Ice-T

Ice-T

Biography

Ice-T (born Tracy Marrow) has proven to be one of hip-hop's most articulate and intelligent stars, as well as one of its most frustrating. At his best, the rapper has written some of the best portraits of ghetto life and gangsters, as well as some of the best social commentary hip-hop has produced. Just as often, he can slip into sexism and gratuitous violence, and even then his rhymes are clever and biting. Ice-T's best recordings have always been made in conjunction with strong collaborators, whether it's the Bomb Squad or Jello Biafra. With his music, Ice-T has made a conscious effort to win the vast audience of white male adolescents, as his frequent excursions with his heavy metal band Body Count. All the while, he has withstood a constant barrage of criticism and controversy to become a respected figure not only in the music press, but the mainstream media as well.

Although he was one of the leading figures of Californian hip-hop in the '80s, Ice-T was born in Newark, NJ., then moved to Los Angeles at the age of 12. While he was in high school, he became obsessed with rap while he went to Crenshaw High School in South Central Los Angeles. Ice-T took his name from Iceberg Slim, a pimp who wrote novels and poetry. Ice-T used to memorize lines of Iceberg Slim's poetry, reciting them for friends and classmates. After he left high school, he recorded several undistinguished 12" singles in the early '80s. He also appeared in the low-budget hip-hop films Rappin', Breakin', and Breakin' II: Electric Boogaloo as he was trying to establish a career.

Ice-T finally landed a major-label record deal with Sire Records in 1987, releasing his debut album, Rhyme Pays. On the record, he is supported by DJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam, who helped create the rolling, spare beats and samples that provided a backdrop for the rapper's charismatic rhymes, which were mainly party-oriented; the record wound up going gold. That same year, he recorded the theme song for Dennis Hopper's Colors, a film about inner-city life in Los Angeles. The song -- also called "Colors" -- was stronger, both lyrically and musically, with more incisive lyrics, than anything he had previously released. Ice-T formed his own record label, Rhyme Syndicate (which was distributed through Sire/Warner) in 1988, and released Power. Power was a more assured and impressive record, earning him strong reviews and his second gold record. Released in 1989, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say established him as a true hip-hop superstar by matching excellent abrasive music with fierce, intelligent narratives, and political commentaries, especially about hip-hop censorship.

Two years later, Ice-T began an acting career, starring in the updated blaxploitation film New Jack City; he also recorded "New Jack Hustler" for the film. "New Jack Hustler" became one of the centerpieces of 1991's O.G.: Original Gangster, which became his most successful album to date. O.G. also featured a metal track called "Body Count" recorded with Ice-T's band of the same name. Ice-T took the band out on tour that summer, as he performed on the first Lollapalooza tour. The tour set-up increased his appeal with both alternative music fans and middle-class teenagers. The following year, the rapper decided to released an entire album with the band, also called Body Count.

Body Count proved to be a major turning point in Ice-T's career. On the basis of the track "Cop Killer" -- where he sang from the point-of-view of a police murderer -- the record ignited a national controversy; it was protested by the NRA and police activist groups. Time Warner Records initially supported Ice-T, yet they refused to release his new rap album, Home Invasion, on the basis of the record cover. Ice-T and the label parted ways by the end of the year. Home Invasion was released on Priority Records in the spring of 1993 to lukewarm reviews and sales. Somewhere along the way, Ice-T had begun to lose most of his original hip-hop audience; now he appealed primarily to suburban white teens. In 1994, he wrote a book and released the second Body Count album, Born Dead, which failed to stir up the same controversy as the first record -- indeed, it failed to gain much attention of any sort. Nevertheless, Body Count was successful in clubs and Ice-T continued to tour with the band.

In the summer of 1996, Ice-T released his first rap album since 1993, Return of the Real. The album was greeted by mixed reviews and it failed to live up to commercial expectations. 7th Deadly Sin followed in 1999. Ice-T then returned to acting, taking a role on NBC's Law & Order : Special Victims Unit playing, ironically, a police officer.

Discography

Ice-T - Rhyme Pays

Ice-T - Rhyme Pays

Sire 1987
Ice-T - Power

Ice-T - Power

Sire 1988
Ice-T - The Iceberg (Freedom Of Speech... Just Watch What You Say)

Ice-T - The Iceberg (Freedom Of Speech... Just Watch What You Say)

Sire 1989
Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster

Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster

Sire, Warner Bros. Records 1991
Ice-T - Home Invasion & The Last Temptation Of Ice

Ice-T - Home Invasion & The Last Temptation Of Ice

Rhyme $yndicate Records 1994
Ice-T - VI: Return Of The Real

Ice-T - VI: Return Of The Real

Priority Records 1996
Ice T - The Early Years

Ice T - The Early Years

Okido Records 1997
Ice-T - Seventh Deadly Sin

Ice-T - Seventh Deadly Sin

Roadrunner Records, Coroner Records 1999
Ice-T - Greatest Hits: The Evidence

Ice-T - Greatest Hits: The Evidence

Warner Bros. Records, Coroner Records 2000
Ice-T - Gang Culture

Ice-T - Gang Culture

Charly Records 2004
Ice-T - Gangsta Rap

Ice-T - Gangsta Rap

Melee Entertainment 2006
Ice-T - Greatest Hits

Ice-T - Greatest Hits

Sire 2014

Guest Appearances

Donald-D - Notorious
  • Lost In A Freestyle

Donald-D - Notorious

Epic 1989
Everlast - Forever Everlasting
  • The Rhythm

Everlast - Forever Everlasting

Warner Bros. Records 1990
Black Uhuru - Iron Storm
  • Tip Of The Iceberg

Black Uhuru - Iron Storm

Mesa Recordings 1991
Black Uhuru - Mystical Truth
  • Tip Of The Iceberg

Black Uhuru - Mystical Truth

Mesa Recordings 1992
2Pac - Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
  • Last Wordz

2Pac - Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

Interscope Records 1993
Pro-Pain - The Truth Hurts
  • Put The Lights Out

Pro-Pain - The Truth Hurts

High Gain Records 1994
South Central Cartel - 'N Gatz We Truss
  • Gangsta Team

South Central Cartel - 'N Gatz We Truss

Rush Associated Labels, G.W.K. Records 1994
Terminator X & The Godfathers Of Threatt - Super Bad
  • Sticka

Terminator X & The Godfathers Of Threatt - Super Bad

Rush Associated Labels, P.R.O. Division 1994
Murder Squad - S.C.C. Presents Murder Squad Nationwide
  • No Peace

S.C.C. Presents Murder Squad Nationwide

DJ West, G.W.K. Records 1995
Born 2wice - Portrait Of A $erial Player
  • 6 InaMornin

Born 2wice - Portrait Of A $erial Player

Bigga Records 1996
Ant Banks - Big Thangs
  • Gamblin Wit Ice T

Ant Banks - Big Thangs

Priority Records 1997
Frost - When HELL.A. Freezes Over
  • Loco

Frost - When HELL.A. Freezes Over

Ruthless Records, Relativity 1997
PSK-13 - Born Bad?
  • Big Playaz

PSK-13 - Born Bad?

Bigtyme Recordz, Priority Records 1997
H-Bomb - Narcissism
  • Choose Fee

H-Bomb - Narcissism

Insomnia Records 1997
Spice 1 - The Black Bossalini (aka Dr. Bomb From Da Bay)
  • Choose Fee

Spice 1 - The Black Bossalini (aka Dr. Bomb From Da Bay)

Jive 1997
Brotha Lynch Hung - Loaded
  • Secondz A Way

Brotha Lynch Hung - Loaded

Black Market Records 1997
Reality - Federal Indictment
  • Ain't No Rules (In The Game)

Reality - Federal Indictment

Revolutionary Records 1997
Ice-T Presents The West Coast Rydaz - What Really Goes On
  • What Really Goes On

Ice-T Presents The West Coast Rydaz - What Really Goes On

Explicit Records 1998
Da' K.A.T. - Still Subbin'
  • Roll Wit Gee's

Da' K.A.T. - Still Subbin'

Anderson Records 1998
The 2 Live Crew - The Real One
  • The Real One

The 2 Live Crew - The Real One

Lil' Joe Records Inc. 1998
Rhyme Poetic Mafia - The Root Of All Evil
  • Word To The Wise

Rhyme Poetic Mafia - The Root Of All Evil

Breakaway Entertainment, Jus 2 Much 1998
DJ Aladdin - Ward Time
  • What Really Goes On?

DJ Aladdin - Ward Time

Unfadable Records 1998
Tash - Rap Life
  • Ice-T Skit

Tash - Rap Life

Loud Records 1999
Caz - Thundadome
  • U A Thug

Caz - Thundadome

Glasshouse Records 2000
Ant Banks Presents T.W.D.Y. - Lead The Way
  • Shut Up

Ant Banks Presents T.W.D.Y. - Lead The Way

Thump Street Records 2000
Six Feet Under - True Carnage
  • One Bullet Left

Six Feet Under - True Carnage

Metal Blade Records 2001
Fredro Starr - Firestarr
  • One Night

Fredro Starr - Firestarr

Koch Records 2001
187 - Furious
  • Colors 2000

187 - Furious

Embryo Records, Big Whale Entertainment 2001
Guru - Baldhead Slick & Da Click
  • Underground Connections

Guru - Baldhead Slick & Da Click

Landspeed Records 2001
Liroy - Bestseller
  • World Iz A Ghetto (Club Version)

Liroy - Bestseller

BMG Poland 2001
Eve - Eve-Olution
  • Eve-Olution

Eve - Eve-Olution

Interscope Records 2002
King T. - The Kingdom Come
  • Intro

King T. - The Kingdom Come

Greedy Green Entertainment 2002
N.O.R.E. - God's Favorite
  • Hit Me Slime

N.O.R.E. - God's Favorite

Def Jam Recordings, Thugged Out Entertainment 2002
Jacky Jasper - Keep My Sh*t Clean
  • Its Jacky Jasper Little Bitch

Jacky Jasper - Keep My Sh*t Clean

Number 6 Records 2002
Prince Paul - Politics Of The Business
  • Politics Of The Business

Prince Paul - Politics Of The Business

Razor & Tie 2003
Marc Live - Validation
  • Showbiz Shit

Marc Live - Validation

Activate Entertainment 2004
Icepick - Violent Epiphany
  • Real Recognizes Real

Icepick - Violent Epiphany

Alveran Records 2006
MessCalen - Gettin' That Guac
  • On Da' Corner

MessCalen - Gettin' That Guac

Sumo Records, Frisco Street Show 2006
7th Veil - Stoned
  • 6 A.m. 2009

7th Veil - Stoned

L.A. Hill Records, Sickbay Records, Street Money Records 2008
E-40 - The Ball Street Journal
  • Earl

E-40 - The Ball Street Journal

Reprise Records, BME Recordings, Sick Wid' It Records 2008
Big Sche Eastwood - That Pimp Shyt
  • Step Ya Game Up!

Big Sche Eastwood - That Pimp Shyt

Junkadelic Music 2011
Ras Kass - Barmageddon
  • Get Yo' Money Right

Ras Kass - Barmageddon

Cre8yte Corporation 2013
Cold187um - The Blackgodfather
  • I'll B Gone

Cold187um - The Blackgodfather

Untouchable Muzick Group, LLC 2016

Compilations

Breakin' - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • Reckless

Various - Breakin' - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Polydor 1984
East Coast vs. West Coast
  • Rhyme Pays

Various - East Coast vs. West Coast

Jive 1988
Colors - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • Colors

Various - Colors - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Warner Bros. Records 1988
The Posse Chapter 2
  • 6 In The Mornin'

Various - The Posse Chapter 2

Macola Record Co. 1988
Rhyme Syndicate Comin' Through
  • Rhyme Syndicate Comin' Through

Various - Rhyme Syndicate Comin' Through

Warner Bros. Records 1988
Prime Kuts Volume Two
  • Ya Don't Quit

Various - Prime Kuts Volume Two

Par Records 1989
Street Kuts The Posse
  • Ya Don't Quit

Various - Street Kuts The Posse

Macola Record Co. 1989
Return Of Superfly (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Superfly 1990

Various - Return Of Superfly (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Capitol Records 1990
The West Coast Rap All-Stars - We're All In The Same Gang
  • We're All In The Same Gang (Gangster Mix)

The West Coast Rap All-Stars - We're All In The Same Gang

Warner Bros. Records 1990
New Jack City (Music From The Motion Picture)
  • New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme)

Various - New Jack City (Music From The Motion Picture)

Giant Records 1991
Music From The Motion Picture Trespass
  • Trespass

Various - Music From The Motion Picture Trespass

Sire Records Company 1992
Rap Declares War
  • Heartbeat

Various - Rap Declares War

Avenue Records 1992
Judgment Night (Music From The Motion Picture)
  • Disorder

Various - Judgment Night (Music From The Motion Picture)

Immortal Records, Epic Soundtrax 1993
Stone Free (A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix)
  • Hey Joe

Various - Stone Free (A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix)

Reprise Records 1993
State Of Emergency - Society In Crisis (Vol. 1)
  • Gotta Lotta Love (Remix)

Various - State Of Emergency - Society In Crisis (Vol. 1)

Mad Sounds Recordings 1994
Old School Rap Volume 2
  • 6 'N The Mornin'

Various - Old School Rap Volume 2

Thump Records 1995
One Million Strong
  • Where Ya At?

Various - One Million Strong

Mergela Records, Solar 1995
Original Gangstas (The Soundtrack)
  • How Does It Feel

Various - Original Gangstas (The Soundtrack)

Noo Trybe Records, Virgin 1996
Old School Rap Vol. 3
  • Killers

Various - Old School Rap Vol. 3

Thump Records 1996
Rapmasters: From Tha Priority Vaults Volume 1
  • G Style

Various - Rapmasters: From Tha Priority Vaults Volume 1

Priority Records 1996
Rapmasters: From Tha Priority Vaults Volume 3
  • I Ain't New Ta This

Various - Rapmasters: From Tha Priority Vaults Volume 3

Priority Records 1996
Ice Cube - Featuring...Ice Cube
  • Trespass

Ice Cube - Featuring... Ice Cube

Priority Records 1997
In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap
  • 6 'N The Mornin'

Various - In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap

Priority Records 1997
Life After Evolution: Reality Check
  • U.G.N. Theme

Various - Life After Evolution: Reality Check

Alexia Records, New Image Entertainment 1997
The Lawhouse Experience Vol. 1
  • Your Hustle Ain't On

Various - The Lawhouse Experience Vol. 1

Street Life Records, Lawhouse Records, Attic 1997
Poetic-1 & D-Diggs - Sex, Drugs & Rap
  • Player Haters

Poetic-1 & D-Diggs - Sex, Drugs & Rap

Mobb Status Entertainment 1999
Rush-N-Roulette Volume 2
  • Retaliation

Various - Rush-N-Roulette Volume 2

Game Related Records 1999
Chuck D Presents Louder Than A Bomb
  • Freedom Of Speech

Various - Chuck D Presents Louder Than A Bomb

Rhino Entertainment Company 1999
Music From And Inspired By Jerry Springer's Movie Ringmaster
  • The Real One

Various - Music From And Inspired By Jerry Springer's Movie Ringmaster

Lil' Joe Records Inc. 1999
King George Presents Playas & Hustlas II
  • Roll Wit Gee's

Various - King George Presents Playas & Hustlas II

Highness Records 1999
Head Drama - Da Concoction Vol. 1
  • Casualties

Various - Head Drama - Da Concoction Vol. 1

Siccmade Muzicc 2000
WWF Aggression
  • Pimpin Aint Easy (The Godfather Theme)

Various - WWF Aggression

Priority Records, Virgin 2000
Psychopathics From Outer Space
  • Dead End

Various - Psychopathics From Outer Space

Joe & Joey Records 2000
Pimps, Players & Hustlers
  • The Real One

Various - Pimps, Players & Hustlers

Lil' Joe Records Inc. 2000
The Projects Presents Balhers Forever
  • Interview #2

Various - The Projects Presents Balhers Forever

AV8 2000
DJ Screw - The Legend
  • I Ain't Hating

DJ Screw - The Legend

Bigtyme Recordz 2001
Ice T Presents Westside
  • Leave My Curl Alone

Various - Ice T Presents Westside

Obsessive 2002
Pimps & Players
  • Getting It On

Various - Pimps & Players

Pay Up Records 2002
WolfPac Records Presents Still More Bounce
  • Get On Down

Various - Still More Bounce

WolfPac Records 2002
Westside Bad Boys 2: Bay 2 L.A.
  • Throw It Up

Various - Westside Bad Boys 2: Bay 2 L.A.

Snake Pit Records 2002
Rise Above (24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit The West Memphis Three)
  • Police Story

Various - Rise Above (24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit The West Memphis Three)

Sanctuary Records, 2.13.61 Records 2002
Frost Presents Somethin' For The Riderz
  • Tears Of A Mother

Various - Frost Presents Somethin' For The Riderz

40 Ounce Records 2003
Booty Summer Party 2003
  • The Real One

Various - Booty Summer Party 2003

Lil' Joe Records 2003
XXX Hip Hop
  • Girls L.G.B.N.A.F.

Various - XXX Hip Hop

Def Jam Recordings 2003
Shamrocks And Shenanigans (The Best Of House Of Pain And Everlast)
  • The Rhythm

Various - Shamrocks And Shenanigans (The Best Of House Of Pain And Everlast)

Warner Bros. Records, Rhino Records, Tommy Boy 2003
Slayer - Soundtrack To The Apocalypse
  • Disorder

Various - Slayer - Soundtrack To The Apocalypse

American Recordings 2003
Various - Wild West
  • Roll Wit Gee's

Various - Wild West

MSB Entertainment 2005
Various - French Braids Presents Past And Present Hitz 2000-2005
  • Thugaz

Various - French Braids Presents Past And Present Hitz 2000-2005

French Braids Entertainment 2005
Layzie Bone & Mo Thugs Presents 100% Pure Thug Tour
  • Pretty Boys

Various - Layzie Bone & Mo Thugs Presents 100% Pure Thug Tour

X-Ray Records 2006
Ice Cube - In The Movies
  • Trespass

Ice Cube - In The Movies

Priority Records 2007
Supporting Radical Habits Vol. 2
  • Real Recognizes Real

Various - Supporting Radical Habits Vol. 2

Suburban Noize Records 2007
D.J. Aladdin, Ice-T & The West Coast Rydaz - What Really Goes On
  • Down With Us

D.J. Aladdin, Ice-T & The West Coast Rydaz - What Really Goes On

Flip It Records 2008
Prince Whipper Whip - Best Of The Bronx Puerto Rican (Volume 1)
  • Player

Prince Whipper Whip - Best Of The Bronx Puerto Rican (Volume 1)

Still Fresh Ent. 2009
D.J. Aladdin - Kid-Noni Reloading Clips
  • Down With Us

D.J. Aladdin - Kid-Noni Reloading Clips

Ammo Dump Records 2010
South Central Cartel - SC Cartel Camp Presents Hood Favorites
  • Gangsta Team

South Central Cartel - SC Cartel Camp Presents Hood Favorites

Not On Label 2010
Messy Marv - Best Of Frisco Street Show
  • On Da Corner

Messy Marv - Best Of Frisco Street Show

Sumo Productions 2011
Various - International Factors Compilation
  • Ayayaya

Various - International Factors Compilation

Ante Up Records, West Turf 2011
Mr. Sche - All Star Game
  • Step Ya Game Up

Mr. Sche - All Star Game

Junkadelic Music, Immortal Inc. 2013
Tash - Publicity Stunt
  • Chevy 64

Tash - Publicity Stunt

Sterling World Records 2015

Production

Mr. T - Be Somebody
  • I Am Somebody

Mr. T - Be Somebody

MCA Records 1984
Ice-T - Rhyme Pays
  • All Tracks

Ice-T - Rhyme Pays

Sire 1987
East Coast vs. West Coast
  • Rhyme Pays

Various - East Coast vs. West Coast

Jive 1988
Ice-T - Power
  • All Tracks

Ice-T - Power

Sire 1988
Colors - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • Colors

Various - Colors - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Warner Bros. Records 1988
Rhyme Syndicate Comin' Through
  • Bustin' Loose

Various - Rhyme Syndicate Comin' Through

Warner Bros. Records 1988
Ice-T - The Iceberg (Freedom Of Speech... Just Watch What You Say)
  • All Tracks

Ice-T - The Iceberg (Freedom Of Speech... Just Watch What You Say)

Sire, Warner Bros. Records 1989
Just Say Mao (Volume III Of Just Say Yes)
  • The Hunted Child

Various - Just Say Mao (Volume III Of Just Say Yes)

Sire 1989
Street Kuts The Posse
  • Ya Don't Quit

Various - Street Kuts The Posse

Macola Record Co. 1989
Just Say Da (Volume IV Of Just Say Yes)
  • The Girl Tried To Kill Me

Various - Just Say Da (Volume IV Of Just Say Yes)

Sire 1990
New Jack City (Music From The Motion Picture)
  • New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme)

Various - New Jack City (Music From The Motion Picture)

Giant Records 1991
Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster
  • New Jack Hustler

Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster

Sire 1991
Just Say Anything (Vol. V Of Just Say Yes)
  • Body Count

Various - Just Say Anything (Vol. V Of Just Say Yes)

Sire Records Company 1991
Body Count - Body Count
  • All Tracks

Body Count - Body Count

Sire Records Company, Warner Bros. Records 1992
Music From The Motion Picture Trespass
  • Depths Of Hell

Various - Music From The Motion Picture Trespass

Sire Records Company 1992
Ice-T - Home Invasion & The Last Temptation Of Ice
  • It's On

Ice-T - Home Invasion & The Last Temptation Of Ice

Rhyme $yndicate Records, Virgin 1994
Body Count - Born Dead
  • Body M/F Count

Body Count - Born Dead

Rhyme $yndicate Records, Virgin 1994
Ol' Skool Butta Volume 1
  • Cars

Various - Ol' Skool Butta Volume 1

The Right Stuff 1996
Ice-T - VI: Return Of The Real
  • Alotta Niggas

Ice-T - VI: Return Of The Real

Priority Records 1996
Ice-T Presents The West Coast Rydaz - What Really Goes On
  • All Tracks

Ice-T Presents The West Coast Rydaz - What Really Goes On

Explicit Records 1998
Ice-T - Seventh Deadly Sin
  • Check Your Game

Ice-T - Seventh Deadly Sin

Roadrunner Records, Coroner Records 1999
Rush-N-Roulette Volume 2
  • Retaliation

Various - Rush-N-Roulette Volume 2

Game Related Records 1999
King George Presents Playas & Hustlas II
  • Roll Wit Gee's

Various - King George Presents Playas & Hustlas II

Highness Records 1999
Head Drama - Da Concoction Vol. 1
  • Business

Various - Head Drama - Da Concoction Vol. 1

Siccmade Muzicc 2000
Ice-T - Greatest Hits: The Evidence
  • 6 'N The Mornin'

Ice-T - Greatest Hits: The Evidence

Warner Music Australia, Coroner Records 2000
Ice T Presents Westside
  • You Played Yourself

Various - Ice T Presents Westside

Obsessive 2002
XXX Hip Hop
  • Girls L.G.B.N.A.F.

Various - XXX Hip Hop

Def Jam Recordings 2003
Body Count - Murder 4 Hire
  • All Tracks

Body Count - Murder 4 Hire

Escapi Music 2006