Ice Cube’s Son Reacts to ‘Nepotism Baby’ Label: ‘Once the Door Was Opened, It Was Up to Me’

LOS ANGELES, USA, August 10, 2015: Ice Cube and son O'Shea Jackson Jr. at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Straight Outta Compton' held at the Microsoft Theater — Photo by PopularImages/Deposit Photos

Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., is defending the children of Hollywood stars after a viral article said “nepo babies” — children of famous parents — have a big advantage in the entertainment industry.

The article published Monday, Dec. 19, by New York Magazine declared 2022 the year of the “nepo-baby boom,” and featured cover art of children born to Hollywood stars, including John David Washington, Lily-Rose Depp, Dakota Johnson, and Zoë Kravitz.

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The story stirred debate on social media, prompting Jackson to chime in with a lengthy thread on Twitter.

“My dad told me in a perfect world, I would play him in Straight Outta Compton. I was already in college for screenwriting at USC. I accepted the challenge. And auditioned for two years before getting the role. After that it was up to me, he couldn’t hold my hand through my career,” Jackson tweeted on Dec. 20.

After getting early support from his rap legend father, Jackson said he put in the work to move his acting career forward.

“I had to get my ass up and make it work. From the roles I chose. The work ethic I put into them. My professionalism on sets and promo tours. Even leaving HIS agency and goin’ to find a team of my own. Once the door was opened, it was up to me to walk through it and thrive,” he added.

“But none of that. NONE. OF. THAT. Happens that way without the love of my father. The work he put in to get us to a place of opportunity. And for me to ignore that or not accept and use as a guide would be foolish and disrespectful. I am grateful and I use his teachings daily,” he continued.

Once he got his big break in Straight Outta Compton (2015), Jackson landed roles in the films Ingrid Goes West (2017), Den of Thieves (2018), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Just Mercy (2019), and the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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New York Magazine Nepo Baby Cover
New York Magazine

Jackson urged children of wealthy or successful parents to ignore their critics.

“I say this to say. To the people who are 2nd, 3rd or any number of generational talent/wealth. Embrace that shit,” he wrote. “Because it’s something that’s been happening for centuries. Do not let anyone get it in your head that you should feel bad or your accomplishments are less than what they are,” he continued. “Bust your ass! Do the work! And leave something for your kids to do the same thing! It is not a shadow for you to get out of! It is an empire to which you are growing! But it all starts with love of yourself. Love of those before you. A strong mind & WORK.”

Jackson added that his dream is for everyone to be able to help their children.

“I wish everyone in this world to be able to present opportunities for their children to succeed. No matter how big or small. It’s something all parents work for. How many people you know working multiple jobs to put they kids through school. Making opportunities is a parents goal,” he tweeted. “Family first. May everyone who reads this, blaze a trail for their family to be able to walk in the future. And teach them to love themselves. To love their family. And pave the way for the next.”