Hip Hop & Rap's cultural influence will last for years to come. Therefore, it is our duty to pay homage to those who paved the way for us. As we get into the nitty-gritty of Black History Month, we want to acknowledge one of the Pioneer of Rap on his Birthday.
Producer, writer, activist and of course rapper, Tracey Lauren Marrow, (otherwise known as Ice T) was born on February 16, 1958 in Newark, NJ. After the unfortunate death of his parents, he moved to South Central, LA with his Aunt at the age of 12. Little did he know, his experiences would impact his life forever.
In 1979, Ice T enrolled in the U.S army and spent 4 years there. When he came home became a hustler and began a life of crime.
But in the late 80s, he grew tired of that life and applied these principles to music. He began his music career, releasing his first album "Rhyme Pays"
on Sire Records. He was accompanied by DJ Aladdin and the song was produced by Afrika Islam. That same year he released the song "Colors" for Dennis Hoppers' self titled film. The production was an introduction to life in L.A in the inner city. In 1991, Ice T landed a major role as "Scotty" in "New Jack City" alongside Wesley Snipes, Judd Nelson, Mario Van Peebles, Allen Payne and introducing Chris Rock. The movie shed light on the current state of the culture and the "war on drugs." That same year he would go to star in "Ricochet," "Trespass" the following year and "Johnny Mnemonic" in the middle of the decade.
Ice T became more involved in the culture of his environment. His debut single, "Cop Killer," was a heavy metal/hip hop lyrically infused composition that was very political on the relationship between law enforcement and the black community. The song was protested by the NRA and other groups that were against the harsh lyrics against the police department being murderers. Although Time Warner supported the song, they did not give that same energy for his next project, "Home Invasion." As a result, Ice T left the label and was signed to "Priority Records" in 1993. The following year, Ice T wrote a book, "The Ice Opinion: Who Gives A Fuck." By the end of the decade, Ice T landed a roll as "Detective TuTuola" (2Ts 2Us 1 Ola) on the hit series, "Law & Order: SVU"
His contributions to music and film will be a resource for generations to come to see the struggle and the reward. On this day, we want to salute Ice T for his contribution to the culture and continued influence on his community.