Light."
Cube says he's not working with any other brands right now. His hands are full preparing for the release of a new album and working on a planned movie about N.W.A., the rap group that launched his career in the late 1980s.
Ad Age asked Cube for his take on how African-Americans are portrayed in advertising. He called out fast-food restaurants for targeting African-Americans "a little bit" too much. "I always thought the fast-food industry slants the advertising too much. There are more fast-food restaurants it seems like in the neighborhood. That's really affecting obesity and things like that ," he said. "People who don't have money are going to buy that inexpensive food."
He also took issue with Burger King's use of Mary J. Blige in a recent campaign. The ad for Krispy Chicken Snack Wraps was pulled soon after it was posted on YouTube. Some observers criticized it for feeding stereotypes relating to African-Americans and fried chicken.
"I think she was used wack," Ice Cube said. "I didn't like it. It's just sensitive for any black person to be singing about chicken. It's just not cool because of all the stereotypes and the pain in the past. "It touches a nerve."
Burger King has apologized for the ad, saying it was aired before it was final.
Here's more of our conversation with the pitchman:
Ad Age : A couple decades ago, you pitched for St. Ides malt liquor. It's quite a journey from Ides to Coors Light, the No. 2 beer in America. How have you changed?
Ice Cube: I've gotten big enough for Coors Light. Back then I was still trying to make a name for myself, trying to still be the greatest MC in the world, and this small beer company came across called St. Ides. We put together a gang of funny, cool commercials. And I got my feet wet in directing some of those ... and had a lot of fun, but not as much fun as I'm having with Coors Light. Coors Light is big-time.
Ad Age : Do you worry at all about losing street cred by doing mainstream ads?
Ice Cube: When I started doing music I never worried about street cred because that 's not even a term I've ever used. When you are from the streets, you never worry about street cred … I'm not a character. I'm not an image. I'm me. And I think that 's why I've had longevity.
Ad Age : Have you seen more marketers tap the influence of African-Americans?
Ice Cube: If it's cool in the hood, it can make it anywhere. A lot of industries realize that and they definitely have their ear to the streets on what are they liking in the neighborhood. And they should, because we do a lot with a little and make it fly, and people always love our style. So it's only right for advertisers to understand the power of black style and how it can help mainstream style, add even more flash to it.
Ad Age : What is your bigger passion: music or acting?
Ice Cube: It's music, because music is the total freedom. Acting is being part of a team to get a project done. Music is , to me, true art … and I'll never give it up. I'll never stop doing records.