Ice Cube is an original rap legend still doing what people like - even in the Cowboy State.
A concert featuring O'Shea Jackson Sr, otherwise known as Ice Cube, is a sold-out show on Sunday, April 16, at the Lincoln Theatre Center in Cheyenne. Tickets were gone baby gone within a week of announcing the rap star's performance, according to Renee Jelinek, who said timing was key in snagging such a big star for the Cowboy State.
"We just really lucked out," she said. "I saw his show announced Denver at the Mission Ballroom, so I reached out to his agent, who we have worked with in the past on some of our other shows and just said, 'Hey, is there any chance that he has any dates either right before or after the Denver show?'"
After a lot of back and forth - and a deal that fell apart a few times - Jelinek was finally able to close the deal.
"They don't really care if it's for 1,200 or 4,000 people, it's just they have a minimum amount that they will play for," Jelinek said. "So, we had to just do some risk analysis on what the ticket prices would need to be - knowing that they would be quite a bit higher than what we normally do for our shows."
To make it a little more accessible to a range of fans, and still reach the target figure, Jelinek created tiered prices for some of the better seats, like the front row.
"We knew that they were going to be steep prices and that there would be some people that didn't quite understand the cost of those tickets," Jelinek said. "But we felt pretty confident that enough people would come out for it, and we had our quickest sell-out yet."
Who Is Ice Cube
O'Shea Jackson was born in Los Angeles in 1969. Legend has it that he got his rap name Ice Cube from an older brother, who was always threatening to stash him in the freezer and not take him back out until he was frozen solid, like an ice cube.
Jackson says he started rapping in high school after a classmate in typing class challenged him.
It turned out, he was pretty good at it - good enough to snag a position with Stereo Crew, which released the hit single "She's a Skag," in 1986.
But Ice Cube achieved much bigger stardom when he joined N.W.A. with their classic debut album, "Straight Outta Compton," in 1988.
Eventually, internal disputes about financial pay led Ice Cubeto leave the group and start a successful solo career instead, including the 1990 platinum album, Amerikkka's Most Wanted.
Not long after that album, he began a successful acting career with the movie, "Boyz N the Hood," and went on to produce several other movies, including "Friday," "The Players Club," and "Ride Along," to name a few.
Small And Intimate Is Big And Special For Fans
A name as big as Ice Cube wouldn't normally play a small venue in Cheyenne. The Lincoln has a mere 1,200 seats, while Ice Cube more usually plays to an arena seating a minimum of 12,000.
But, Cheyenne is uniquely positioned. Not so very far from Denver for a star who might be driving from there to venues in Utah, for example. That can make Cheyenne a doable stop along the way. All it took was the right sales pitch, Jelinek said..
Jordan Allen, one of the first to buy Ice Cube tickets, digs that dynamic and hopes it will mean future big-name stars coming to Cheyenne.
"Ice Cube is probably one of the biggest non-country artists that's ever come here," he told Cowboy State Daily. "So, it's nice to see bigger names that are, you know, still relevant. The Cube isn't like really washed up yet."
A bucket List Item
Jordan's not a usual Lincoln Theatre guest. He credits a friend on Facebook who tagged him on the concert's ad the very first day. He almost couldn't believe his eyes when he saw it.
"He's been on the arena circuit for years and that's why I'm so excited about this show," he said. "I love small venues."
While it might be strange to think about Ice Cube having a lot of fans in the Cowboy State, given that the hip-hopper was born in Los Angeles and gained widespread popularity - and sometimes notoriety - for popularizing gangster rap, Jordan believes Jackson has songs everyone can appreciate.
He also feels the rap star is still releasing new and relevant music today, like the recent Mount Westmore album, which came out last year. That's keeping his music fresh for fans like Jordan.
"NWA was a very influential group, and his solo music was very influential as well," Jordan said. "You know, even though this is the Cowboy State, growing up, there are some albums that everyone has, no matter what kind of music you listen to.
"You know, like Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," Wu Tang's "36 Chambers," NWA's "Straight Outta Compton," Ice Cube's first solo album, "The Predator" album - they're just albums that everyone had because they were good no matter what."
Nostalgia Also A Big Draw
Ice Cube is a big star with not just music but many movies to his name as well. But it's the nostalgia Jordan alludes to that Jelinek believes makes Ice Cube and other hip-hop bands so popular in the Cowboy State.
"Especially any of the legacy like hip-hop acts, they do very well here," she said. "That's something we've seen with some of our other shows with other artists."
Sir Mix-A-Lot, for example, in the plaza, drew a crowd of 5,000 people.
"So, it's, you know, it's music that people grew up with, that they knew from when they were younger, and people love to go and see those types of shows."