What do you think about hip-hop nowadays coming from your background which expands
from the golden era, the "gangsta era," the "political era"
right up until now?
Ice-T: I think
its done well, its survived. I’m very happy to see alot of the young cats that
are making the music making the money. It’s expanding off into clothing and
different things. I’m tryna be part of all that. I think the side of it that’s
really missing though is the political side. I miss Public Enemy , Ice Cube
and that aggression. Every rap record, I don’t give a f*ck who you listen to,
has something positive but n*ggas don’t play them. I’m a big 50 Cent fan. When
you heard Rebel Without a Pause and you heard NWA you knew there was some aggression
and that was violence. I was in Brooklyn at this donut spot and I saw this kid
and we sat down and spoke about some things. He said "we got the money,
we got the car, I got the jewels, I got everything. What do I do with the money?
What do I do with the money? I bought every car I can buy. You got it too Ice,
what do we do with the money? Do we just keep spending it on ourselves or do
we put it together and do something? Now if we would do something what would
we do? I was like "yo this little n*gga had a book bag and was thinking."
I said "man sh*t , I think you just gave me a record." You can make
a dollar, but keeping one, that’s a complicated decision.
So what’s new in your life now?
what I do is Law and Order five days a week, so I left L.A. and I got in a new
relationship. Me and my girl stay out here. I got an apartment on the upper
Westside. We go out. I hit the clubs if I don’t gotta work the next day and
then on the weekends I go in the studio. It’s like the same thing, it’s just
not the 100 motherf*ckers I had in LA.
What’s your opinion on the hip-hop scene on the West coast?
Ice-T: It’s disappearing.
The thing of it is the West coast, not the Bay but L.A. hip-hop was only like
four major organisms. It was Rhyme Syndicate, the cats I put out, it was NWA
and who they became, it was a little something from the cats from Delicious
Vinyl and then little stuff from a label called Techno Hop, that’s where I started.
It had Compton’s Most Wanted and King Tee. That’s it . That’s why you don’t
really see L.A. beef, because all of us kind of came from the same crew. Cube
went off on his thing. Cube was only able to really spur Mack 10. That was the
only group he was able to get out that was successful. Dre is like the monster
producer from mars or some sh*t in anything he touches, but how much can Dre
do? The downfall to L.A. is due to L.A. radio. L.A. radio is worst than New
York radio. L.A. radio doesn’t play regional records. If you go down to New
Orleans you gonna hear Master P every other record. L.A. doesn’t play L.A. music.
They don’t cater to the LA artist so they don’t give anybody a chance to grow.
They haven’t broke a group from L.A. since Mack 10. Certain people break. Eminem
don’t count because he from Detroit. They aint doing it. The only time was when
Suge was mashin’ the sh*t and they was playing that Death Row sh*t every 15
What’s your view on the current air of beef in hip-hop and how some of them
appear to be heading off wax?
Ice-T: I think
it’s bullsh*t honestly. I think if you gonna rap on a record about a n*gga then
that’s that. The problem is I think Biggie and Pac showed us where that goes.
I really aint gonna mention nobodys names over no record no more because I know
where they live. So if I got the time, why don’t I just go knock on n*ggas door?
Why am I rapping about it? It’s kind of corny.
I remember when you were in the Pee Wee Herman video. When you look back at
those times with all that stuff what do you see?
Ice-T: I look stupid.
That sh*t was stupid but at the time it was hip. You know like when people usually
say "I seen you in Breakin’." I’m like yea OK, but before you diss
me, show me a picture of what you wore to the movies to see it. I was still
looking cooler than you then, so at the time it was cool. Honestly I look at
myself as a person who took hip-hop for a hell of a ride. From picking up a
mic and rapping to being able to go around the world 4 or 5 times to speaking
lectures to doing television, movies and rock. I took it for a ride. It’s like
it’s been exciting to me and to still be in and to be respected, that’s the
best thing. Respect is the best thing. Your not gonna be the best rapper to
everybody but the respect goes beyond that. A lot of people may not like Master
P’s music but they respect the fact that he came out of New Orleans and blew
the f*ck up. That’s a good feeling, especially in an enviroment like hip-hop
where n*ggas don’t respect sh*t . They’ll diss you so quick in this business.Catch Ice-T
At AllHipHop and SOB’s Plain Rap concert series, along with Kool Keith and SMG
on December 14. For more info: http://www.sobs.com