"Once the door was opened it was up to me to walk through it and thrive"
Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr. is the latest to speak out following Vulture's infamous "Year of the Nepo Baby" article. The 31-year-old actor, of course, made his on-screen debut playing his own father in the "Straight Outta Compton" biopic.
Like many "nepo babies," Jackson Jr. attributed having a "strong work ethic" to his success. He opened up about how he got his breakout role and explained that it was his father’s dream that his son "play him" in the 2015 drama. O'Shea was "already in college for screenwriting at USC" when early rumblings of the project were approved.
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.
"I accepted the challenge. And auditioned for two years before getting the role," he insisted. "After that it was up to me, [my father] couldn't hold my hand through my career. I had to get my ass up and make it work."
He said that his career was built "from the roles I chose. The work ethic I put into them. My professionalism on sets and promo tours. Even leaving HIS agency and going to find a team of my own."
"Once the door was opened it was up to me to walk through it and thrive," he continued.
While Jackson Jr. doubled down on his work ethic and passion for the job, he acknowledged that the road to his success was initially paved by the privilege he was born into.
…what they are. 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
He noted that "NONE" of his achievements would have been possible "without the love of [his] father" and "the work [Ice Cube] put in to get [his children] to a place of opportunity."
"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," the actor admitted, though he pointed out that nepotism has "been happening for centuries."
O’Shea claimed that nepotism should be considered as an opportunity to build an "empire" rather than "a shadow for you to get out of."
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.
"Do not let anyone get it in your head that you should feel bad or your accomplishments are less than what they are," he said, encouraging others who come from "generational talent/wealth."
"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," the "Long Shot" actor continued. "How many people you know working multiple jobs to put they kids through school. Making opportunities is a parents goal."
He concluded, "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."