Ice-T at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Ice-T at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Background information
Birth name Tracy Marrow
Born February 16, 1958 (1958-02-16) (age 60)
Newark, New Jersey
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Gangsta rap
West Coast hip hop
Heavy metal
Crossover thrash
Hardcore punk
Occupations Rapper, producer, actor
Years active 1983–present
Labels Sire, Rhyme Syndicate, Priority, Atomic Pop, Melee
Associated acts Body Count, Ice Cube, DJ Polo, Tupac Shakur, Six Feet Under

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 when he was in the 7th grade. 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, he is best known for his portrayal of NYPD Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the NBC police drama in which he has appeared since 2000.

Background Edit

File:CUN2008 Oscar party Ice-T and Nicole Austin.jpg

Although one of West Coast hip hop's leading figures, Tracy Marrow, son of Solomon and Alice Marrow,[1] was actually born in urban Newark, New Jersey. As a child, his family moved to upscale Summit, New Jersey.[citation needed] His mother died of a heart attack when he was in third grade and his father died of a heart attack four years later.[2] Ice-T has stated in his biography that his father was of Creole origin and his mother was African American.[3]

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.[4] After high school, he entered the United States Army and served for four years in the 25th Infantry. It was an experience he has stated that he did not enjoy.[5]

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.[1]

Career Edit

Music career Edit


After leaving the Army, Ice-T began his long career of recording raps for various studios on 12-inch singles. In 1984, he wrote the raps for Mr. T's motivational video called Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!.[6]

Ice-T 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.”[7] 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 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.[8]

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.[8] 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.[9] Controversy later surrounded Body Count over its song "Cop Killer", a song intended as a narrative from the view of a criminal getting revenge on racist police officers gulity of brutality, from the National Rifle Association and various police advocacy groups.[8] Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T's upcoming album Home Invasion 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.[10] The album peaked at #9 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #14 on the Billboard 200,[11] 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".[12] In 1995, Ice-T made a guest performance on Forbidden by Black Sabbath.[1] Another album of his, VI - Return of the Real came out in 1996, followed by The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.[13]

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.[14] 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 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, 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).[15] Ice-T was also a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.[16] His new BBC-funded movie 'Art Of Rap' features a who's who of underground and mainstream rappers.[17]

In June 2008, on DJ Cisco's Urban Legend mixtape, Ice-T criticized DeAndre Cortez "Soulja Boy Tell 'Em" Way for "killing hip-hop" and his song "Crank That" for being "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 in the exchange was when Ice-T told Way to "eat a dick".[18] 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.[19] Rapper Kanye West defended Way by arguing that the younger artist created a new, original work for hip-hop, thus keeping the authentic meaning of the music.[20]

Acting career Edit

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".[21]

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 in Trespass (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,[22] 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 Lover, Doctor 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 of Law & 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.

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.[23]

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.[24] 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" at the "Player-Haters Ball", a parody of his own appearance at the Players Ball. 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.[25]

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.

Ice-T is now involved with the game Gears of War 3.

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 Cialled 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.

Ice-T played the role of Rudy Montejo on the E-Hollywood Story Life of Rudy Ehm in New York.

Personal life Edit

Legal troubles Edit

Ice-T was arrested in New York City on July 20, 2010 for driving without a valid license and not wearing a seatbelt while he was driving his bulldog to the vet for knee surgery with his wife Coco.[26] The NYPD said he would be given a ticket and released.[27]

Political views Edit

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)[28] on tracks such as "This One's for Me" and "Message to the Soldier", in sections of his book.

Some controversy has been caused by alleged misogyny in his lyrics. He has argued that being a stripper or a model cannot be demeaning to all women through an analogy of a man who considers a homosexual to be demeaning all men by his actions, arguing that if the second position 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 Gangster is 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 would 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 endorsed him, so he'd ruin John McCain's campaign by saying he supported him.[29][30]

Discography Edit

Main article: Ice-T discography

Filmography Edit

Year Film Role Notes
1984 Breakin' Rap Talker
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Radiotron Rapper
1985 Rappin' Himself
1991 New Jack City Scotty Appleton Won: MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Ricochet Odessa
1992 Why Colors?
Trespass King James
1993 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 Direct-to-video
1997 Below Utopia Jim
Mean Guns Vincent Moon
The Deli Phil The Meat Man
1998 Crazy Six Raul
1999 Sonic Impact Agent Taja
The Wrecking Crew Menace
The Heist C-Note
Frezno Smooth DJ Superfly
Judgement Day Matthew Reese Video
Urban Menace Narrator
Stealth Fighter Owen Turner Also executive producer
Final Voyage Josef
Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang Justice Rough, The Judge
Corrupt Corrupt
2000 Gangland Officer Dunn
Leprechaun in the Hood Mack Daddy Video
Luck of the Draw Macneilly
The Alternate Agent Williams
2001 Kept Jack Mosler
Stranded Jeffries
Crime Partners 2000 King Fischer
3000 Miles to Graceland Hamilton
Point Doom Ringman
Deadly Rhapsody Wilson
'R Xmas The Kidnapper
The Guardian Max
Tara Grady
Ticker Terrorist Commander
Out Kold Goldie
Ablaze Albert Denning
Air Rage Matt Marshall Video
2002 On the Edge Slim Jim
2004 Lexie Rasheed Video
Up In Harlem Ice T
2005 Tracks Officer Brian Clark
2006 Copy That Ice T
2007 BelzerVizion Ice T
Apartment 309 Detective Shearod
2010 Santorini Blue Dr. Lewis post-production
The Other Guys Narrator
2011 Shady Talez

Television Edit

Year Film Role Notes
1983 Fame One of the 'Enforcers' Episode: "Break Dance"
1995 New York Undercover Danny Up/Danny Cort Episode: "CAT"
Episode: "Catman Comes Back"
Episode: "The Finals" (as Danny Cort)
1996 Swift Justice Earl Borgese Episode: "Takin' Back the Street"
MADtv Host Season 2 episode 2
1997 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Taanzi Episode: "Ebony, Baby"
1997–1998 Players Isaac 'Ice' Gregory 16 episodes
1998 Welcome to Paradox Revell Episode: "The Winner"
Exiled Seymour 'Kingston' Stockton TV film
1999 L.A. Heat Cage Episode: "Rap Sheet"
Batman Beyond Ramrod Episode: "Splicers"
V.I.P The Prophet Episode: "Val The Hard Way"
Episode: "Val Goes To Town"
2000 The Disciples The Sensei TV film
2000–present Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Replaced Monique Jeffries starting with Season 2
2005 Law & Order Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Episode: "Flaw" (second half of cross-over with Law & Order: SVU episode "Design".
2008 The Jace Hall Show Actor Episode: "Blizzard's World of Warcraft Feat. Ice T. & Coco"
2009 I Get That a Lot Himself TV special
2010 All Star Mr & Mrs Himself with his wife Coco Final round
2010 CSI: NY Mike Stone Guest stars In first and Second episode in Season 7 The World is Not Enough part 1 and 2

Video games Edit

Year Film Role Notes
2000 Sanity: Aiken's Artifact Agent Nathaniel Cain Voice
2004 Def Jam Fight for NY Himself Voice
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Madd Dogg Voice
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Voice
2011 Gears of War 3 Griffin Voice

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Ice-T Biography". Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite book
  3. User form, citing Ice-T's autobiography
  4. Goldstein, Patrick. "The Hard Cold Rap of Ice-T". Los Angeles Times: p. Calendar 89. 
  5. O'Flanagan, Emma (2004-02-23). "Ice-T addresses group, provides inspiration". The Daily Targum (Rutgers University). Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  6. "Ice-T IMDb bio". Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  7. Coleman, Brian, Check The Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies. New York: Villiard/Random House, 2007. pp. 238.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2000). "Ice-T: Biography". allmusic. Retrieved July 8, 2008. 
  9. Pareles, Jon (1991-02-23). "Grammys Turn Into Quincy Jones Show". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  10. Pareles, Jon (1993-03-29). "Ice-T's Latest Gangster-Rap Caper Finds Him Alone and on His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  11. "Charts and Awards for Ice-T". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  12. Ruhlmann, William. "Judgment Night > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  13. Freydkin, Donna (1999-10-27). "No thaw for rapper Ice T". CNN. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  14. "Page Six: STORES HOT OVER ICE-T COVER". New York Post. 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  15. Ice-T as performer (archived page)
  16. Independent Music Awards - 7th Annual Judges.
  17. Conspiracy Worldwide Radio Ice T interview Dec 2009
  18. Hale, Andreas (2008-06-17). "Ice-T Tells Soulja Boy To Eat A Dick". Hip Hop DX. 
  19. Soulja Boy Tell'em Talks About New Album, Battle With Ice-T MTV. June 25, 2008.
  20. Upmalis, Jordan (2008-06-23). "Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy Tell'em Video Blog Beef Heats Up; Kanye Weighs In". MTV News. 
  21. The Ice Opinion, page 96, St Martin's Press, New York, 1994
  22. Buchanan, Jason (2003). "Ice-T > Biography". Allmovie. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  23. Abstract of Late Night with Conan O'Brien #732 (February 27, 1997)
  24. Borntreger, Andrew. "Stealth Fighter". 
  25. Salazar-Moreno, Quibian (2002-07-16). "Ice-T Hosts New Show 'Beyond Tough'". SOHH. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  26. "Ice-T arrested for driving without a seatbelt", July 21, 2010
  28. " But after several exhuastive investigations by many independent organisations under the liberal Clinton administration, no CIA involvement in drug traffiking has ever been found. The anti-CIA drug link disinformation, has been traced to the anti-white Nation of Islam. U.S. Concedes Contras Linked to Drugs, But Denies Leadership Involved," Associated Press (17 April 1986).
  29. Ice T -- Add McCain to My Body Count
  30. Ice T backs up John McCain

External links Edit

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