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Watch > Episode > Ice-T - Freedom Of Speech: Just Watch What You Say

Ice-T - Freedom Of Speech: Just Watch What You Say


Pioneer Of Gangster Rap

Ice-T, is an American rapper, actor, producer, and author.

He started his career as an underground hip-hop artist in Los Angeles, before signing his first record deal in 1987. Ice-T has since gone on to release 15 albums, appear in over 80 films, and star in NBC’s Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” for over 20 years.

Throughout his career he has encountered controversy and protest, especially for the song “Cop Killer”, a commentary on police brutality and racism, that was widely censored and ultimately led to Ice-T’s departure from Warner Records.

He is considered to be one of the pioneers of gangster rap, always on the forefront of new messages and mediums.

Tracy Lauren Marrow, better known by his stage name Ice-T, has carved an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop and entertainment. Beyond his stellar music career, Ice-T is a multifaceted artist, spanning realms of acting, activism, and entrepreneurship. In this landmark London Real episode, Ice-T joins host Brian Rose to discuss his incredible career and legacy, as well as his advice on freedom of speech.

Born on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey, Ice-T experienced a tumultuous upbringing. After the tragic loss of his parents, he relocated to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. It was in the vibrant hip-hop scene of South Central Los Angeles that Tracy Marrow found his voice and identity as Ice-T.

Ice-T emerged during the golden era of hip-hop, making a significant impact with his debut album, “Rhyme Pays,” released in 1987. Known for his gritty lyrics and uncompromising delivery, Ice-T’s early work addressed societal issues, street life, and the struggles of the African American community. His authentic storytelling and social commentary set him apart as a pioneer in the hip-hop genre.

Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ice-T continued to release influential albums that solidified his status as a hip-hop icon. “Power” (1988), “The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech… Just Watch What You Say!” (1989), and “O.G. Original Gangster” (1991) showcased his versatility and ability to tackle a range of subjects. Hits like “Colors,” “High Rollers,” and “New Jack Hustler” further propelled him into the mainstream.

Ice-T’s talent transcends music, and he successfully made the transition to acting. One of his most iconic roles is that of Detective Odafin Tutuola on the long-running television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, a role he has portrayed since 2000. His portrayal of the tough yet compassionate detective earned him widespread acclaim and solidified his status as a respected actor.

Beyond SVU, Ice-T has been featured in various films, including “New Jack City” (1991), “Trespass” (1992), and “Johnny Mnemonic” (1995). His foray into acting showcased his versatility, allowing him to portray characters ranging from streetwise gangsters to law enforcement officers.

Ice-T’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his ventures beyond music and acting. He is the co-founder of the heavy metal band Body Count, blending metal with hip-hop influences. Body Count’s self-titled debut album, featuring the controversial track “Cop Killer,” stirred controversy but also garnered attention for addressing issues of police brutality and social injustice.

In addition to his artistic pursuits, Ice-T has engaged in various business ventures, including film production, book writing, and technology ventures. His keen business acumen has allowed him to diversify his portfolio and maintain relevance across multiple industries.

Activism has always been a core aspect of Ice-T’s identity. He has been vocal about issues such as racism, police brutality, and social inequality. Ice-T’s ability to use his platform to address societal problems reflects his commitment to creating positive change.

Ice-T’s enduring impact on hip-hop, entertainment, and activism is a testament to his longevity and adaptability. His ability to navigate diverse fields and remain relevant across decades speaks to his cultural significance. Whether as a rapper, actor, entrepreneur, or activist, Ice-T continues to be a dynamic force, shaping the cultural landscape and inspiring future generations in the process.


00:00 | Trailer.
02:03 | Brian’s introduction.
02:47 | Ice-T’s advice on freedom of speech – just watch what you say.
10:48 | The powerful forces telling YouTube to shut down London Real.
11:45 | When the guns start firing you run for cover, you don’t ask who’s shooting.
15:09 | How Ice-T coped in the “Cop Killer” furore.
18:55 | The biggest fear on earth is for us all to become friends and understand each other’s situation.
21:22 | Why hip-hop culture expresses an artist’s viewpoint more than other music genres.
23:23 | Ice-T explains why his music resonated with the teenager Brian.
28:36 | Why Ice-T’s fans deeply connect to his music and how he feels about that responsibility.
32:40 | How Ice-T’s songs resonated with Brian during his time on Wall Street.
35:30 | As with all his music, Ice-T was channelling his Original Gangster album.
38:04 | Finding the legit hustle.
40:43 | When Ice-T faced the dilemma of potentially destroying his rapping career.
43:52 | How Ice-T has become the longest running actor in television history.
49:09 | How he found what he calls the final level.
56:51 | How he was always fly and how he has maintained that even through the downtimes.
1:01:21 | Ice-T’s views on Coronavirus, how it could affect the world and what is all you really need in life.
1:06:53 | His straight-talking opinion of Donald Trump.
1:10:52 | How at 62, he is able to still rock the room and if he will still be doing it at 72.
1:14:17 | What it is means to him to have a child later in life.
1:19:22 | The worst and best days of Ice-T’s life.
1:25:44 | What scares him.
1:27:29 | Ice-T’s prediction for the survival of our species.
1:30:04 | Success secrets.
1:30:41 | Ice-T’s appreciation of his interview with Brian Rose.
1:32:03 | Brian splits a bar on one of Ice-T’s tracks.
1:32:57 | Ice-T responds with one rhyme for the road.
1:34:55 | Brian’s summing up.


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