Ice-T received the 2,747th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday (February 17). During the ceremony, presenters Chuck D, television producer Dick Wolf and follow Law & Order actor Mariska Hargitay praised the 65-year-old actor for his legendary career. Ice Cube, Russell Simmons, Mike Epps, The Rhyme Syndicate, Body Count and wife Coco were also among the many in attendance.
Wolf, who took the podium first, called him “the coolest guy I have ever met.” He continued, “I don’t know what the term is. The bomb? I don’t know. Ice is cool. He is one actor who has been with me for 25 years who’s never caused a delay, has never complained about the size of his trailer. Basically, [he] comes to work, says his lines and goes home very happy. It’s a treat for me to see this happen […] There are very few people that I met over the course of my career that has the universal appeal that Ice has.”
Chuck D took the stand next and marveled at Ice-T’s many accomplishments and the indelible mark he’s left on Hip-Hop.
“On the music side, I don’t know how many icons are they gonna put on your star, Ice?” he said about the multi-hyphenate. “Today is a good day, like our little brother Ice Cube said.”
Unbeknownst to the Public Enemy powerhouse, Ice Cube was in the crowd, so Ice-T brought Cube on stage and shared a moment. Hargitay, meanwhile, nearly cried as she talked about her bond with Ice. Both made it abundantly clear just how much admiration they had for one another.
“It is so profoundly right that your name is now here commemorated forever in this place because there’s something else that I hold sacred, and that is friendship,” she said. “Your achievements and your artistry and your whole story runs so deep. At a time when people overuse words without thinking, you are indeed the real OG. To me, Ice, the reason you’re here in my heart is because you are the OG of friendship.
“You are the real deal — my true blue, authentic, unshakeable friend, and I can’t tell you what that means to me. You have been such a joy. You’re the embodiment of loyalty. You tell the truth, you keep it real. We laugh every day, you grieve with me in times of sorrow, and you keep things in perspective. You’ve never failed me once. In 22 years, I’ve never heard Ice complain.”
When it was time for Ice-T to say a few words, he proceeded to deliver an impromptu 11-minute speech full of fervor. He touched on the origins of his career and birth of gangsta rap, which he helped pioneer on the West Coast.
“I wore these sunglasses not for fashion, but I knew they might make me cry up in this m###########,” he told the crowd. “But let’s start if off like this—I never thought I would get a star. I mean, really? The way my life was going, it was like, ‘What can we come up in Hollywood and steal?’ We was really out here causing problems. This was just out of the question; show business was out of the question. And then Hip-Hop came and I found something that I could do.
“What I did was tell the stories of the life I was living, and we invented a genre. Well, Ice Cube co-invented this genre called gangster rap. When I was doing it, they didn’t have a name for it. We were calling it reality rap. Then Cube came out and said, ‘Straight outta Compton/ Crazy m########### named Ice Cube/ From the gang called N-ggas With Attitudes.” And the press said, ‘Oh, well, that’s gangsta rap. Isn’t that gangsta rap?’ Then I had to follow up Cube and be like, ‘OK, well I’m the original gangster. Let’s go!'”
Toward the end of the speech, Ice-T thanked his “haters” for motivating him, conjuring up memories of his infamous Chappelle’s Show skit in which he plays the Original Player Hater.
“I really want to thank the m###########’ haters, cause you really make me get up in the morning and be the best I can be,” he said with a laugh. “All the naysayers, all the people that wanted to end my career, now I’m on the Walk of Fame. And that’s the motivation. You got to let the haters motivate you. If it wasn’t for the haters, I definitely wouldn’t have pulled this off, I swear to God. Thank you so much. I’m going to give you so much more to hate in the future, trust me. I love y’all.”