Body Count win 2021 GRAMMY for Best Metal Performance
Body Count's Bum-Rush beat the likes of Code Orange's Underneath and Poppy's Bloodmoney at this year's GRAMMYs.
Ice-T is something of a modern Renaissance man. He helped define gangasta rap in the late '80s and was a pioneering force in rap-metal with crossover act Body Count – who returned in March with their wonderfully fiery seventh studio album Carnivore.
He’s also an award-winning actor, a TV, film and record producer and the author of several books. Ice-T has a better claim than most at living legend status but it turns out he’s not above answering questions on waffles, his role as a mutant kangaroo and beef with that bloke out of Trapt.
Which is just as well, because we asked you lot to set him the questions and it was a pretty mixed bag. Let's dive in...
From Icaro Sampa: How was the collab with Amy Lee? Any chance you will perform this song live someday?
“We actually had plans to perform that song (When I’m Gone) on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. It was the week right after they shut us down in the United States for the COVID. She already had her tickets, we were planning it, we were gonna have one day of rehearsal and play it. Then everything got shut down. At first the show said we could do it with no studio audience but then they decided to do everything from home. Hopefully we’ll do it eventually because we’ve had nothing but great responses.
“There were a few raised eyebrows, like, ‘Wow, how did Ice-T and Evanescence get together?' It was actually through Vince my bass player. Usually we work with people we’re friends with or met on the road - like on the last album we had Dave Mustaine and Randy from Lamb Of God. Vince suggested Amy and I was like, ‘How the fuck do you know Amy Lee?’ Because I’d never met her. It was through a friend of a friend but she went in the studio and did it and I was just devastated. She killed it.”
From Jon Davies: Is there any chance that Cop Killer could be rereleased? It's a real pain in the ass to get on physical media and I wasn't even born when it was originally released.
“I doubt it. I think the Cop Killer release was a part of history; being banned in the United States and pulled from the record, I think that’s what makes that song kinda cool. To me that’s rock'n'roll and part of rock'n'roll is to be a little taboo. So having that underground edge – it should be difficult to find, like a rare book. But it is out there. Soundgarden played it live, you can get it right off the internet if you wanna hear the song. But if you want an original copy, I don’t even own one so don’t feel bad. I don’t own the record with the cop killer with ‘Cop Killer’ on his chest, because after the album was reissued the guy on the cover had ‘Body Count’ on his chest. It’s fun when I sign them and someone turns up with the original version. And tell Jon to have a word with his dad about not being born at the time, because that’s not on me.”
From Dwight S Sutton: What band first turned you on to heavy metal?
“When I left my parents I moved in with my cousin and he was a rock fan. He thought he was Jimi Hendrix! He would walk around the house playing air guitar and he would keep the radios in the house stuck on the LA rock stations. I started to merge towards the heavier bands. I started to like Blue Öyster Cult and Deep Purple and I was really into Black Sabbath. I actually bought the first Black Sabbath album and kept it on repeat, so I’ve got to say Sabbath. And a lot of people say Black Sabbath invented heavy metal, so I guess I was there at the beginning.”
From Hannah Maughan: What are the differences in atmosphere between performing metal and performing rap?
“Well rap is inherently funky. If you understand music you know the difference when something gets funky. Funk makes you pop your head and move a different way. Metal to me is like being in a car going 100mph down the freeway with the top down. It’s more just straight blast energy that you bang your head to. It’s not like popping your head. A hip-hop concert, especially my style, is smooth – you can hold a drink and have a good time during the concert. Some hip-hop like Cypress Hill, they make you jump. Public Enemy is more intense but I was more like Eric B. & Rakim, which is more cool. So for me it’s funk versus this full-out burst of energy. It’s a different energy but they’re both fun.”
From Dante Enocson: What was it like being on Rick And Morty?
“The word came in when we were on tour that they were doing a Rick And Morty of me. I like Rick And Morty and I just went, ‘Ask them not to diss me.’ ‘Cause if you’re on South Park, good luck, they’ve done a job on quite a few people. But they didn’t diss me and I was really proud to be on it. My character didn’t die so there’s a chance for him to come back and the only reason I didn’t do the voice was because I was on tour in Europe at the time.”
From Alex Geiger: How is it being a dad at an older age?
“Honestly, being a dad right now is truly the best thing that could ever have happened in my life. Muhammad Ali said that when a man has a child in the second half of his life – which I consider to be after 50 – it hits a reset button on your life. It makes you want to live. I remember the moment my daughter was born and the first thought that came into my mind was that I can’t die. I think as you get older you tend to slow down. You want to relax and put your feet up and do less. That’s the worst time to start doing less because now is when you really need to get your second wind, go out there and kick some ass. You can give Chanel credit for the Carnivore album because I’ve got no time to calm down. Now I’m not only concerned about this life, I’m concerned about the next lifetime and the world my daughter is going to grow up in. But yeah, it’s a blessing and every day is a great thing.”
From Tim Joyner: Who are your current favourite bands or artists?
“I listen to more music when I’m out on tour but I did a collab with Power Trip, who are one of my favourite bands right now. I love their sound, they play big, heavy riffs like we do so there are similarities with Body Count. As far as hip-hop goes, it’s difficult because a lot of the rap bands, I don’t have any idea who they are! There’s so many of them, I’m an old man when it comes to that (laughs).”
From Steven Donnelly: When is that fight between you and the singer from Trapt going to happen?
“Yeah, that’s a weird question. I don’t know that dude! I never heard of the band Trapt before all this started. I think he was in an altercation, he’s speaking of Power Trip and he’s talking shit to Riley. Now why that started I have no idea but in the midst of this he went off on the entire Sumerian label – which we’re no longer on, we’re on Century Media. But in the midst of that rant he included Body Count in one of the group that he sells more records than on Pandora. And of course, like we say on the street, ‘Keep my name out of your mouth’. You could say, ‘We sell more records than everyone on Sumerian’ but once he named Body Count, I decided to say something.
“I just told him, ‘Keep talking, we’ll bump into each other one day’, which he took as a threat. Maybe when I bump into him I’ll want an autograph, I don’t know, I just said ‘I’ll see you’. That was gonna be it but he continued to rant and rave and that turned into him wanting to do charity fights. My boy Danny Diablo jumped in, ‘Don’t speak on ice-T’, because believe it or not, people respect me out there (laughs). People were like, ‘Ice, he’s just trying to use you guys for publicity,’ and I let it go.
“But the theory that you’re going to talk shit to somebody and then get in a charity boxing match, what kind of clown shit is that? Like, really? Nah, nah, if I do bump into him, it’ll be in a parking lot some place and then we’ll see if he wants to repeat his words. I’m not planning on fighting him, I don’t want to hurt the guy, we’ll just see what happens.”
From Mike Herrera: Which do you enjoy more – heavy metal or rap?
“I enjoy doing both equally. It really depends on the crowd. No artist likes to play in front of a dead crowd and fortunately I don’t get dead crowds. So whenever I’m in front of a live audience that’s really on point, it’s a great show. A fan is a fan to me, regardless of whether they came to see Ice-T with Body Count or Ice-T as Ice-T. The love is still there and I still enjoy it the same.”
From Tina Pulido-Puckett: Can we see Coco in Law & Order Special Victims Unit again?
“It’s possible. It’s interesting how she got into SVU because Coco [Austin, Ice’s wife] used to come to the set with me every day before Chanel was born. She had an office set up and she would operate from there. So when they said they needed a blonde with big boobs or a curvy chick, they would refer to them as ‘like Coco’. Then they said, ‘Well why don’t we just ask Coco to do it?’ She was like their default blonde. I don’t know if you could see Coco as a DA or a judge, she’s a little bit out there!”
From Patrick Richard: Do you actually like the drink iced tea?
“Yeah. It’s not my favourite drink, I’m more a lemonade or Kool-Aid kinda guy, but I’ll sometimes drink sweetened iced tea. White people drink it unsweetened and I’m like, ‘Who the fuck drinks iced tea with no sugar?’ Certain people try to turn everything into a health drink. It’s iced tea man, put some sugar in that shit!”
From Aaron Keith: Do you prefer pancakes or waffles?
“I give them a 50/50 share, it depends on the mood I’m in. One of the places I eat is IHOP, the International House of Pancakes. I’m a fan but it really depends on what state of mind I’m in.”
From Heather Johnson: Are you looking forward to working with Christopher Meloni again, and are there any spoilers you can tell us about the upcoming season of Law & Order?
“He’s not technically returning to SVU, let’s clear that up. He’s returning for his own show which might have crossovers, who knows? We’re in the same universe so to speak, if not the same show, although there might be some episodes together. From what I understand Chris is going to be in the first episode of SVU in order to spin off his show. I think his show is major crimes or something like that. Chris has gone off to do movies and other stuff and it surprised me that he was going to come back into the Wolf world [referring to Law & Order creator Dick Wolf]. But yeah, I’m excited to see Chris. I’ve worked with him for 12 years and he’s a blast.”
From Sean Slinger: How did you find it being in the Tank Girl movie?
"The Tank Girl movie was a blast, even though I didn’t know what it was when I first got the offer. I was doing a film called Johnny Mnemonic with Keanu Reeves when they asked me if I’d play a stripper in Arizona. I was like, ‘Fuck yeah, I’ll play a male stripper,’ and the next day they sent me a picture of a kangaroo. They said, ‘No, you’re a Ripper!’ I wasn’t familiar with the comic strip and I’m going, ‘What the fuck, you’ve got me playing a kangaroo.' I was there with Keanu Reeves and I thought it was going backwards. But then I found out the make-up was being done by Stan Winston (Terminator, Jurassic Park) and it turned out to be a very, very cool cult film. I don’t want to ever put on that much prosthetics again though - it was four hours a day, which was rough.”
As our time with Ice-T came to a close, he had one little nugget left that we just had to include...
Ice-T: “Thank you very much, they were all great questions; I’m glad we got to answer the Trapt question, although it gives this guy more publicity. The problem is people want to talk but you know that every time you do it you’re feeding into what the dude wants. It’s kinda like you get caught in it. But as long as everyone knows he’s a fucking idiot, leave it at that. Can I ask a question? In the last ten years how many articles have you guys run on Trapt?
Kerrang!: None that I’m aware of.
Ice-T: (Laughs uproariously)
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