Rapper Ice Cube continued to defend himself against attacks for working with President Trump on his "Platinum Plan" for Black Americans, telling “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday that he is “just willing to work with anybody that’s willing to work with me” to help the Black community.
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Ice Cube, who has been calling out the system for more than three decades through his music, made the comment in reaction to recent pushback from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
“I guess Ice Cube associates himself with Donald Trump calling Hispanics breeders,” Scarborough said on “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. “I guess Ice Cube associates himself with [White House adviser] Jared Kushner, saying that Donald Trump can’t help Black people if Black people don’t want to help themselves.”
Scarborough was referencing Ice Cube’s statement that he met with Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, for several hours regarding his “Contract with Black America,” which the rapper released over the summer. The contract calls for reforms to close the opportunity gap in the country.
“I guess that’s what Ice Cube associates himself with. Nice career move,” Scarborough continued.
In response, the rapper told host Maria Bartiromo that Scarborough is “just a guy popping off.”
“Who cares?” Ice Cube shot back. “At the end of the day, they’re mad because I’m just willing to work with anybody that’s willing to work with me to see some of these things that’s in the contract with Black America come to pass.”
He went on to point out that he has “been getting pushback ever since I came out with the contract with Black America, from everybody who really don’t want us to … have real demands, but people who just want us to basically shut up and vote and I’m not going to do that.”
“I’m a citizen of this country just like everybody else and I can say what I want to say,” he continued.
“I’m not aligned with anybody’s personal views, I only care about what they do in public as far as helping the public and you know, empty rhetoric, empty talk, everybody’s popping off, at the end of the day we need to get what we need in this country to survive. If we don’t get that, this country won’t survive.”
Earlier this month the rapper tweeted, “Facts: I put out the [Contract with Black America]. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.”
Bartiromo noted that Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond, who serves as a co-chair for the Biden campaign, is denying Ice Cube’s claim that he was told by Biden’s campaign to wait until after the election to make his demands for Black America, as reported by Black Enterprise.
“I’ve always been a messenger my whole career,” the rapper told Bartiromo. “I’ve always been able to say things, and see things that ends up happening and look, I see the writing on the wall. This is not sustainable.”
The rapper, who was referencing financial inequality for the Black community, went on to say that “it’s a major problem that hasn’t been solved and everybody got blinders on, but I don’t.”
Earlier this month, in a Twitter video the rapper praised the president’s "Platinum Plan" to invest $500 billion in Black communities. In the video, he said that Democrats “got every Black celebrity” on “their team,” so “they just figured tell Cube to shut the f--- up and vote.”
The rapper also faced backlash after Trump 2020 adviser Katrina Pierson tweeted, “Shoutout to @icecube for his willingness to step up and work with @realDonaldTrump Administration to help develop the #PlatinumPlan…Leaders gonna lead, haters gonna hate. Thank you for leading!”
For some critics, Ice Cube working with the Trump campaign seemed like a far cry from his N.W.A. days, when he was recording songs like "F--- tha Police," which appeared on the group's "Straight Outta Compton" album in 1988.
Ice Cube told Bartiromo that there are “a lot of people that just want you to kind of shut up and rap and all this kind of stuff, but that’s not the case.”
“What we know is we’ve been part of both parties as at some point in American history and our situation hasn’t changed,” he continued. “So we have to do something different.”
He added that he’s “pleading to not only the government but the private sector to come up with a solution that can help America.”
He stressed that the financial inequality issue is a big reason as to why “we have all the problems in the street.” Riots and violence have erupted in cities across the country after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in May.
Trump's proposed “Platinum Plan” would include creating 3 million new jobs in the Black community over the next four years, increasing access to capital by nearly $500 billion and strengthening Trump’s immigration policies to protect American jobs, according to his website.
In his “Contract with Black America,” Ice Cube asks politicians for banking, police and prison reform, elimination of all Confederate statues, federal funding of “baby bonds” starting with $1,000 at birth, among other reforms to support the Black community in order to earn the “support of the Black vote.”
“I feel people want something different other than empty promises,” Ice Cube said on Thursday. “Right now these are just campaign promises. That’s all they are.”
He went on to say that until someone takes action, “they’re just words on a piece of paper.”
“We really need help,” the rapper added. ‘I’m sick of playing this political game.”
“Both sides are trying to use me to gain points with the Black community. That’s not going to happen unless you come in with real solutions,” he continued.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.