411: Ice-T Talks with Thisis50
West coast rap legend, Ice-T talks about how he acquired his name, his come up in the rap game, his wife Coco, and being in the military.
Fed up with the current state of Hip Hop and what he calls “bubblegum Pop” rapper and actor Ice-T has decided to create his own digital label.
According to the New York Daily News, the Law & Order: SVU star will be launching his digital label which will be put out by EMI in the near future.
“I’m starting a digital label through EMI,” Ice-T explained to the Daily News. “I’m trying to get back to more Hip Hop. To me, music right now is like Disco. It’s very sing-songy, and nobody’s dealing with content. That’s what I miss. I miss Tupac and Big. You got Lupe Fiasco and T.I. now, but in general, we’re swamped with bubblegum Pop.“
Ice-T currently has five artists from different parts of the country signed to his label.
“We’ve got an artist from L.A., a group called Certified from Washington state, Born Twice from Houston, and a Korean kid from New York. I’m playing the whole map,” Ice-T revealed.
In 1987, Ice-T released his first album entitled Rhyme Pays. Since the release of Rhyme Pays, Ice-T has gone on to release upwards 10 albums. In the late ’90s, he had operated a previous label, Coroner Records, where he released his 1999 Seven Deadly Sins album. He has starred in a number of films including Breakin’ and New Jack City.
Throwback: Darlene Ortiz Raps at Radiotron
Cover of Power and Rhyme Pays for Ice-T, Darlene used to rap for her ends in the Radiotron era. She later became girlfriend and mother to ice-T's oldest son. Check her other side, on the mic.
Ice-T Walks South Central L.A. with Yo! MTV Raps
Ice-T takes a stroll down his neighbourhood, The Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. Tuck ya chains in!
One day back in the early '90s I was walking around South Central L.A. with Ice-T. We were talking and taping, the usual deal. T was already a rap heavyweight at that point, one of the pioneers of the West Coast gangsta style. (He'd actually been born in New Jersey, but then sent out west to be raised by an aunt after his parents died when he was just a kid.) He was the perfect guide to the Crenshaw ghetto. At one juncture he pointed out some Crips in the distance, which I have to say was a skin-tingling white-boy thrill. At another, though, while we were just standing there on the street, a lady came rushing up crying "Tracy! Tracy!" That being T's given name: Tracy Marrow. I believe the woman may have even reached up a hand and patted his head. It was cute. But you could see a tremor of gangsta anxiety ripple across T's face — how uncool is this? He quickly recovered, though, and was soon back in monologue mode, tossing off smart, funny sound bites right and left as we ambled down the boulevard.
Toward the end of the afternoon we were joined by Darlene Ortiz, T's awesome girlfriend. (Check out the cover of the 1987 Rhyme Pays, his first album.) We wandered around some more, then T pleaded rap-star commitments and he and Darlene got in his car and drove off. He had the only low-rider BMW I've ever seen.
Few rappers have made their way through as many showbiz scenes as Ice-T has. After recording one of the first really hard-core rap tracks ("6 'N the Mornin'," in 1986), he dropped the brilliant "Colors" into Dennis Hopper's 1988 movie of that name, then made the move into feature films himself as an actor in the 1991 drug-biz picture "New Jack City." T had always been a metal fan (the title track of Rhyme Pays sampled Black Sabbath); but it was still a surprise when he started his own thrash band, called Body Count, which made its début on O.G.: Original Gangster, the 1991 album that still stands as his masterwork. Body Count's most famous track, "Cop Killer," released the following year, landed T on a cultural hit list informally maintained by such censorious figures as Tipper Gore, wife of Al, the then-vice president. It also cost him his label deal with Sire Records.
He's soldiered on, though, continuing to make both albums and movies. And since 2000, he's been a TV star, too. On "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," T plays a character named Fin Tutuola, who's not only a detective, but also a Republican. Talk about your karma chameleons.
By Kurt Loder
Ice-T Classic Live Set
Peep Afrika Islam reppin the Zulu Nation. Ice-T dropped this set before Soulja Boy was sack-swimmin'! (Circa 1989-'90) Peep the high powered.
Ice - T Throwback: "High Roller"
Hey Soulja Boy, don't choke on it, take your time... Chew before you swallow. Original Gangster rolling hard thirty years on! Peep game.
Ice-T - High Roller