For many Hip Hop historians and fans, Ice-T is considered one of the godfathers of the popular subgenre known as gangster rap. His 30-year career in entertainment includes the emcee releasing impactful albums such as Rhyme Pays, Power, and O.G. Original Gangster.
Unique Access caught up with Ice-T and the outlet asked the 62-year-old musician/actor about the current state of gangster rap music. During the interview, the co-founder of the heavy metal band Body Count gave a shout out to one of New York City’s most successful rap stars.
“To me, the last gangster rapper was 50 Cent,” offered Ice-T. “Because he basically embodied that image of ‘I don’t give a f###.’ 50 Cent had you really believe you didn’t wanna f### with him. I heard 50 Cent when he was beefing with Fat Joe and he was like, ‘Fat Joe, I’m right down the street. It’s real hard to find a n#### when you know he got a gun. Ain’t it?'”
The “Colors” rhymer continued, “I think 50 was the last one who did it that I believe. I think now, the new trap rappers, they convinced me they can get high, they convinced me maybe that they can sell a little drugs, but they don’t scare me. I think a gangster rapper has to scare you a little bit. I don’t think there’s no new people that do it.”
Ice-T also spoke about Top Dawg Entertainment’s Kendrick Lamar keeping a “hood edge” in his content which reminds listeners that he is from Compton, California. He also mentioned The Game’s time as part of 50 Cent’s G-Unit crew and Chicago’s Drill music scene. Ice-T then turned his attention to the currently incarcerated creator of the hit song “Hot N####.”
“You know who the last real gangster rapper was? Bobby Shmurda. But that’s when keeping it real goes wrong. Them GS9 Boys… When I saw them, I said, ‘These little n##### is probably the business. These little n##### look wild like that.’ But they were bar-for-bar snitching on themselves,” said the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit cast member.
In 2016, Ackquille “Bobby Shmurda” Pollard and other individuals associated with the GS9 collective pled guilty to federal conspiracy in the fourth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree charges. Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.