Ice Cube might have traded in gangsta rap for blockbuster movies, but he’s kept the same partner for 24 years, and that’s no accident. Ice Cube married Kimberly Woodruff nearly a quarter of a century ago, and he has no desire to change anything about their relationship.

Cube has always been up front about how important Kim is to him. Many people are surprised to hear a hardened rapper be so emotionally open, but Cube isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He once told TODAY, “She’s my backbone. I wouldn’t be here without her.”

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Farrah Grey

Cube and Kim have been through a whirlwind for the last two-and-a-half decades, and they’ve relied on each other for support. The year they were married was the year Ice Cube joined Lollapalooza, the hugely popular and influential music tour. That experience exposed a new crowd to Cube’s music, and his popularity exploded.

At the time, the LA riots were in full force, and America was in turmoil. Cube seized on the moments and used his lyrics to express the good, bad, and ugly of living in Compton.

As Cube steadily grew in popularity, collaborators came and went; Kim did not. The couple already had one child and would go on to have three more.

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Black Doctor

Cube recently told Rickey Smiley, “It’s a true partnership. I respect my wife and she respects me. I still get the butterflies when I see her. Romance and sex doesn’t have to fade. I still want her to look at me and say ‘this is the man I still want to be with.’ So have to keep yourself up, your P’s and Q’s and go for what you know.”

He also said, “But sex isn’t overly important to me. Respect and freedom and prosperity are what I care about. Freedom for myself, that is—you gotta start with yourself.”

One of Cube’s most profound tips is keeping things simple and keeping in contact. He said, “I like to hang out with my wife, talk about things, get some coffee, you know?” Sometimes just understanding where the other person is coming from is helpful to getting along and being happy.

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Hip Hop Wired

Another way of staying happy is by enjoying food together. That’s one department where Kim is in charge. Cube explains that he would be happy to make the meals, but “she’s the best cook. It’ll be like if she went to make a record. We just both do what we’re best at.”

Of course, Cube has had so much success over the years that it’s no surprise that he’s talented at maintaining relationships too. Most projects that he has been a part of have succeeded, from N.W.A. to solo ventures to the many movies he’s been in.

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Today

Most of all, Cube insists that a good relationship comes down to respecting the other person and their independence. “Mind your own business and you’ll live longer. That’s the greatest advice anyone can be given.” Who are we to argue with that? Cube and Woodruff will celebrate their 25th anniversary on April 26, 2017.

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