Ice Cube is known for two things, rumors about him paying people and clapping back online when his name is dragged into something he does not like. Cube takes himself very seriously and is not a fan of people spreading misinformation about him. See recently, when he checked Kanye West for alleging that Cube sent him on his rants recently. Over the years, he’s had to repeatedly defend himself when people try to bring up how much he’s paid actors in his films. It turns out, Drake has a small payment story about Cube too. While he’s not complaining, neither were the other few people who still got a swift clap back from the “Today Was a Good Day” rapper.
It’s no secret that Ice Cube shot Friday on next to no budget. The passion project was something dreamed up between him and co-writer DJ Pooh. They wanted to paint south central in a different light from Boyz In Da Hood and Menace II Society and decided to write a comedy. Cube offered to fund the film himself but was encouraged to get Warner Bros. behind it. They provided a million-dollar budget, which meant most of the actors, who were all up-and-coming, got paid pennies to be on screen.
Faizon Love played Big Worm in Friday, one of the film’s standout roles. Faizon opened up last year about doing the role for only $2500, a payday he was very proud of being a struggling actor and on probation at the time. “I got to say ‘im working’ to the P.O.” While Faizon appreciated the start, he decided to turn down a role in the follow-up, Next Friday due to the return pay being too little. He said it was a blessing in disguise because his next offer was $1 million for the film The Replacements.
While Faizon was not complaining, the internet decided to take his story and run with it after several sources close to Chris Tucker, John Witherspoon, and more claimed they got low payments as well. While John returned for the follow-ups after a serious pay increase, Chris Tucker opted to join the Rush Hour franchise instead and became a multi-millionaire in the process. When he got word of the internet saying he “robbed” his actors, Ice Cube fired back, saying, “[Friday was]shot it in 20 days. Fazion worked one day, maybe 2. All the actors got paid scale to do the movie.” He went on to say that if the pay was an issue, people could have easily declined.
Rapper Drake is the latest to open up about working with Ice Cube. The then-unknown rapper was just an actor on Degrassi when he opened for Cube in 2006. Drake shared the invoice from the show, revealing he only got paid 100 Canadian dollars for his set at Toronto venue Kool Haus. This would roughly be $73 today, possibly less if you account for inflation. Drake was clearly not complaining and only showing how far he’s come, while also inspiring new artists to never give up on their dreams.