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:: Spotlight :: Ice-T Hits Melbourne with OG Tour 2005

By: Adrian Ringin

It has been some time between Australian shows for actor and musician Tracey Morrow, aka Ice-T. In the 90s he toured with his controversial rap-metal group Body Count.

Born in New Jersey before relocating to the mean streets of LA, he began rapping as a teenager, and after a stint in the military he made it big in the 80s with such albums as “Rhyme Pays” and “Power”, which both went gold in the US. His career was moving along, as his theme song ‘Colors’ for the gang-themed Dennis Hopper film. Through the 80s and early 90s his acting career started to take off as well, the most noteworthy film being his role in the Wesley Snipes gangster flick ‘New Jack City’.

For this film Ice, he recorded a track of the same name. ‘New Jack City’ became one of the stand-out features of Ice-T's best solo album to date - 1991's Original Gangster. The tracks on OG were almost universally impressive. At a superficial listen, his raps were similar to the simple posturing, glorification of violence and strange veneration of pimping (a theme Ice would continue with) so common to the early gangsta rap period. But on second listen, there is a clear intelligence behind it. Although his rhymes seem to glorify crime, in most of the narratives, the characters discussed are destined for the death or the cell, and even before that, they are mostly
imprisoned by their station in life, by a background of poverty. There is something of a recognition that the dealers and thugs he raps about are trying to free themselves from a prison of poverty by crime.

OG also featured a track ‘Body Count’, introducing Ice-T‘s soon to be infamous rap-metal project, Body Count. Their song 'Cop Killer’, ignited a similar controversy to NWA's “F**k Tha Police” from a few years earlier, and wound up being removed from Body Count's self-titled first album. The band toured Australia in 1993, and performed some wild shows.

In the years since, Ice-T has been best known for his role on Law and Order. One way or another, Ice T's public profile has long been strongly linked with the police - either playing them, or singing about killing them.

In 2005, Ice-T is doing a short tour of Australia and plays at Room 680 in Hawthorn, Victoria on July 8. He will be supported by long time collaborator DJ Afrika Islam, Marc Live from ‘Kool Keith’, and Sean E. Sean from the Ryme Syndicate.

Tickets still available through Ticketek or by phone 132 849.