Ice-T

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Ice-T
Ice-T with Body Count at Wacken Open Air 2019
Born
Tracy Lauren Marrow

(1958-02-16) February 16, 1958 (age 65)
Occupations
  • Rapper
  • actor
  • songwriter
  • producer
  • author
Years active1982–present
Spouse
(m. 2002)
PartnerDarlene Ortiz (1984–2001)[1]
Children3
Musical career
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Instrument(s)Vocals
Labels
Member ofBody Count
Formerly ofUncle Jamm's Army
Websiteicet.com

Tracy Lauren Marrow[2] (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T (or Ice T), is an American rapper and actor. He is active in both hip hop and heavy metal. Ice-T began his career as an underground rapper in the 1980s and was signed to Sire Records in 1987, when he released his debut album Rhyme Pays. The following year, he founded the record label Rhyme $yndicate Records (named after his collective of fellow hip-hop artists called the "Rhyme $yndicate") and released another album, Power (1988), which would go platinum. He also released several other albums that went gold, including The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say! (1989), O.G. Original Gangster (1991) and Home Invasion (1993).

Ice-T co-founded the heavy metal band Body Count in 1990, which he introduced on O.G. Original Gangster, on the track titled "Body Count". The band released its self-titled debut album in 1992. Ice-T encountered controversy over his track "Cop Killer", the lyrics of which discussed killing police officers. He asked to be released from his contract with Warner Bros. Records, and his follow-up solo album, Home Invasion, was released through Priority Records. Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1990s and one in the 2000s before focusing on both his acting career and Body Count, who have released seven studio albums to date, the latest being 2020's Carnivore.

As an actor, Ice-T played small parts in the films Breakin' (1984) and its sequels, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and Rappin' (1984 and 1985 respectively), before his major role debut, starring as police detective Scotty Appleton in New Jack City (1991). He received top billing for his role in Surviving the Game (1994) and continued to appear in small roles in TV series and other films throughout the 1990s. Since 2000, he has portrayed NYPD detective/sergeant Odafin Tutuola on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, making him the longest-running male series actor in history, according to Deadline.[3] A reality television show titled Ice Loves Coco ran for three seasons (2011–2013) on E!, featuring the home life of Ice-T and his wife Coco Austin. In 2018, he began hosting the true crime documentary In Ice Cold Blood on the Oxygen cable channel, which as of 2020 is in its third season.

Early life[edit]

Tracy Lauren Marrow, the son of Solomon and Alice Marrow,[4][5] was born in Newark, New Jersey[6] on February 16, 1958.[7] Solomon was African-American and Alice was from a Louisiana Creole background.[4] For decades, Solomon worked as a conveyor belt mechanic at the Rapistan Conveyor Company. When Marrow was a child, his family moved to upscale Summit, New Jersey.[4] The first time race played a major part in Marrow's life was at the age of seven, when he became aware of the racism leveled by his white friends towards black children. Marrow surmised that he escaped similar treatment because they thought that he was white due to his lighter skin.[8][4] Relaying this incident to his mother, she told him, "Honey, people are stupid"; her advice and this incident taught Marrow to control the way the negativity of others affected him.[4]

His mother died of a heart attack when he was in third grade. Solomon raised Marrow as a single father for four years, with help from a housekeeper.[4] Marrow's first experience with illicit activity occurred after a bicycle that his father bought him for Christmas was stolen. After Marrow told his father, Solomon shrugged, "Well, then, you ain't got no bike".[4] Marrow stole parts from bicycles and assembled "three or four weird-looking, brightly-painted bikes" from the parts; his father either did not notice or never acknowledged this.[4] When Marrow was thirteen years old, Solomon also died of a heart attack.[4][9]

Following his father's death, the orphaned Marrow briefly lived with a nearby aunt, then was sent to live with his other aunt and her husband in View Park-Windsor Hills, an upper middle-class Black neighborhood in South Los Angeles.[10] While his cousin Earl was preparing to leave for college, Marrow shared a bedroom with him. Earl was a fan of rock music and listened only to the local rock radio stations; sharing a room with him sparked Marrow's interest in heavy metal music.[11]

External videos
video icon Ice-T - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1), Loudwire[12]
video icon Ice-T - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 2), Loudwire[13]

High school, early criminal activity, military service[edit]

Marrow moved to the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles when he was in the eighth grade. He attended Palms Junior High, which was predominantly made up of white students, and included black students who traveled by bus from South Central to attend.[10] He then attended Crenshaw High School, which was almost entirely made up of black students.[10][14]

Marrow stood out from most of his friends because he did not drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or use drugs.[15] During Marrow's time in high school, gangs became more prevalent in the Los Angeles school system. Students who belonged to the Crips and Bloods gangs attended Crenshaw, and fought in the school's hallways.[10] Marrow, while never an actual gang member, was affiliated with the former.[10] Marrow began reading the novels of Iceberg Slim, which he memorized and recited to his friends, who enjoyed hearing the excerpts and told him, "Yo, kick some more of that by Ice, T",[15] giving Marrow his famous nickname. Marrow and other Crips wrote and performed "Crip Rhymes".[16]

His music career started with the band of the singing group The Precious Few of Crenshaw High School. Marrow and his group opened the show, dancing to a live band. The singers were Thomas Barnes, Ronald Robinson and Lapekas Mayfield.

In 1975, at the age of seventeen, Marrow began receiving Social Security benefits resulting from the death of his father and used the money to rent an apartment for $90 a month.[15] He sold cannabis and stole car stereos to earn extra cash, but he was not making enough to support his pregnant girlfriend. After his daughter was born, Marrow enlisted in the United States Army in October 1977. Following basic training, Marrow was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.[15][17] During his time in the army Marrow was involved with a group of soldiers charged with the theft of a rug.[15] While awaiting trial, he received a $2,500 bonus check and went absent without leave (AWOL), returning a month later, after the rug had been returned. Marrow received a non-judicial punishment as a consequence of his dereliction of duty.[15]

During his spell in the Army, Marrow became interested in hip hop music. He heard The Sugarhill Gang's newly released single "Rapper's Delight" (1979), which inspired him to perform his own raps over the instrumentals of this and other early hip-hop records. The music, however, did not fit his lyrics or form of delivery.[16]

When he was stationed in Hawaii (where prostitution was not a heavily prosecuted crime) as a squad leader at Schofield Barracks, Marrow met a pimp named Mac.[15] Mac admired that Marrow could quote Iceberg Slim, and he taught Marrow how to be a pimp himself.[15] Marrow was also able to purchase stereo equipment cheaply in Hawaii, including two Technics turntables, a mixer, and large speakers. Once equipped, he then began to learn turntablism and rapping.[16]

Marrow learned from his commanding officer that he could receive an early honorable discharge because he was a single father. Taking advantage of this, Marrow was discharged as a Private First Class (PFC - E3) in December 1979 after serving for two years and two months.[15][17]

During an episode of The Adam Carolla Podcast that aired on June 6, 2012, Marrow claimed that after being discharged from the Army, he began a career as a bank robber. Marrow claimed he and some associates began conducting take-over bank robberies "like [in the film] Heat". Marrow then elaborated, explaining, "Only punks go for the drawer, we gotta go for the safe." Marrow also stated he was glad the United States justice system has statutes of limitations, which had likely expired when Marrow admitted to his involvement in multiple Class 1 Felonies in the early-to-mid 1980s.[citation needed]

In July 2010, Marrow was mistakenly arrested. A month later when Marrow attended court, the charges were dropped and the prosecution stated "there had been a clerical error when the rapper was arrested". Marrow gave some advice to young people who think going to jail is a mark of integrity, saying, "Street credibility has nothing to do with going to jail, it has everything to do with staying out."[18]

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

Early career (1980–1981)[edit]

After leaving the Army, Marrow wanted to stay away from gang life and violence and instead make a name for himself as a DJ.[16] As a tribute to Iceberg Slim, Marrow adopted the stage name Ice-T. While performing as a DJ at parties, he received more attention for his rapping, which led Ice-T to pursue a career as a rapper.[16] After breaking up with his girlfriend Caitlin Boyd, he returned to a life of crime and robbed jewelry stores with his high school friends. Ice-T's raps later described how he and his friends pretended to be customers to gain access before smashing the display glass with baby sledgehammers.[16][19]

Ice-T's friends Al P. and Sean E. Sean went to prison. Al P. was caught in 1982 and sent to prison for robbing a high-end jewelry store in Laguna Niguel for $2.5 million in jewelry. Sean was arrested for possession of not only cannabis, which Sean sold, but also material stolen by Ice-T. Sean took the blame and served two years in prison. Ice-T stated that he owed a debt of gratitude to Sean because his prison time allowed him to pursue a career as a rapper.[20] Concurrently, he wound up in a car accident and was hospitalized as a John Doe because he did not carry any form of identification due to his criminal activities.[21] After being discharged from the hospital, he decided to abandon the criminal lifestyle and pursue a professional career rapping.[21] Two weeks after being released from the hospital, he won an open mic competition judged by Kurtis Blow at the Carolina West nightclub.[22] According to Michael Khalfani known as Disco Daddy, Ice-T won the first week of the competition under the name of DJ Tracy, but got beaten by Disco Daddy the second week, which lead to the name change of Ice-T (Khalfani got signed to Rappers Rapp Records).

Professional career (1982–present)[edit]

Ice-T released a string of Electro records, including the 1984 single "Reckless" (pictured), before recording gangsta rap music

In 1982, Ice-T met producer Willie Strong from Saturn Records. In 1983, Strong recorded Ice-T's first single, "Cold Wind Madness", also known as "The Coldest Rap", an electro hip-hop record that became an underground success, becoming popular even though radio stations did not play it due to the song's hardcore lyrics.[20] That same year, Ice-T released "Body Rock", another electro hip-hop single that found popularity in clubs. In 1984, Ice-T released the single "Killers", the first of his political raps, and then was a featured rapper on "Reckless", a single by DJ Chris "The Glove" Taylor and (co-producer) David Storrs that gained widespread popularity as a featured track via the motion picture Breakin' and its soundtrack album. This song was almost immediately followed up with a sequel entitled "Reckless Rivalry (Combat)", which was featured in the Breakin' sequel, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, however it was never featured on the soundtrack album and, to this day, has never been released. Ice later recorded the songs "Ya Don't Quit" and "Dog'n the Wax (Ya Don't Quit-Part II)" with Unknown DJ, who provided a Run–D.M.C.-like sound for the songs.[22]

Ice-T received further inspiration as an artist from Schoolly D's gangsta rap single "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?", which he heard in a club. Ice-T enjoyed the single's sound and delivery, as well as its vague references to gang life, although the real life gang, Park Side Killers, was not named in the song.[22]

Ice-T decided to adopt Schoolly D's style, and wrote the lyrics to his first gangsta rap song, "6 in the Mornin'", in his Hollywood apartment, and created a minimal beat with a Roland TR-808. He compared the sound of the song, which was recorded as a B-side on the single "Dog'n The Wax", to that of the Beastie Boys.[22] The single was released in 1986, and he learned that "6 in the Mornin'" was more popular in clubs than its A-side, leading Ice-T to rap about Los Angeles gang life, which he described more explicitly than any previous rapper.[citation needed] He intentionally did not represent any particular gang, and wore a mixture of red and blue clothing and shoes to avoid antagonizing gang-affiliated listeners, who debated his true affiliation.[22]

Ice-T headlined Public Enemy's 1988 "Bring the Noise" concert tour

Ice-T finally landed a deal with a major label Sire Records. When label founder and president Seymour Stein heard his demo, he said Ice-T sounded like Bob Dylan.[23] Shortly after, he released his debut album Rhyme Pays in 1987 supported by DJ Evil E, DJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam, who helped create the mainly party-oriented sound. The record wound up being certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. That same year, he recorded the title theme song for Dennis Hopper's Colors, a film about inner-city gang 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.[2] In the same year, he appeared on Hugh Harris' single "Alice".[24]

In 1991, he released his album O.G. Original Gangster, which is regarded as one of the albums that defined gangsta rap.[citation needed] 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 album Body Count was released in March 1992.[2] 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 a Grammy 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.[25]

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 of America, and various police advocacy groups.[2][26] Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T's upcoming album Home Invasion because of the controversy surrounding "Cop Killer". Ice-T suggested that the furor over the song was an overreaction, telling journalist Chuck Philips "...they've done movies about nurse killers and teacher killers and student killers. Arnold Schwarzenegger blew away dozens of cops as the Terminator. But I don't hear anybody complaining about that". In the same interview, Ice-T suggested to Philips that the misunderstanding of Cop Killer, the misclassification of it as a rap song (not a rock song), and the attempts to censor it had racial overtones: "The Supreme Court says it's OK for a white man to burn a cross in public. But nobody wants a black man to write a record about a cop killer".[26]

Ice-T split amicably with Sire/Warner Bros. Records after a dispute over the artwork of the album Home Invasion. He then reactivated Rhyme Syndicate and formed a deal with Priority Records for distribution. Priority released Home Invasion in the spring of 1993.[27] The album peaked at No. 9 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at No. 14 on the Billboard 200,[28] spawning several singles including "Gotta Lotta Love", "I Ain't New Ta This" and "99 Problems" – which would later inspire Jay-Z to record a version with new lyrics in 2003. In 2003 he released the single "Beat of Life" with Sandra Nasić, Trigga tha Gambler and DJ Tomekk and placed in the German charts.[29][30]

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".[31] In 1995, Ice-T made a guest performance on Forbidden by Black Sabbath.[5] Another album of his, VI – Return of the Real, was released in 1996, followed by The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.[32]

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.

Ice-T performing with Body Count in 2006

Ice-T appears in the film Gift. One of the last scenes 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 and rap projects, Ice-T has also collaborated with other hard rock and metal bands, such as Icepick, Motörhead, Slayer, Megadeth, 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 made an appearance at Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos (2008 edition).[33] Ice-T was also a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.[34] His 2012 film Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap features a who's who of underground and mainstream rappers.[35]

In November 2011, Ice-T announced via Twitter that he was in the process of collecting beats for his next LP which was expected sometime during 2012, but as of October 2014, the album has not been released. A new Body Count album, Bloodlust, was released in 2017.[36] After the release of the album, responding to an interview question asking if he's "done with rap", he answered "I don't know" and noted that he's "really leaning more toward EDM right now".[37] Body Count received their second Grammy nomination and later won the award at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2021 for "Best Metal Performance" with their song "Bum-Rush" from the album Carnivore.[38]

In July 2019, Ice-T released his first solo hip hop track in 10 years, titled "Feds in My Rearview". The track is the first in a trilogy, with the second track, "Too Old for the Dumb Shit", described as a prequel to "Feds in My Rearview", and released in September 2019.[39] Ice-T was also featured on the 2020 hip hop posse cut "The Slayers Club" alongside R.A. the Rugged Man, Brand Nubian and others.

Ice-T performed at New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2021, Fox broadcast.[40][41]

Acting[edit]

Television and film[edit]

Ice-T was prominently featured as both a rapper and a breakdancer in Breakin' 'n' Enterin' (1983), a documentary about the early West Coast hip hop scene.

Ice-T's first film appearances were in the motion pictures, Breakin' (1984), and its sequel, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984). These films were released before Ice-T released his first LP, although he appears on the soundtrack to Breakin'. He has since stated he considers the films and his own performance in them to be "wack".[42]

In 1991, he embarked on a serious acting career, portraying police detective Scotty Appleton in Mario Van Peebles' action thriller New Jack City, gang leader Odessa (alongside Denzel Washington and John Lithgow) in Ricochet (1991), gang leader King James in Trespass (1992), followed by a notable lead role performance in Surviving the Game (1994), in addition to many supporting roles, such as J-Bone in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and the marsupial mutant T-Saint in Tank Girl (1995). He was also interviewed in the Brent Owens documentary Pimps Up, Ho's Down,[43] 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 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, Ice-T, along with other rappers and the three Yo! MTV Raps hosts Ed Lover, Doctor Dré, and Fab 5 Freddy starred in the comedy Who's the Man?, directed by Ted Demme. In the film, he is a drug dealer who gets really frustrated when someone calls him by his real name, "Chauncey", rather than his street name, "Nighttrain".

Ice-T with Christopher Meloni shooting Law & Order: SVU on Broome Street in SoHo, New York City, 2008

In 1995, Ice-T had a recurring role as vengeful drug dealer Danny Cort on the television series New York Undercover, 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, he co-created the short-lived series Players, 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 Ice-T to the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 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.

Around 1995,[44] Ice-T co-presented a UK-produced magazine television series on black culture, Baadasss TV.[45]

In 1997, Ice-T had a pay-per-view special titled Ice-T's Extreme Babes which appeared on Action PPV, formerly owned by BET Networks.[46][47]

In 1999, Ice-T starred in the HBO film Stealth Fighter as a United States Naval Aviator who fakes his own death, steals an F-117 stealth fighter, and threatens to destroy United States military bases. He also acted in the film Sonic Impact, released the same year.

Ice-T made an appearance on the comedy television series Chappelle's Show as himself presenting the award for "Player Hater of the Year" at the "Player-Haters Ball", a parody of his own appearance at the Players Ball. He was dubbed the "Original Player Hater".

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 Ice-T.[48]

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

Ice-T at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for the premiere of Burning Down the House

Ice-T was interviewed for the Cannibal Corpse retrospective documentary Centuries of Torment, as well as appearing in Chris Rock's 2009 documentary Good Hair, in which he reminisced about going to school in hair curlers.[49]

A 2016 advertisement for GEICO features Ice-T behind a lemonade stand run by children. When people ask if it is Ice-T, the actor yells back, "No, it's lemonade!"[50]

In 2020, Ice-T competed on The Masked Singer spin-off The Masked Dancer where he portrayed "Disco Ball" and was the first to be eliminated.

Voice acting[edit]

Ice-T's voice acting roles include 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. He also voiced the character Aaron Griffin in the video game Gears of War 3.[51] Marrow also made an appearance in the 2019 video game Borderlands 3, in which he voices the character of BALEX.[52] On August 22, 2023, it was revealed at Gamescom 2023 that he would be voicing the contractor, Mac in Payday 3.[53]

Other ventures[edit]

Podcasting[edit]

On December 27, 2013, Ice-T announced that he was entering podcasting in a deal with the Paragon Collective. Ice-T co-hosts the Ice-T: Final Level podcast[54] with his longtime friend, Mick Benzo (known as Zulu Beatz on Sirius XM). They discuss relevant issues, films, video games, and do a behind the scenes of Law & Order: SVU segment with featured guests from the entertainment world. The show will release new episodes bi-weekly. Guests have included Jim Norton.[55] Ice-T released his first episode on January 7 to many accolades.[56]

Reality television[edit]

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 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.

On June 12, 2011, E! reality show Ice Loves Coco debuted. The show is mostly about his relationship with his wife, Nicole "Coco" Austin.[57][58]

In popular media[edit]

  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Get Schwifty", "Ice-T", voiced by show creator Dan Harmon, is portrayed as secretly being alien royalty exiled to Earth,[59] whose natural shape is a letter T made of water.[60] Ice-T reacted on Twitter by saying "This happens with cartoonists after lots of drugs…. Fn Crazy!!".[61]
  • Stand-up comedian John Mulaney dedicates a long segment on his comedy special New in Town to the humorous expositional nature of Ice-T's role on Special Victims Unit, saying that his function on the show is to be perpetually amazed by bad things, despite being in a sex crimes unit.[62]

Style and influence[edit]

Ice-T at With Full Force 2018

Ice-T cites writer Iceberg Slim and rapper Schoolly D as influences, with Iceberg Slim's novels guiding his skills as a lyricist.[16][22] His favorite heavy rock acts are Edgar Winter, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.[11] His hip hop albums helped shape gangsta rap, with music journalists tracing works of artists such as Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Eminem and N.W.A to "6 in the Mornin'".[22]

A love of rock led Ice to use guitar in his albums, to provide his songs with edge and power, and to make his raps harder. He drew on the fusion of rock and hip hop by Rick Rubin-produced acts such as Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, and LL Cool J, who featured rock samples in their songs.[11]

Body Count – whose 1992 debut album Ice described as a "rock album with a rap mentality"[63] – is described as paving the way for the success of rap rock fusions by acts like Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit.[11][63] However, Ice-T states that the band's style does not fuse the two genres, and that Body Count is solely a rock band.[11]

In Hip Hop Connection, Ice listed his favorite rap albums:[64]

Personal life[edit]

Ice-T with his wife Coco Austin

On March 20, 1976, Marrow's high school girlfriend Adrienne gave birth to their daughter LeTesha Marrow, and they continued attending high school while raising her.[15] While filming Breakin' in 1984, he met his second girlfriend Darlene Ortiz, who was at the club where the film was shot. They began a relationship and Ortiz was featured on the covers of Rhyme Pays and Power.[22] Ice-T and Ortiz had a son, Ice Tracy Marrow Jr., on November 23, 1991;[22] Ice Marrow, aka "Little Ice", became a backing vocalist with Body Count in time for the recording of their album Carnivore.

Ice-T married swimsuit model Nicole "Coco" Austin[58] in January 2002.[65] In celebration of their impending ninth wedding anniversary, the couple renewed their wedding vows on June 4, 2011.[57] As of 2006, they owned a penthouse apartment in North Bergen, New Jersey.[66] In 2012, they were building a five-bedroom house in Edgewater, New Jersey, that was expected to be completed by the end of the year.[67] In 2015, the couple had their first child together, a daughter.[68][69]

Ice-T has stated on numerous occasions that he is a teetotaler, and lives a straight edge lifestyle.[70][71] He is a long time practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing, and is a big fan of the UFC.[72][73]

Activism[edit]

During the popularity of Public Enemy, Ice-T was closely associated with the band and his recordings of the time showed a similar political viewpoint. He was referred to as "The Soldier of the Highest Degree" in the booklet for Fear of a Black Planet and mentioned on the track "Leave This Off Your Fuckin' Charts". He also collaborated with fellow anti-censorship campaigner Jello Biafra on his album The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say!.

On June 5, 2008, Ice-T joked that he would be voting for John McCain in the 2008 American elections, speculating that his past affiliation with Body Count could hurt Barack Obama's chances if he endorsed him, so he would choose instead to ruin McCain's campaign by saying he supported him.[74][75]

On September 22, 2022, Ice-T narrated an advertisement for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.[76]

Personal disputes[edit]

LL Cool J[edit]

Ice-T had a feud with LL Cool J in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Apparently, this was instigated by LL's claim to be "the baddest rapper in the history of rap itself".[citation needed] Ice-T recorded disses against LL on his 1988 album Power. On the album was the track, "I'm Your Pusher", in which a rap music addict declines to buy an LL Cool J record. The album also contains the posse rap track, "The Syndicate", which took aim at LL's lyrical ability, claiming that rapping about oneself so frequently was a "first grade topic".[citation needed] The song also mocked the song's hook "I'm Bad", which identified it as an LL diss specifically. In the book Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies, Ice-T said that the song "Girls L.G.B.N.A.F." was also intended as a diss to LL Cool J, by making a crude song to contrast with the love songs that LL was making at the time.[77]

On LL's response, "To da Break of Dawn" in 1990, he dissed Kool Moe Dee (whose feud with LL was far more publicized) as well as MC Hammer. He then devoted the third verse of the song to dissing Ice-T, mocking his rap ability ("take your rhymes around the corner to rap rehab"), his background ("before you rapped, you was a downtown car thief"), and his style ("a brother with a perm deserves to get burned"). He also suggested that the success of Power was due to the appearance of Ice-T's girlfriend Darlene on the album cover. Ice-T appeared to have ignored the insults and he had also defended LL Cool J after his arrest in the song "Freedom of Speech".[78]

In August 2012, Ice-T said that the rivalry was "never serious" and that he needed a nemesis to create "an exciting dispute".[79]

Soulja Boy[edit]

In June 2008, on DJ Cisco's Urban Legend mixtape, Ice-T criticized Soulja Boy (whose name is DeAndre Way) for "killing hip hop" and called his song "Crank That" "garbage" compared to the works of other hip-hop artists such as Rakim, Das EFX, Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube. One of the comments exchanged was Ice-T telling Way to "eat a dick".[80] The two then traded numerous videos back and forth over the Internet. These videos included a cartoon and video of Ice-T dancing on Way's behalf and an apology, but reiteration of his feelings that Way's music "sucks", on Ice-T's behalf.[81] Musician Kanye West defended Way saying, "He came from the 'hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song".[82]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Breakin' Rap Talker
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Radiotron Rapper
1985 Rappin' Himself
1991 New Jack City Scotty Appleton
Ricochet Odessa
1992 Trespass King James
Why Colors? Himself Short
1993 CB4 Himself
Who's the Man? Nighttrain/Chauncey
Gift Himself Video
1994 Surviving the Game Jack Mason
1995 Tank Girl T-Saint
Johnny Mnemonic J-Bone
1996 Frankenpenis Himself Video
1997 Below Utopia Jim
Mean Guns Vincent Moon
The Deli Phil The Meat Man
1998 Crazy Six Raul
Exiled: A Law & Order Movie Seymour "Kingston" Stockton TV movie
Judgment Day Matthew Reese Video
1999 Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang The Judge
Urban Menace Narrator Video
Stealth Fighter Owen Turner
Final Voyage Josef
Sonic Impact Agent Taja
The Disciples The Sensei TV movie
Corrupt Corrupt
The Wrecking Crew Menace
Frezno Smooth DJ Superfly
2000 The Wrecking Crew Menace
Leprechaun in the Hood Mack Daddy Video
Luck of the Draw Macneilly
The Alternate Agent Williams
Point Doom Ringman
2001 3000 Miles to Graceland Hamilton
Deadly Rhapsody Wilson
Tara Grady Video
'R Xmas The Kidnapper
Kept Jack Mosler
Air Rage Matt Marshall Video
Guardian Max
Ablaze Albert Denning
Ticker Terrorist Commander
Out Kold Goldie
Gangland Officer Dunn
The Heist C-Note
2002 Stranded Jeffries Video
On the Edge Slim Jim
2003 Crime Partners King Fischer
2004 Lexie Rasheed Video
Up In Harlem Himself
2005 Tracks Officer Brian Clark
2006 Copy That Himself Short
2007 BelzerVizion Himself Short
Apartment 309 Detective Shearod Short
2009 Tommy and the Cool Mule Jackie A (voice) Video
The Magic 7 Dr. Scratch (voice) TV movie
2010 The Other Guys Narrator (voice)
2013 Santorini Blue Dr. Lewis
Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn Tyler Moss
2014 Crossed the Line Miguel
2015 What Now Himself
The Ghetto Victor
2016 How We Met Narrator
2017 Bloodrunners Chesterfield
2019 Clinton Road R.J.
UglyDolls Peggy (voice)
2020 Equal Standard Croft [83]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Fame Enforcer Episode: "Break Dance"
1988 MusiCalifornia Himself Episode: "L.A. Country"
1990 It's Showtime at the Apollo Himself Episode: "Episode #3.24"
1991 Soul Train Himself Episode: "Run D.M.C./Ice-T/Oleta Adams"
Sex in the '90s Himself Episode: "More Sex in the 90's"
1994 Without Walls Himself/Host Episode: "Kiss My Baad Assss Ice-T's Guide to Blaxploitation"
1994-96 Baadasss TV Himself/Co-Host Recurring Co-Host
1995 The History of Rock 'n' Roll Himself Episode: "Up from the Underground"
New York Undercover Danny Up/Danny Cort Recurring Cast: Season 1, Guest: Season 2
1996 Saturday Night Special Himself/Host Episode: "Episode #1.4"
MADtv Himself/Host Episode: "Episode #2.2"
Swift Justice Earl Borgese Episode: "Takin' Back the Street"
1997 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself Episode: "Needledrop"
L.A. Heat Cage Episode: "Rap Sheet"
Duckman Himself/Taanzi (voice) Episode: "A Star Is Abhorred" & "Ebony, Baby"
1997-98 Players Isaac "Ice" Gregory Main Cast
1998 Welcome to Paradox Revell Episode: "The Winner"
1999 Batman Beyond Ramrod (voice) Episode: "Splicers"
V.I.P The Prophet Episode: "Val the Hard Way" & "Val Goes to Town"
Sin City Spectacular Himself Episode: "Episode #1.21"
2000 I Love the '70s Himself Episode: "I Love 1973"
Behind the Music Himself Episode: "Ice-T"
2000- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective/Sergeant Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Main Cast: Season 2–
2001 I Love the '80s Himself Recurring Guest
Say It Loud! A Celebration of Black Music in America Himself Recurring Guest
I Love the '90s Himself Recurring Guest
Weakest Link Himself Episode: "Scene Stealers Edition"
Hollywood Squares Himself Recurring Guest
2002 Beyond Tough Himself/Host Main Host
2003 Chappelle's Show Himself Episode: "Blackzilla & Playa Haters' Ball"
Star Search Himself/Guest Judge Episode: "The One with Guest Judge Ice-T"
2004 I Love the '90s Himself Episode: "1992"
And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop Himself Episode: "Back in the Day"
2005 E! True Hollywood Story Himself Episode: "Snoop Dogg"
Law & Order Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Episode: "Flaw"
2006 The Drug Years Himself Episode: "Just Say No! (1980s-Present)"
Hip Hop Honors Himself/Host Main Host
Ice-T's Rap School Himself/Host Main Host
2007 Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav Himself/Roaster Episode: "Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav"
Sesame Street Himself Episode: "Maria the Chicken"
2008 The Greatest Himself Episode: "100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs"
Celebrity Family Feud Himself Episode: "Ice-T vs. The Rivers, Raven-Symone vs. Wayne Newton"
2009 The Heyman Hustle Himself Episode: "Ice-T and Coco Reveal Sex Secrets on a Very Controversial Heyman Hustle"
TV Land Moguls Himself Episode: "The '90s"
Black to the Future Himself Episode: "Hour 4: The 00s"
I Get That a Lot Himself Episode: "Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst, Ice-T, LeAnn Rimes, Jessica Simpson, Mario Lopez, Jared Fogle"
2010 All Star Mr & Mrs Himself Episode: "Episode #3.2"
30 for 30 Himself Episode: "Straight Outta L.A."
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List Himself Episode: "Kathy With a Z"
2011-13 Ice Loves Coco Himself Main Cast
30 Rock Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Episode: "¡Qué Sorpresa!" & "Hogcock!/Last Lunch"
2011 Full Throttle Saloon Himself Episode: "Episode #2.9"
Celebrity Close Calls Himself Episode: "Ice-T/Cheryl Tiegs/Ed Begley Jr/Yancy Butler"
2012 E! True Hollywood Story Himself Episode: "Ice-T & Coco"
2013 Criss Angel Believe Himself Episode: "Cement Grave"
Chrissy & Mr. Jones Himself Episode: "Popping Off"
2014 Celebrities Undercover Himself Episode: "Ice-T & Coco"
Celebrity Crime Files Himself/Narrator Main Narrator
Amp'd Up Himself Episode: "Beat Poetry"
2014-16 Chicago P.D. Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Guest Cast: Seasons 1-3
2015 Ice & Coco Himself/Co-Host Main Co-Host
Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Superintendent (voice) Episode: "The Fresh Principal of Norrisville High"
2016 Love & Hip Hop: New York Himself Episode: "Love & Hip Hop: New York"
Hip-Hop Evolution Himself Recurring Guest: Season 1
Younger Himself Episode: "Secrets & Liza"
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Himself Episode: "Kimmy Sees a Sunset!"
2016-17 Unsung Hollywood Himself Recurring Guest
2017 Hollywood Medium Himself Episode: "Nico Tortorella/Ice-T & Coco Austin/Alan Thicke"
Party Legends Himself Episode: "Sexy Kurt Cobain"
Unsung Himself Episode: "Ice-T"
The $100,000 Pyramid Himself/Celebrity Player Episode: "Kyle Busch vs. Lara Spencer and Ice-T vs. Peri Gilpin"
Match Game Himself/Celebrity Panelist Episode: "Jason Alexander/Cheryl Hines/Ice-T/Ellie Kemper/Wayne Brady/Caroline Rhea"
2018 Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar Himself Episode: "L.A. Metal"
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale Himself Episode: "Michael!"
Match Game Himself/Celebrity Panelist Episode: "Jack McBrayer/Christina Ricci/Ice-T/Jane Krakowski/Tituss Burgess/Nikki Glaser"
David Tutera's Celebrations Himself Episode: "Ice-T and Coco Throw A Baby Shower"
Celebrity Family Feud Himself Episode: "Team Vanilla Ice vs Kim Fields and Team Ice-T & Coco vs Vivica A. Fox"
American Dad! Himself (voice) Episode: "The Census of the Lamb"
2018-21 In Ice Cold Blood Himself/Host Main Host
2019 Untold Stories of Hip Hop Himself Episode: "Ice-T, Swizz Beatz & Wyclef"
Deadly Class [84] Ice-T Slot Machine (voice) Episode: "Saudade"
Saturday Night Live Sergeant Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Episode: "Kit Harington/Sara Bareilles"
2020 Yo Mama Himself Episode: "I PAID Celebs $3,000 for YO MAMA JOKES"
Martha Knows Best Himself Episode: "Martha Claus is Coming to Town"
The Masked Dancer Himself/Disco Ball Episode: "Premiere - Everybody Mask Now!"
2021 Straight Up Steve Austin Himself Episode: "Ice-T"
Hip Hop Uncovered Himself Main Guest
The Mediator Himself/Host Main Host
Law & Order: Organized Crime Sergeant Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Episode: "The Good, The Bad and The Lovely"
2022 Origins of Hip Hop Himself Episode: "Ice-T"
Betraying the Badge Himself/Narrator Main Narrator
Saturday Night Live Light Skin Larry Targaryen Episode: "Dave Chappelle/Black Star"
2023 Fight the Power: How Hip-Hop Changed the World Himself Main Guest
Celebrity Game Face Himself/Contestant Episode: "Music Icons Edition"
Rewind the '90s Himself Main Guest
Hip Hop Treasures Himself/Host Main Host
Law & Order: Organized Crime Sergeant Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Episode: "With Many Names"
Rick and Morty Magma "Q" Rise of the Numbericons: The Movie
Barmageddon Himself Episode: "Blake Shelton's Holiday Bartacular ft. Ice T"

Documentary[edit]

Year Title
1990 Rap City Rhapsody
Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones
RapMania: The Roots of Rap
1994 The Legend of Dolemite
1997 Star Wars: The Magic & the Mystery
Rhyme & Reason
1998 Pimps Up, Ho's Down
1999 Hollywood: Wild in the Streets
2000 Straight from the Streets
Hip Hop 2000
2001 Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy
2002 Big Pun Still Not a Player
2003 Beef
Cwalk: It's a Way of Livin
Tupac: Resurrection
2004 Beef II
And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop
Prison Ball
2005 Fuck
There's a God on the Mic
2008 A Family Underground
2009 Good Hair
2010 GhettoPhysics
Sounds Like a Revolution
2011 The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique
Planet Rock: The Story of Hip-Hop and the Crack Generation
Give it up for Greg Giraldo
2012 Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp
2013 Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire
2019 Public Enemy Number One [85]
2023 Justa Geta Record Deal : It All Makes Sense Now

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Prime Mover - Amiga
2000 Sanity: Aiken's Artifact Agent Nathaniel Cain voice
2002 UFC: Tapout Himself voice
2004 Def Jam Fight for NY Himself voice and likeness
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Madd Dogg voice
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Himself voice
Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover Himself Voice
2011 Gears of War 3 Aaron Griffin voice and likeness
2019 Borderlands 3 Balex voice[86]
2023 Payday 3 Mac voice[87]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Sources:[88][89]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1991 "Back on the Block" Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Won
1992 "New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme)" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
2018 "Black Hoodie" Best Metal Performance Nominated
2021 "Bum-Rush" Won

MTV Video Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1989 "Colors" Best Rap Video Nominated
Best Video from a Film Nominated
1991 "New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme)" Best Rap Video Nominated

MTV Movie Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1992 New Jack City Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated

Image Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1996 New York Undercover Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated

Adult Video News Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2004 "Pimpin' 101" Best Non-Sex Performance - Film or Video Nominated

News & Documentary Emmy Award[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2012 "Planet Rock: The Story of Hip-Hop and the Crack Generation" Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming Nominated

All Def Movie Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2016 Surviving the Game Best Black Survivor in a Movie Nominated

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a Fuck? (1994), with Heidi Siegmund[90]
  • Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption – from South Central to Hollywood (2011),[91] with Douglas Century
  • Split Decision: Life Stories (2022), with Spike and Douglas Century[92]
  • Death for Hire: The Origin of Tehk City (2023), with Arabian Prince[93]

Kings of Vice novel series

  • Kings of Vice (2011),[94] with Mal Radcliff
  • Mirror Image (2013),[95] with Jorge Hinojosa

References[edit]

Citations
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General and cited sources

External links[edit]