Ice-t

Tracy Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is a Grammy Award- and NAACP Image Award-winning American rapper, actor, and author. He is credited with helping to pioneer gangsta rap, a sub-genre of hip hop music, in the late 1980s. As an actor, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of NYPD Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.


Early life


Ice-T and Coco in New York City.

Although one of West Coast hip hop's leading figures, Marrow, son of Solomon and Alice, was actually born in urban Newark, New Jersey, and christened Tracy by his father. When he was a child, he moved from his native Newark to the upscale community of Summit, New Jersey. His mother died of a heart attack when he was in third grade and his father died of a heart attack four years later. Ice-T has stated in his biography that his father was of Creole origin and his mother was a pure African American.


After his father died, he went to live with his paternal aunt in California and later attended Crenshaw High School in the district of the same name in South Central Los Angeles; it was in high school where he became obsessed with rap. After high school, he entered the United States Army, an experience he has said he did not enjoy.


He was previously in a relationship with Darlene Ortiz, who was featured on the covers of his 1987 album Rhyme Pays and his 1988 album Power. The couple had a son in 1992. In early 2005, Ice-T married swimsuit model Nicole "Coco Marie" Austin.


Career


Music career
Ice-T performs at a Body Count concert in Prague, 2006.

After leaving the Army, Ice-T began his long career of recording raps for various studios on 12-inch singles. He finally landed a deal with a major label Sire Records. When label founder and president Seymour Stein heard his demo, he said, ???He sounds like Bob Dylan.???Shortly after, he released his debut album Rhyme Pays in 1987 supported by DJ Evil E, DJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam, who helped create the mainly party-oriented sound. The record wound up being certified gold by the RIAA. That same year, he recorded the title theme song for Dennis Hopper's Colors, a film about inner-city life in Los Angeles. His next album Power was released in 1988, under his own label Rhyme Syndicate, and it was a more assured and impressive record, earning him strong reviews and his second gold record. Released in 1989, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say established his popularity by matching excellent abrasive music with narrative and commentative lyrics.


In 1991 he released his album OG: Original Gangster, which is regarded as one of the albums that defined gangsta rap. On OG, he introduced his hard rock/metal band Body Count in a track of the same name. Ice-T toured with Body Count on the first annual Lollapalooza concert tour in 1991, gaining him appeal among middle-class teenagers and fans of alternative music genres. The self-titled debut album by Body Count followed. For his appearance on the heavily collaborative track "Back on the Block", a composition by jazz musician Quincy Jones that "attempt to bring together black musical styles from jazz to soul to funk to rap", Ice-T won a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, an award shared by others who worked on the track including Jones and fellow jazz musician Ray Charles. Controversy later surrounded Body Count over its song "Cop Killer", a song intended as a narrative from the view of a criminal killing a police officer, from the National Rifle Association and various police advocacy groups. Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T's upcoming album Home Invasion simply because of the controversy surrounding "Cop Killer". When Ice split amicably with Sire/Warner Bros. Records after a dispute over the artwork of the album Home Invasion, he reactivated Rhyme Syndicate and formed a deal with Priority Records for distribution. Priority released Home Invasion in the spring of 1993. The album peaked at #9 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #14 on the Billboard 200, spawning several singles including "Gotta Lotta Love", "I Ain't New To This" and "99 Problems" - which would later inspire Jay Z to record a version with new lyrics in 2003. Ice-T had also collaborated with certain other heavy metal bands during this time period. For the film Judgment Night, he did a duet with Slayer on the track "Disorder". In 1995, Ice-T made a guest performance on Forbidden by Black Sabbath. Another album of his, VI - Return of the Real came out in 1996, followed by The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.


His first rap album since 1999, Gangsta Rap, was released on October 31, 2006. The album's cover, which "shows lying on his back in bed with his ravishing wife's ample posterior in full view and one of her legs coyly draped over his private parts," was considered to be too suggestive for most retailers, many of which were reluctant to stock the album. Some reviews of the album were unenthusiastic, as many had hoped for a return to the political raps of Ice-T's most successful albums.


One of the last scenes in Gift includes Ice-T and Body Count playing with Jane's Addiction in a version of the Sly and the Family Stone song "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey."


Besides fronting his own band, Ice-T has also collaborated with other hard rock and metal bands, such as Icepick, Mot?Ârhead, Pro-Pain, and Six Feet Under. He has also covered songs by hardcore punk bands such as The Exploited, Jello Biafra, and Black Flag. Ice-T made an appearance at Insane Clown Posse's Gathering Of The Juggalos (2008 edition). Ice-T was also a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.


Acting career

Ice-T's first film appearances were in the motion pictures Breakin' (1984) and its sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1985). These films were released before Ice-T released his first LP, although he has since stated that he considers the films and his own performance in them to be "whack".


In 1991, he embarked on a serious acting career, portraying police detective Scotty Appleton in Mario Van Peebles' feature film New Jack City, gang leader Odessa alongside Denzel Washington and John Lithgow in Ricochet (1991), gang leader King James in Trespass (1992), followed by a notable lead role performance in Surviving the Game (1994) in addition to his many supporting roles, such as J-Bone in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and the marsupial mutant T-Saint in Tank Girl, 1995. Marrow was also interviewed in the Brent Owens documentary Pimps Up, Ho's Down, in which he is quoted as saying "I can't act, I really can't act", and raps at the Players Ball.


In 1993 Marrow along with other rappers and the three Yo! MTV Raps hosts Ed Lover, Doctor Dre and Fab 5 Freddy starred in the comedy Who's the Man? directed by Ted Demme. In this movie Ice is a drug dealer who gets really frustrated when someone calls him by his real name "Chauncey" rather than his street name "Nighttrain".


In 1995 he had a recurring role as vengeful drug dealer Danny Cort on the television series New York Undercover, which was co-created by Dick Wolf. His work on the series earned him the 1996 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 1997, Marrow co-created the short-lived series Players, which was produced by Wolf. This was followed by a role as pimp Seymour "Kingston" Stockton in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (1998). These collaborations led Wolf to add Marrow to the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Since 2000 he has portrayed Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, a former undercover narcotic officer transferred to the Special Victims Unit. In 2002, the NAACP awarded Marrow with a second Image Award, again for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Law & Order: SVU. His participation in this series is somewhat ironic, given the early controversy surrounding his group Body Count with their song "Cop Killer". Marrow also appears in the movie Leprechaun: In the Hood. He once was presenter on Channel 4's Baaadasss TV.


In 1997 he had a Pay Per View special entitled Ice T's Extreme Babes which appeared on Action PPV, formerly owned by BET networks.


In 1999, Marrow starred in the HBO movie Stealth Fighter as a United States Naval Aviator who fakes his own death, steals a F-117 stealth fighter and threatens to destroy United States military bases. This movie is often criticized for its poor script, military inaccuracies, and significant use of footage from other movies. He also acted in the movie Sonic Impact, released the same year.


Marrow voiced Madd Dogg

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