Ice-T can never be accused of forgetting his gangsta past.
In fact, the West Coast icon is attempting to redefine the musical style he ushered in with his latest album, Gangsta Rap.
“It’s gangsta rap but it’s gangsta rap from another perspective of a real gangsta that’s gone through changes and grown up,” Ice-T told AllHipHop.com. “My boys call it, and people who have heard it say, ‘n***a, this is your grown man album.’ The new Hip-Hop slang is getting your ‘grown man’ on but you gotta think, when we started Hip-Hop back in the day, everybody was living at they momma’s house. So, you could party and chase girls and get high. That was okay, that was the background of it.”
While Ice-T graduates to another level musically, he also continues to wear two hats with his hustle in front of the camera.
The rapper, who currently invades homes weekly as a police officer in Law and Order: Special Investigations Unit, said he’s motivated to make the most of his screen time.
“I wanted to really focus on my acting because that’s a great opportunity and I really wasn’t taking it serious,” he admitted. “I was just doing movies here and there but I was like ‘Will Smith is getting $20 million every movie, I really need to focus on my acting and step it up.”
One thing Ice is focused on is his new VH1 series, Ice-T’s School of Rap.
The show, which premiered last month, chronicles his experiences teaching privileged kids from New York City’s Upper Westside the fundamentals of Hip-Hop and emceeing.
VH1 came up with the idea for Rap School after being inspired by Gene Simmons’ School of Rock, a series with a similar concept.
“They did it with kids in Britain and so they came back to the states and wanted to do a rock school but the kids wanted to do Hip-Hop,” Ice-T said. “I’m like the worst, most controversial rapper, had the president after me. So they were like, ‘Let’s leave the gangsta alone with the kids, it would be more fun.’ So I thought about it and I said why not, it may be fun. I’m good with kids. I’m not always acting crazy. I got another side that I could show people. So we took on the show.”
Ice-T’s Gangsta Rap is currently in stores.