“When I got a chance to rap, I just busted my ass. When I got a chance to act, I busted my ass. Anytime I get a chance. I’m not wasting time. I won’t do it if I’m not doing it 110 percent. You’ve got to work hard if you want to play hard. I like to play, but I know I gotta bust my ass.” – Ice T
Tracy Lauren Marrow or Ice-T (1958 – present) is an American rapper known for his songs about street life. His debut album “Rhyme Pays” is the first hip-hop album with an explicit content sticker. In 2000, he starred in the police drama “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” as NYPD Detective Odafin Tutuola.
As a young man in Los Angeles, he was involved in hustling and city crime. His experience as a gangster later became the theme of his songs. His gangster rap songs were controversial because of the indiscreet lyrics that revolve around violence. A perfect example would be his 1990 hit “Cop Killer”. But he later dispelled the issue that it encourages cop-killing. He said that it was simply a commentary on police brutality and racism.
The stage name “Ice-T” was inspired from Robin Maupin Beck III’s pen name “Iceberg Slim” whose book he read & quoted when he was young. He carried his stage name in his acting career as he starred in movies “New Jack City”, “Trespass”, and “Johnny Mnemonic”.
Recently, he produced a show on A&E entitled “The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars” that documented the life of Malik Spellman as a violence prevention counsellor in South Central, Los Angeles. Ending the violence in his hometown is Ice-T’s goal as an influential figure.
Ice-T’s life is an inspiring story of not wasting an opportunity to turn one’s life around. As fellow American rapper 2 Chainz said “My whole story is just about me having a second chance.”