It really is hard out there for a pimp.
That is, if by "pimp," they mean hip-hop star, and by "there," they mean Harpo studios.
Ice Cube is the latest rapper to step up the offensive against unlikely beef recipient Oprah Winfrey, crying foul over the talk show hostess' alleged refusal to book hip-hop acts on her influential chatfest.
The Are We There Yet? star followed in the footsteps of fellow rappers turned critics Ludacris and 50 Cent, telling FHM magazine that Stedman's better half has unfairly kept the arbiters of thug life off her airwaves.
"I've been involved in three projects pitched to her, but I've never been asked to participate," the 36-year-old told the magazine in its July issue. "For Barbershop she had Cedric the Entertainer and Eve on, but I wasn't invited. Maybe she's got a problem with hip-hop.
"She's had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I'm not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?"
Ice Cube's public denouncement of Winfrey—or at least her booking agents—is just the latest lashing out directed at the daytime queen.
In an interview with the AP last month, 50 Cent voiced complaints that the Tony-bound 52-year-old took issue with rappers and thus rarely invited them on her show.
"I think she caters to older white women," the "In Da Club" rapper said. "Oprah's audience is my audience's parents. So, I could care less about Oprah or her show."
Of course, that could be because disagreeing with the queen of suburban housewives only ups Fiddy's street cred.
"I'm actually better off having friction with her," he told the AP.
If that's the case, he was likely less than pleased to receive a recent endorsement from Winfrey, who made a surprise appearance on New York hip-hop radio station earlier this month to talk to DJ Ed Lover about her reported lack of support for rap acts.
"I listen to some hip-hop," the media queen said. "You know, I've been accused of not liking hip-hop, and that's just not true. I got a little 50 on my iPod. I really do. Love 'In Da Club'...Love that, and you know, love Jay-Z, love Kanye, love Mary J."
Reports of a biased brouhaha first picked up steam in April, when Ludacris, born Chris Bridges, spoke out to GQ magazine about his treatment on the show last fall, when he was promoting the Oscar-winning Crash.
"She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in," he told the lad's mag. "Of course, it's her show, but we were doing a show on racial discrimination, and she gave me a hard time as a rapper when I came on there as an actor.
"I don't see why people like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who I am huge fans of, it's OK for them to go on Oprah. They speak the same language as I do, but they do it through comedy, so I guess that's acceptable."