Ice Cube watched the news rather than cartoons as a kid.

The rapper-and-actor's lyrics are known for their political stance as well as catchy rhymes. He can't take full credit for his approach to writing though, citing Marvin Gaye's track What's Going On as one which inspired him as a youngster. With heartfelt lines such as 'We don't need to escalate/ You see, war is not the answer/ For only love can conquer hate', it's become an iconic track since its release in 1971.

"It's got so much soul, but it's also politically conscious," he explained to NME. "It started me thinking about those things. Before long, when my mom was working nights, I wouldn't be watching cartoons - I'd be watching the news. Marvin told me what's going on."

Ice Cube rose to fame as part of rap group N.W.A, whose early antics have been documented in new movie Straight Outta Compton. Choosing one song which sums up the collective, also including Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, the star named controversial track F**k Tha Police.

"It was something the entire universe wanted to scream out. Although we were coming from a very specific place, with problems specific to Compton, F**k Tha Police was universal," he said. "Authorities stepping on people was something going on around the entire world."

It isn't just old songs Ice Cube includes in the soundtrack of his life for the magazine; Drunk In Love by music's hottest couple, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay Z, is one he originally loved, but can no longer listen to. He thinks it's "too catchy" and is tired of hearing the line 'Surfboard' on the radio all the time.