Ice Cube could be one of the hardest-working men in show business today. Currently sharing the silver screen with George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Spike Jonze in the film "Three Kings," the rapper-actor will next be seen the comedy "Next Friday," due in theaters on December 25. A month later, on January 25, he will release his next album, "War & Peace Volume 2: The War Disc."

Cube chose to work with a variety of producers on the album, one of whom was the ubiquitous Sean "Puffy" Combs, who twiddled the knobs on "Got To Be Insanity." Some might find Combs an unusual choice for a hardcore rapper such as Ice Cube, yet the former N.W.A. member told the MTV Radio Network that the collaboration was a long time coming.

"Me and Puffy, we got a real cool relationship, you know," he said. "[We're] both straight businessmen. He respects everything that I've done, and I respect everything that he's done and what he's doing."

"And it was only a matter of time for us to find something that we wanted to work on," he added. "He laced it, put that 'Puffy magic' on it." [RealAudio]

Chucky Thompson, a member of Puffy's squad of producers known as the Hitmen, worked on another track on the album, "Until We Rich." Other contributors include DJ Quik, Mack 10, and Chris Rock (see "Ice Cube Prepares New Album, Talks N.W.A. Reunion"

If you don't want to wait until 2000 to hear new Ice Cube music, be on the lookout for the just-released compilation, "Fox Sports Presents Game Time," which features Cube's "In The Zone (Ken Griffey Jr. Theme)" (see "Snoop Dogg Covers Queen, Ice Cube Praises Ken Griffey Jr. For Sports LP"

-- John Gill