Ice-T not only invented gangster rap, he has lived it. Ice-T is the original embodiment of LA Hip-Hop and a cultural icon. Through his music, his books (The Ice Opinion, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood), 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 learned the art of survival pretty fast. An only child whose parents died when he was very young, Ice-T 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 close high school friend and guitarist Ernie C. Body Count’s 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 and television career was taking off. The controversial personality secured roles in New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass and Johnny Mnemonic, all while building a flourishing television career. He has numerous independent and documentary film roles to his credit as well. Ice-T currently stars in NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Odafin Tutuola for his 20th season. For three seasons in 2012/2013 Ice and his wife, Coco, starred in the E! reality show Ice Loves Coco.
As an artist, his reach has crossed into interactive media. He is the voice of “Griffin” in the billion dollar grossing Gears of War 3 & 4 games as well as other popular games like Grand Theft Auto and Scarface. As an author, he has released three books: The Ice Opinion (1994), Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood (2011) and the fictional tale Kings of Vice (2013).
In Jan 2012, Ice premiered his directorial debut, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, at the Sundance Film Festival. In Sept 2012 Ice-T produced the documentary Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2013.
For 2017, Ice produced and starred in Who Shot Biggie and Tupac for FOX. He also released a new Body Count album that garnered a 2018 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and produced and hosted Ice Cold Murder for Oxygen.