Ice-T had a troubled early life but emerged as an influential artist during the 1980’s Hip Hop music scene
Controversial and multi-faceted Rapper, Rocker and Actor Ice-T turns 65 today
Ice-T was born Tracy Lauren Marrow on February 16, 1958 in Newark, New Jersey. The controversial rapper had a troubled early life, by the time he was a teenager he engaged on criminal activities such as stealing cars and selling drugs. He joined the army where he continued his criminal activity and gained interest on the then new and rising Hip Hop music. Towards the end of his tenure in the Army, Ice-T learned from his commanding officer that he could receive an honorable discharge because he was a single father, so he left four months ahead of schedule. After being discharged from the Army, he began a career as a bank robber but that period was to be over quickly as he started to engage more into the music scene, first as a DJ and then as a rapper during the early 1980’s. Ice-T landed a deal with a major label Sire Records towards the late 1980’s and released “Rhyme Pays” in 1987. When label founder and president Seymour Stein heard his demo, he said, “He sounds like Bob Dylan.” During the early 1990’s Ice-T formed the crossover Rap-Metal band Body Count. The band was very successful among Metal fans but became controversial due to the content of it’s lyrics, their debut album “Body Count” was released in 1992 during the height of Alternative Rock and Grunge domination and it was one of the reasons for their quick success. Controversy later surrounded Body Count over its song “Cop Killer”. The rock song was intended to speak from the viewpoint of a criminal getting revenge on racist, brutal cops. Ice-T’s rock song infuriated government officials, the National Rifle Association and various police advocacy groups. Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T’s upcoming album “Home Invasion” because of the controversy surrounding “Cop Killer”. Ice-T had also collaborated with certain other heavy metal bands during this time period. For the film “Judgment Night”, he did a duet with Slayer on the track “Disorder”. In 1995, Ice-T made a guest performance on Forbidden by Black Sabbath. In 1994, Body Count’s second album “Born Dead” gained again a controversial attention not only due to the lyrical violence of it but also because of the album art. Despite that, it was a successful Rock album and did well on Rock charts worldwide. Besides fronting his own band and rap projects, Ice-T has also collaborated with other hard rock and metal bands, such as Icepick, Motörhead, Slayer, Pro-Pain, and Six Feet Under. He has also covered songs by hardcore punk bands such as The Exploited, Jello Biafra, and Black Flag. Ice-T also has a very successful acting career that he started back in the 1990’s. Since 2000 he has portrayed Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, a former undercover narcotics officer transferred to the Special Victims Unit. In 2002, the NAACP awarded Ice-T with a second Image Award, again for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Law & Order: SVU. On June 12, 2011, E! reality show Ice Loves Coco debuted. The show is mostly about his relationship with his wife of ten years, Nicole “Coco” Austin. Today Ice-T turns 65.
Watch Body Count full concert live at Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium, 2015
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