Ice Cube, veteran gangsta rapper, star of films both amazing and atrocious, and apparent one-time architectural drafting student, loves Los Angeles. And in a new video promoting Pacific Standard Time, a massive, Getty Center-organized series of exhibitions celebrating Southern California art and design from 1945 to 1980, the former N.W.A. member waxes about his hometown's design scene while calling out all those L.A. haters (“maybe they just mad they don’t live here.”)
In the video (yes, it's real), Ice Cube takes viewers on a quick architectural sightseeing tour of L.A. in a 1960s Lincoln Continental while explaining the distinct personalities of the city’s freeways (the 405 = “bougie” while the 110 = "gangsta traffic”) before, somewhat abruptly, winding up at midcentury modern architectural masterpiece, the Eames House (AKA Case Study House #8), in Pacific Palisades.
Yep, the controversial lyricist who co-wrote “F*** tha Police” and "Straight Outta Compton" is a fan of the 20th century's most influential husband-and-wife design duo, Charles and Ray Eames, who erected the heavily prefabricated Case Study House #8 over two-days in 1949 and lived and worked there until their deaths. “They were doing mash-ups before mash-ups even existed,” Ice Cube says of the “resourceful” couple.
He continues: “In a world full of McMansions, where destruction takes up all of the land, the Eameses made structure and nature one. This is going green 1949-style, b****. Believe that.”
Scroll down to check out the video in full (several other famous Angelenos have appeared in similar clips). It's also worth checking out an analysis of the video over at the LA Weekly ("Reminiscing and pontificating in a ten-thousand dollar leather-trimmed Eames lounge chair, with his Vans on a matching ottoman, he seems oblivious to the fact that chilling in this house, much less scuffing agonizingly preserved furniture, is a rare, exclusive treat") and this Q&A with Ice Cube over at The New York Times where he further discusses how the work of Charles and Ray Eames impacted his own career:
I had learned about them when I was studying architectural drafting. Back then, I didn’t know I was going to make money. So being that they put together a house in two days and used discarded materials — something about their style caught on. As I got older, I could equate it to sampling. I see that’s what we were doing, taking discarded records from the ’60s and ’70s and revamping them.