Ice T

Ice T


Ice-T was one of the creators of gangsta rap, building a hard-edged West Coast sound rooted in his own experiences hustling on the streets of L.A. But he became hip-hop’s most controversial figure in 1992 after coming under fire for “Cop Killer,” a song by his thrash-metal side band, Body Count. The lyrics painted a brutal picture of the strife between inner-city police and ghetto youth, and even drew criticism from then-President Bush. At nearly ever turn, Ice-T has been martyred or chastised, managing to offend both the left and right with his provocative words. In the minds of his supporters, Ice-T’s violent, often misogynistic tales of mayhem are more sarcastic and even humorous than cynical or gratuitous. With his blunt vocal delivery, narrative-style writing, and mesmerizing B-movie images, Ice-T was one of the earliest West Coast rappers to gain respect among the New York hip-hop set. As an artist, he set the stage for N.W.A, Snoop Dogg, and the Notorious B.I.G. and mingled easily with underground rockers on the first Lollapalooza Tour in 1991. He founded his own Rhyme Syndicate label (distributed by Sire/Warner Bros.) and introduced the likes of Everlast. – via