ICE Cube is considered rap royalty in the United States – and he wants to crown his trip to London this summer by hanging out with King Charles III at his Big3 basketball event at the O2 Arena.
The rapper's 3×3 professional basketball league is crossing the Pond for the first time by holding its 2023 All-Star Game and championship game in the UK capital on August 26.
It marks the biggest major international push yet for the Big3, which was founded in 2017 and has only been held in North America so far.
Ice Cube hopes to attract a number of British sports and music stars to the event to add some glitz and glamour.
But he has his sights set on receiving a royal welcome from King Charles, who would have the chance to mingle with basketball aristocracy such as Julius "Dr J" Erving and Clyde "the Glide" Drexler.
"We want it to be star-studded. We want it to be the place to be in London on August 26," Ice Cube told The Sun in an exclusive interview.
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"We want people to feel like there is no better place to be in the city than the O2 Arena.
"Maybe the King might pop through and check it out, you never know!
"I've got a seat next to me, [King Charles] can come down there and kick it with me and we can check out some Big3 basketball.
"I think he'll dig it!"
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There will also be some musical performances during the event – and Ice Cube says it is more than likely that he will rap for the crowd.
"We want to mix it up. We're going to have a couple of artists from America," he says.
"I'll be there and you never know [if I will perform]. It's about what I see when I get there. You can never count that out.
"I'm always jumping up and performing at the Big3 games and I don't see why it wouldn't happen right there in London.
"I'm not going to miss that opportunity."
At things stand, it is unclear if the Big3, which has a growing European presence, will return to London every year.
But Ice Cube says it is more than likely if this summer's event proves a huge success.
"What's great about the Big3 is that we can be anywhere in the world," he adds.
"We're going to spread the love. Catch us when you can.
"If we have a good time, we'll come back without a doubt.
"We've had cities that we've played in every year like Chicago and Dallas because they show us so much love.
"We've had a lot of games in New York…so if we have a good time we'll be back."
In the long term, Ice Cube believes it is even possible that the Big3 could have a London-based team with British players taking part.
Ice Cube and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz are in the process of selling Big3 teams to open up ownership to outside investors.
The league has owned all of its 12 teams since it launched but now it is planning to pivot to a franchise model.
A well-known Major League Baseball team owner is expected to be announced as a Big3 investor in the coming weeks.
"This year we are starting to sell teams to owners," Ice Cube says.
"It's not out of our vision that we will have a team in London, coming over to the US every summer competing as well as having home games there.
"That's the dream of ours for a billionaire or someone with a few hundred million to buy a team and create their own roster.
"That opens it up for players all through the UK to try to join. You'll probably have some guys from the Olympic team…"
With 3×3 basketball having made its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2021, Ice Cube is also hoping to make a World Cup-style event for the professional game.
"Our dream is to have the Big Cup, which is like the World Cup of 3×3, where countries put their best countries together to play with the big boys," he says.
"Unlike the Olympics, which is the amateur version of 3×3, this is the professional version.
"Our dream is to see the Big3 in most of the countries around the world playing hoops."
This will be Ice Cube's first trip to London since 2016 when he promoted the movie Ride Along 2 alongside comedian Kevin Hart.
And it's clear he cannot wait to return to the British capital.
"Man, we're excited. It's something that we've been wanting to do," he says.
"It's a cool thing to do at this point in our young history.
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"It's going to be fun to hype up the British crowd."
At the London event, Big3 games will begin at 6pm local time, which is 1pm ET in the US to fit in with the CBS television window.
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