Ice-T not only invented gangster rap, he lived it. He is the embodiment of LA Hip-Hop, an actor, and a cultural icon.
Through his music, his books, and his lecture tours of America’s prisons, high schools, libraries, and colleges (including Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford), Ice-T has become an influential spokesman for America’s youth, regardless of color.
Born in New Jersey, Ice-T quickly learned the art of survival. An only child, his parents died when he was very young, and he became involved in Los Angeles gangs before spending four years in the army. His first break came when the producers of the film Breakin’ asked him to rap in the movie. He went on to become rap music’s original gangster, writing songs like Six in the Mornin’ and New Jack Hustler.
Ice-T formed Rhyme Syndicate Records in 1989 and released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash-metal band Body Count with high-school friend and guitarist Ernie C. Their 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single Cop Killer. Body Count was the most critically acclaimed act on the highly successful 1991 Lollapalooza tour and continues to tour worldwide.
As his politics were grabbing headlines, Ice-T’s film career was taking off with roles in New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass, and Johnny Mnemonic, all while building a flourishing television career. Ice-T continues his 20-year run starring in NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Odafin Tutuola. For three seasons in 2012/2013 Ice and his wife, Coco starred in the E! reality show Ice Loves Coco.
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