Rapper/actor Ice Cube last week (04MAY06) interrupted his US tour to launch a new music scholarship for talented Minnesota students. The EXPRESS YOURSELF hitmaker lent his name and financial backing to the annual award at a ceremony on Thursday at the MCNally Smith College of Music. The hip-hop star, who has been promoting new album LAUGH NOW, CRY LATER, was hailed as an inspiration to students by the establishment's vice president Diane Kruger. She tells AllHipHop.com, "The opportunity to recognize Ice Cube's influence on contemporary music with a scholarship is very exciting. "His passion and drive set an example for the next generation of musical innovators."