" i from the rapper who penned the . i _ line. ‘dic. die pig. are on ‘C‘op "lends WBNUO Iall 0' got popped, then, in hindsight, I learned that we gotta get our shit that dogged his last album Home together and try and act as one or we’re all fucked]
Ice-T: ‘I ain't gonna make any apologies’
Leaving the infamous ‘Cop Killer“ controversy behind him. Ice-T is back with a new album and new attitude. He tells Jim Byers whassup.
he familiar. super-smooth laid-back (‘alifornian voice says: ‘Yo whassup boss'." Ice-'l‘. former gang member. armed robber. houscbreaker. pimp daddy and small-time hustler is back. The man who virtually invented ‘gangsta rap‘ back in 1987 with a hardcore. bitch-smackin'. crack-smokin'. gun-totin‘ track. ‘6 N The Mornin‘. wants to talk.
llc‘s discussing his new album. Return ()f The Real (Virgin). an 2. altogether more (hi/led record
, Killer“. his notorious paean to ‘the LAPD. ()n it. he moves away from the heavy political agenda
Invasion and returns to the old skool street politics of simply talkin‘ the talk and walkin‘ the walk.
'After all that “Cop Killer“ shit. my shit was hectic.‘ he says. ‘I was angry as a muthafucka back then but I‘ve got my shit back together with this record. I don‘t have all those people fuckin‘ wit me no more. I feel more relaxed and I ain't so concerned about serious shit now. I‘m feeling happy again. I‘m back on track. man.‘
Ice-T may have started out fulfilling the stereotypical black criminal image. gang banging from the twelfth grade with the Harlem (‘rips and getting by on minor league hustles like. ‘insurance fraud. credit card fraud. burglaries . . . y‘know. the usual bullshit‘. but he‘s come a long way since. And we‘re not just talking material stuff like the huge modern white. castle of a house he calls home up in the Hollywood Hills or the millions of dollars in his bank account. It‘s about being smart enough to use rap music as the vehicle to get off the streets and out of the danger zone.
Not content with selling well over ten million rap records worldwide. Ice-'l‘ has elevated himself to another level. becoming. against all the odds. at positive role model for young black Americans struggling to break out of ghetto life.
So now it‘s not just lce—T the rapper. it‘s Ice-T the actor. author. and TV presenter; the rich. respectable black man in the big white Hollywood house living life to the max.
‘With this record I was tryin‘ to explain the growth of a brother like me.‘ he says. ‘I didn‘t want to get involved in crime. but I did. Then l thought it was the shit to do. then my friends
‘I didn’t want to get involved in crime, but I did. Then I thought it was the shit to do, then my
went to jail or got popped. then. in hindsight. I learned that we gotta get our shit together and try and act as one or we‘re all fuckcd.‘
But put the swerve on all this other stuff for a moment. Forget — if you can — the movie career which has seen him play a cop (New Jack City). a gangster (Trespass). a cyber-pyscho (Johnny Mnemonie) and most bizarrely. a mutant kangaroo with attitude (Tank Girl). Ignore his book The Ice ()In'nion. his outspoken attempt to set the world straight. set aside his current stint as jive-talkin‘ co- presenter on Channel 4’s Baadas‘ss TV and ignore his head banging rap-metal act
Body Count. The original gangster is back. baader than even
Which is good news for rap fans. It means that Ice-T is doing what lee—T does best. rapping about life on the street. making no apologies and no compromise. The album is the easiest record he‘s ever made. he says. allowing him to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. picking up on the original. old skool hip hop lifestyle he left back on his Rhyme l’ays' and Original Gangster albums.
‘Peoplejust wanna know how I‘m livin‘. man. I get a lot of fan mail from all over the world and I try and listen to what everybody be sayin‘. This year. they be sayin‘: “Yo Ice. take it back to the old skool man. talk that playa shit. talk that shit you talk when the cameras ain‘t on you. _\"know." so I got down wit that. It‘s like. no matter how much I tell people not to do stuff. they just wanna hear me tell them how to do it. It‘s just entertainment. that‘s all.
‘l‘m at the stage now where I ain‘t gonna make any apologies. If you buy my album and it‘s got bullet holes and blood all over the cover and you‘re offended by it. you‘re the biggest idiot on this fuckin‘ earth. You should know what an lcc—T record is about so why be offended'.’ It‘s like buying a porno film. watching it and being shocked. What tha fuck d‘y‘all expect‘.’ If you know it‘s gonna offend you. don‘t pick it up you fuckin' fool that‘s all. it‘s not for everybody. I‘m gonna do this shit my way. the way I started and y‘know what, if you don‘t like it then fuck y’all!‘ lee-T VI: The Return Of The Real ( Virgin) is on! now. Baarlas‘s's' TV is on Channel 4 on Fridays at H. /()/)n1.
The List 3| May-l3 Jun l996 9