One of the first to bring Gangster Mentality as a whole into Hip-Hop. I say one of the first because he was inspired by none other than Schooly D. No question about the lifestyle Ice T lead. He was definitely into all those things he spoke on. Have to give the brother respect on his entire career.

Ice-T Official Site

Bio(Courtesy of Wikipedia):

Tracy Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an American rapper and actor. He was born in Newark, New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles, California. After graduating from high school he served in the United States Army for four years. He began his career as a rapper in the 1980s and was signed to Sire Records in 1987, when he released his debut album Rhyme Pays. The next year, he founded record label Rhyme Syndicate and released another album, Power. He became the lead vocalist in heavy metal band Body Count, which he introduced in his 1991 album O.G.: Original Gangster. Body Count released its self-titled debut album in 1992. Ice-T encountered controversy over his track “Cop Killer”, which was perceived to glamorize killing police officers. Because of this, he left Warner Bros. Records in 1993 and released his album Home Invasion through Priority Records instead. Body Count’s next album was released in 1994, and Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1990s.

As an actor, Ice-T began starring in minor roles in two films during the mid-1980s. In 1991, Ice-T formally began his acting career as an actor in the film New Jack City. Ice-T also starred in films such as Who’s the Man?(1993), CB4 (1993), Tank Girl (1995), and Johnny Mnemonic (1995). He has played Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 1999. In 2006, Ice-T released his first album in seven years, Gangsta Rap.

Although one of West Coast hip hop‘s leading figures, Tracy Marrow, son of Solomon and Alice Marrow, was actually born in urban Newark, New Jersey. As a child, his family moved to upscale Summit, New Jersey. He was also a part of the Harlem Crips. His mother died of a heart attack when he was in third grade and his father died of a heart attack four years later. Ice-T has stated in his biography that his father was of Creole origin and his mother was African American.

After his father died, he went to live with his paternal aunt in California and later attended Crenshaw High School in South Central Los Angeles. After high school, he entered the United States Army and served for four years as a ranger in the 25th Infantry. It was an experience he stated he did not enjoy.

He was previously in a relationship with Darlene Ortiz, who was featured on the covers of his 1987 album Rhyme Pays and his 1988 album Power. The couple had a son in 1992. In early 2005, Ice-T married swimsuit model Nicole “Coco Marie” Austin.

Music Career:

After leaving the Army, Ice-T began his long career of recording raps for various studios on 12-inch singles. He finally landed a deal with a major label Sire Records. When label founder and president Seymour Stein heard his demo, he said, “He sounds like Bob Dylan.” Shortly after, he released his debut album Rhyme Pays in 1987 supported by DJ Evil EDJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam, who helped create the mainly party-oriented sound. The record wound up being certified gold by the RIAA. That same year, he recorded the title theme song for Dennis Hopper’s Colors, a film about inner-city life in Los Angeles. His next album Power was released in 1988, under his own label Rhyme Syndicate, and it 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 his popularity by matching excellent abrasive music with narrative and commentative lyrics.

In 1991 he released his album O.G. Original Gangster, which is regarded as one of the albums that defined gangsta rap. On OG, he introduced his heavy metal band Body Count in a track of the same name. Ice-T toured with Body Count on the first annual Lollapalooza concert tour in 1991, gaining him appeal among middle-class teenagers and fans of alternative music genres. The self-titled debut album by Body Count followed. For his appearance on the heavily collaborative track “Back on the Block”, a composition by jazz musician Quincy Jones that “attempt[ed] to bring together black musical styles from jazz to soul to funk to rap”, Ice-T won aGrammy Award for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, an award shared by others who worked on the track including Jones and fellow jazz musician Ray Charles. Controversy later surrounded Body Count over its song “Cop Killer“, a song intended as a narrative from the view of a criminal killing a police officer, from the National Rifle Association and various police advocacy groups. Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T’s upcoming album Home Invasion simply because of the controversy surrounding “Cop Killer”. When Ice split amicably with Sire/Warner Bros. Records after a dispute over the artwork of the album Home Invasion, he reactivated Rhyme Syndicate and formed a deal with Priority Records for distribution. Priority released Home Invasion in the spring of 1993. The album peaked at #9 on Billboard magazine’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #14 on the Billboard 200, spawning several singles including “Gotta Lotta Love”, “I Ain’t New To This” and “99 Problems” – which would later inspire Jay Z to record a version with new lyrics in 2003. 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 byBlack Sabbath. Another album of his, VI – Return of the Real came out in 1996, followed by The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.

His first rap album since 1999, Gangsta Rap, was released on October 31, 2006. The album’s cover, which “shows [Ice-T] lying on his back in bed with his ravishing wife’s ample posterior in full view and one of her legs coyly draped over his private parts,” was considered to be too suggestive for most retailers, many of which were reluctant to stock the album. Some reviews of the album were unenthusiastic, as many had hoped for a return to the political raps of Ice-T’s most successful albums.

One of the last scenes in Gift includes Ice-T and Body Count playing with Jane’s Addiction in a version of the Sly and the Family Stone song “Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey.”

Besides fronting his own band, Ice-T has also collaborated with other hard rock and metal bands, such as IcepickMotörheadPro-Pain, and Six Feet Under. He has also covered songs by hardcore punk bands such as The ExploitedJello Biafra, and Black Flag. Ice-T made an appearance at Insane Clown Posse‘s Gathering Of The Juggalos (2008 edition). Ice-T was also a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists. In an interview on Conspiracy Radio Ice T told Mista Montana about his new BBC-funded movie ‘Art Of Rap’ featuring a who’s who of underground and mainstream rappers.

Acting Career:

Ice-T’s first film appearances were in the motion pictures Breakin’ (1984) and its sequel Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1985). These films were released before Ice-T released his first LP, although he has since stated that he considers the films and his own performance in them to be “whack”.

In 1991, he embarked on a serious acting career, portraying police detective Scotty Appleton in Mario Van Peebles‘ feature film New Jack City, gang leader Odessa alongside Denzel Washington and John Lithgow in Ricochet (1991), gang leader King James inTrespass (1992), followed by a notable lead role performance in Surviving the Game (1994) in addition to his many supporting roles, such as J-Bone in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and the marsupial mutant T-Saint in Tank Girl (1995). Marrow was also interviewed in the Brent Owens documentary Pimps Up, Ho’s Down, in which he claims to have had an extensive pimping background before getting into rap. He is quoted as saying “once you max something out, it ain’t no fun no more. I couldn’t really get no farther.” He goes on to explain that his pimping experience gave him the ability to get into new businesses. “I can’t act, I really can’t act, I ain’t no rapper, it’s all game. I’m just working these niggas.” Later he raps at the Players Ball.

In 1993 Marrow along with other rappers and the three Yo! MTV Raps hosts Ed LoverDoctor Dre and Fab 5 Freddy starred in the comedy Who’s the Man? directed by Ted Demme. In this movie Ice is a drug dealer who gets really frustrated when someone calls him by his real name “Chauncey” rather than his street name “Nighttrain”.

In 1995 he had a recurring role as vengeful drug dealer Danny Cort on the television series New York Undercover, which was co-created by Dick Wolf. His work on the series earned him the 1996 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 1997, Marrow co-created the short-lived series Players, which was produced by Wolf. This was followed by a role as pimp Seymour “Kingston” Stockton in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (1998). These collaborations led Wolf to add Marrow to the cast ofLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit. Since 2000 he has portrayed Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, a former undercover narcotic officer transferred to the Special Victims Unit. In 2002, the NAACP awarded Marrow with a second Image Award, again for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Law & Order: SVU. His participation in this series is somewhat ironic, given the early controversy surrounding his group Body Count with their song “Cop Killer“. Marrow also appears in the movie Leprechaun: In the Hood. He once was presenter on Channel 4‘s Baaadasss TV.

In 1997 he had a pay-per-view special entitled Ice T’s Extreme Babes which appeared on Action PPV, formerly owned by BET networks.

In 1999, Marrow starred in the HBO movie Stealth Fighter as a United States Naval Aviator who fakes his own death, steals a F-117 stealth fighter and threatens to destroy United States military bases. This movie is often criticized for its poor script, military inaccuracies, and significant use of footage from other movies. He also acted in the movie Sonic Impact, released the same year.

Ice-T voiced Madd Dogg in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as well as Agent Cain in Sanity: Aiken’s Artifact. He also appears as himself in Def Jam: Fight for NY and UFC: Tapout fighting video games.

Ice-T made an appearance on the comedy television series Chappelle’s Show as himself presenting the award for “Player Hater of the Year.” He was dubbed the “Original Player Hater.”

At WrestleMania 2000, Marrow performed his song “Pimpin Ain’t Easy” during The Godfather and D’Lo Brown‘s entrance. He also played as Hamilton in a 2001 thriller film named 3000 Miles to Graceland.

Beyond Tough, a 2002 documentary series aired on Discovery Channel about the world’s most dangerous and intense professions, such as alligator wrestlers and Indy 500 pit crews, was hosted by Marrow.

In 2007, he appeared as a celebrity guest star on the MTV sketch comedy show Short Circuitz. Also in late 2007, Marrow appeared in the short-music film “Hands of Hatred” which can be found online.

Reality Television:

On October 20, 2006 Ice-T’s Rap School aired and was a reality television show on VH1. It was a spin-off of the British reality show Gene Simmons’ Rock School, which also aired on VH1. In Rap School, rapper/actor Ice-T teaches eight teens from York Preparatory School in New York City how to become a real hip-hop group called the “York Prep Crew” (“Y.P. Crew” for short). Each week, Ice-T gives them assignments and they compete for an imitation gold chain with a microphone on it. On the season finale on November 17, 2006, the group performed as an opening act for Public Enemy.

Ice-T also made an appearance on NBC’s new game show Celebrity Family Feud on June 24, 2008. In the show Ice-T and Coco teamed up in a competition against Joan and Melissa Rivers to compete for their favorite charity. The Rivers family won their round.

Ice-T also made an appearance in a reality television show in the early 2000s, an episode of the MTV show, Cribs.

Ice-T appeared on the CBS television special reality show I Get That a Lot on April 1, 2009.

Ice-T appeared on ITV1 television show All Star Mr & Mrs in Britain on 9 January, 2010.

Political Views:

He has condemned the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in drug trafficking (in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal, as documented in the Kerry Committee report and elsewhere) on tracks such as “This One’s for Me” and “Message to the Soldier”, in sections of his book.

He was criticized for alleged anti-female positions in his lyrics and this has deterred some people from supporting him but has led to others giving him support. He has argued against the position that being a stripper or a model is demeaning to women by an analogy with a man who considers a homosexual to be demeaning all men by his actions, arguing that if the second feeling is untenable, the first is as well.

The track “Escape from the Killing Fields” expressed a difference in views from rappers like Redman and Ice Cube in that Ice-T did not see any virtue in staying in the ghetto, but rather encouraged people to leave the ghetto. The last track on O.G. Original Gangsteris a spoken-word opposition to the Gulf War and to poor conditions in prisons. After Born Dead in 1994, Ice-T’s music has contained much less political commentary than before.

In 1994, Ice-T wrote a book titled The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a Fuck?.[2] The purpose of the 199-page book was to respond to questions about his political beliefs, his life and the controversy surrounding his music. Having often voiced controversial statements about corruption, he goes into detail about his suspicions of police/CIA involvement in drug trafficking and of how certain businesses profit from prison-building.

On June 5, 2008, Ice-T jokingly said that he will be voting for John McCain in the 2008 American elections. Adding that his past Body Count days might hurt Barack Obama’s chances if he endorses him, so he’ll ruin John McCain’s campaign by saying he supports him.

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