Former N.W.A manager Jerry Heller died Friday after suffering a heart attack following an auto accident. But in an interview Saturday, his former client Ice Cube appeared anything but mournful.
The West Coast rapper was interviewed Saturday afternoon at Hot 107.5 FM in Detroit ahead of the Return of the Legends concert at the city’s Chene Park. Host Big Greg began the interview by noting that “there was a death in the music industry, important to hip-hop, in some way, shape, or form,” adding, “N.W.A was here because of [Heller] in a way, in a sense.” Cube replied: “Whoa, watch your mouth.”
When asked for his reaction to the news of Heller’s death, Cube said he had “no emotions,” adding he was glad to be with former N.W.A members. “I’m just glad I’m with my brothers today. I’m glad I’m with DJ Yella. I’m glad I’m with MC Ren today, and it’s only right,” he said. “So, you know, I ain’t gonna pop no champagne, but I ain’t gonna shed no tears either. It is what it is, you know. We come here to pass, and he’s outta here. Like I said, I’m not losing no sleep over that one.”
Ice Cube fought with Heller over royalties, eventually leading to Cube’s departure from N.W.A. Following the release of Straight Outta Compton last August, Heller sued Cube, Dr. Dre, and Universal Pictures for defamation; Heller claimed Paul Giamatti’s portrayed him on screen as “a sleazy, dishonest guy,” according to his attorney, Michael R. Shapiro, and sought $110 million in damages.
While a federal judge dismissed the bulk of Heller’s argument in June, he ruled the lawsuit can continue. Shapiro confirmed to EW that Heller’s estate will continue to pursue legal action. Reps for Ice Cube did not respond to EW’s request for further comment.
See Ice Cube’s full interview below.