Rap artist Ice Cube, a member of the group N.W.A. before making his controversial solo debut album, ``AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted,' is in the movies.

He is co-starring in Columbia's ``Boys in the 'Hood,' which began shooting Oct. 1, playing a drug-dealing gang member in the coming-of-age drama that explores the dilemmas inner-city teenagers face as they try to remain unscathed in a gang-and drug-ridden environment.Larry Fishburne stars as an angry father with a strong political consciousness in the first feature from writer-director John Singleton, 23, a University of Southern California film school graduate and award-winning student screenwriter.

Pat Charbonette, who manages Ice Cube (real name: Oshea Jackson), says that her client stopped touring recently to prepare for his role, including taking acting lessons.

``It's something he's been looking forward to for a long time,' she says. ``It could be a whole new wrinkle in his career.'

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