Menu Search

ICE T

Artist profile

Tracy Lauren Marrow a.k.a. Ice T

Born: February 16, 1958 in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Years active: 1981 - present

“6'n the morning' police at my door, fresh Adidas squeak across the bathroom floor”

“I was so programmed into being a hustler that if I hadn’t had a chance to rap, I’d either be dead or in jail—or I’d be rich, but I knew the odds were against it.” – Ice-T

Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1958, Ice-T lost his parents at a young age. After moving to south central Los Angeles to live with an aunt, he became involved with inner city crime and hustling. His talent for rhyme saved him from a life on the streets, and in 1987 he released his debut album, Rhyme Pays. In the 1990s, Ice-T became famous for his controversial political songs like “Cop Killer.” The rapper also has a career as an actor, most notably playing a detective on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 2000.

The man who would become famous as Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow in Newark, New Jersey, on February 16, 1958. He grew up in Summit, New Jersey, with his parents. In his book Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—From South Central to Hollywood, Ice-T says of his dad, “He was a working man, a quiet, blue-collar dude … Despite the fact that Summit is predominantly white, I can’t say there was overt prejudice in the town, at least not within the adult world as I observed it. All my father’s friends, all the guys he worked with, were white working-class dudes. Lunch-bucket dudes. Black and white, they were all cool with one another.”

When Ice-T was in third grade, his mother suddenly died of a heart attack. He says, “My mother was a very supportive and smart woman, and I know she cared about me, although she wasn’t very affectionate toward me. I only have a few specific memories of her, vague and distant, like some grainy home movie, someplace in the back of my mind.”

Just four years later, his dad also suffered a fatal heart attack. “I was still so young that the experiences of both of my parents’ deaths are kind of blurred together in my mind. And being an only child, I was going through all of it in my own little bubble,” says Ice-T.

After the death of his dad, Ice-T moved to South Central Los Angeles to live with his aunt. It was there that the sixth grader became involved in inner-city life that would define his career as a rapper and later give him the credibility to become a spokesman against gang violence. Despite disapproval from his friends, Ice-T managed to graduate from high school with good grades. Turning normal teenage delinquency on its head, he later admitted to “acting like I was ditching class when I was really ditching my friends so I could slip back to school.”

ICE-T

Before beginning his rap career in the early 1980s, Ice-T spent four years in the United States Army, after which he returned to Los Angeles and took up a life as a self-styled hustler. Crime paid for a time, allowing Ice-T to take impromptu trips to the Bahamas and collect over 350 pairs of sneakers, but soon his addiction to the high life began to fade. In an interview, Ice-T recalled his breaking point: “I had a friend who I looked up to, ’cause he made more money than me. And he said, ‘Yo, Ice, you got a chance. Do that rap thing.’ And that word ‘chance’ messed up my mind. And I just gave up hustling completely.”

Because every Hip Hop artist needs a nom de guerre, “Ice-T” came into being with help from author Robert Maupin Beck III, whose pen name “Iceberg Slim” became Tracy Marrow’s inspiration. After spending a few years honing his craft by creating music for videos and releasing various recordings, Ice-T signed with Sire Records in 1987. Later that year, he released Rhyme Pays, his debut album, which eventually went gold. His recording of the theme song for Dennis Hopper’s gang-themed movie Colors (1987) also garnered the new artist plenty of attention. The movie explored life in the Los Angeles projects and marked the beginning of Ice-T’s controversial depictions of South Central in his artistic work. When the black community pushed back against Colors’ cultural critique, Ice-T said, “People should give Dennis Hopper credit—he deglamorized the situation. He just showed the street gangsters. He didn’t show the kids wearing their diamonds and cruising in their Ferraris.”

Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1980s, confirming his status as one of West Coast rap’s most promising stars. His album O.G. Original Gangster (1991) was later cited as one of the key factors in developing the genre of gangster rap. Mixing social commentary with inflammatory lyrics, the rapper pushed musical boundaries by recording a heavy metal track with the band Body Count. He would later tour with the band and play at the rock-oriented Lollapalooza festival.

In 1992, Ice-T again collaborated with Body Count on their self-titled debut album, a record that included the most controversial song of Ice-T’s career: “Cop Killer.” This song quickly drew widespread condemnation for inciting violence against police officers. The artists claimed that the song was simply intended as a commentary on the police brutality and racism felt by the black community in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, the contentious track led to a firestorm of controversy, prompting Time Warner to block the release of Home Invasion, Ice-T’s next solo album. The artist soon broke with Sire/Warner Bros. Records, releasing his work for the remainder of the 1990s through his own Rhyme Syndicate and Priority Records. The next eight years would yield a number of Billboard hits, several groundbreaking singles, and further collaboration with heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath and Slayer.

Ice T

Parallel to his music career, Ice-T was also building his resume on the big screen, finding roles in movies such as New Jack City (1991), Ricochet (1991), Trespass (1992) and Johnny Mnemonic (1995). Somehow the rapper-turned-actor found time to build a television career as well, including multiple guest-star appearances and even his own reality show on VH1, Ice-T’s Rap School.

Ice-T’s most notable and long-lasting television role has been as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Ice-T has worked on this popular NBC police drama since 2000.

Ice-T’s most recent labor of love is The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars, a reality show on A&E that chronicles the life of gang mediator Malik Spellman. Like the show’s star, producer Ice-T is now strongly committed to ending violence in the place he grew up, hoping the word “chance” will mean as much to a younger generation as it did to him when it first inspired him to escape the streets via Hip Hop. When talking about his own opportunity, Ice-T makes no bones about where he would be without music: “I was so programmed into being a hustler that if I hadn’t had a chance to rap, I’d either be dead or in jail—or I’d be rich, but I knew the odds were against it.”

ICE-T

 

Official sites: Ice T | Final Level Productions 

Scroll to top

Discography

Show all albums

Movies

Stealth Fighter

Stealth Fighter

A navy pilot fakes his own death and steals a stealth fighter plane from a U.S.A.F base. He then acts as a mercenary, targeting military ins...

More info

Surviving the Game

Surviving the Game

Mason is a man down on his luck with nothing to lose when he's approached to lead a group of wealthy hunters on an expedition in the Pacific...

More info

Corrupt

Corrupt

After decades of terror, two deadly street gangs reach a delicate truce and young MJ (Silkk the Shocker) sees a way out of the hood once and...

More info

Air Rage

Air Rage

When a Marine Colonel orders his men to massacre a village they were sent to rescue some hostages but when they found them dead they decide ...

More info

The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew

A high-level government hit squad is sent into the streets in order to complete a deadly mission....

More info

Judgment Day

Judgment Day

This sci-fi thriller finds the world in imminent danger when a collision in outer space sends huge pieces of interstellar debris on a path h...

More info

Final Voyage

Final Voyage

Restored to former glory, a nostalgic cruise ship repeats a tragic past......

More info

Tommy and the Cool Mule

Tommy and the Cool Mule

Tommy Braxxton's father went away to war and never returned leaving Tommy faced with the daunting journey of becoming a man and the responsi...

More info

Stranded

Stranded

The Russian space station Avma is disintegrating, and an international team of scientists is sent to the dying station to salvage valuable t...

More info

Frezno Smooth

Frezno Smooth

When a corrupt judge wrongfully bans motocross legend Seth Winslow from entering an upcoming freestyle contest, Frezno explodes into a chaot...

More info

The Disciples

The Disciples

Four highly trained martial artists are dispatched to protect a high-profile baseball player from hired kidnappers....

More info

Pimps Up, Ho's Down

Pimps Up, Ho's Down

Brent Owens directs this documentary that follows the life of several "professional gentlemen of leisure." Originally aired on HBO and relea...

More info

On the Edge

On the Edge

Dakota Smith is an ex-cop and former private eye with a proclivity for community service. When a young basketball player entangles himself w...

More info

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wh...

More info

Bloodrunners

Bloodrunners

By 1933, Prohibition has proven a booming enterprise, where average citizens break the law, hide in the shadows and operate at night. The ne...

More info

Out Kold

Out Kold

When down and out boxer, Slim (Clifford Stubblefield), gets hired to protect gangsta pimp Goldie's (Ice-T, Ablaze, Body Count, New Jack City...

More info

The Heist

The Heist

Two brothers turn against each other when confronted with the possibility of getting millions of dollars found in a stolen armored car....

More info

New Jack City

New Jack City

A gangster, Nino, is in the Cash Money Brothers, making a million dollars every week selling crack. A cop, Scotty, discovers that the only w...

More info

Trespass

Trespass

Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What ...

More info

Tank Girl

Tank Girl

Based on the British cult comic-strip, our tank-riding anti-heroine fights a mega-corporation, which controls the world's water supply....

More info

Mean Guns

Mean Guns

One hundred mid- and low-level gangsters who are on their boss' bad side are locked inside a newly-built high-security prison, and given ple...

More info

Leprechaun in the Hood

Leprechaun in the Hood

When Butch, Postmaster P, and Stray Bullet loot the local hip-hop mogul's studio to fund their demo album, the threesome unwittingly ends up...

More info

Hood Rat

Hood Rat

Think of it as Willard in the hood, the debut feature from director Leslie Small finds a Isaiah Washington playing a kindly man who turns ma...

More info

Tracks

Tracks

'Tracks' is based on the true-story of a middle class white suburban teenagers who unknowingly committed a senseless act of violence in July...

More info

Point Doom

Point Doom

A Hollywood talent agent's girlfriend thrusts him into a world of strip clubs, drugs and deadly motorcycle gangs....

More info

Breakin' 'n' Enterin'

Breakin' 'n' Enterin'

Documentary about the LA hip hop/electro scene in the early 80s....

More info

Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire

Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire

With the original intention of empowering a citizenry's ability to defend themselves against a corrupt or tyrannical government, the concept...

More info

Body Count Live in LA

Body Count Live in LA

Live performance from the controversial heavy metal band Body Count, recorded at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. The concert was played in tr...

More info

War of Words: Battle Rap in the UK

War of Words: Battle Rap in the UK

WAR OF WORDS is an energizing, controversial and inspiring feature documentary that lifts the lid on the fast growing UK Battle Rap scene. T...

More info

Ricochet

Ricochet

An attorney is terrorized by the criminal he put away years ago when he was a cop....

More info

'R Xmas

'R Xmas

A New York drug dealer is kidnapped, and his wife must try to come up with the money and drugs to free him from his abductors before Christm...

More info

Below Utopia

Below Utopia

Daniel returns to his family's mansion for the holidays along with his girlfriend Susanne. His family's seemingly-utopian existence is overs...

More info

Everyday Sunshine:  The Story of Fishbone

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

.From the shifting faultlines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan's America, Fishbone rose and became one ...

More info

Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp

Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp

'Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp', examines the tumultuous life of legendary Chicago pimp Iceberg Slim (1918-1992) and how he reinvented hi...

More info

Urban Menace

Urban Menace

An insane preacher seeks retribution from the local crime syndicate for the violent death of his family and the burning of his church in a h...

More info

Ablaze

Ablaze

...

More info

Crazy Six

Crazy Six

In a crumbling Europe, powerful mafia families have emerged from the anarchy to vie for control of the lucrative arms trade....

More info

The Deli

The Deli

The wacky goings-on at a NYC deli—a comedy starring Mike Starr, Ice-T and Michael Imperioli....

More info

Sonic Impact

Sonic Impact

A dangerous criminal hijacks a plane with his fellow prisoners and threatens to crash it into a populated area. The agent who captured him ...

More info

Hustlers Convention

Hustlers Convention

The story of Sport and Spoon - two young hustlers who attend the eponymous convention, only to get tangled up in a financial disagreement th...

More info

G-Funk

G-Funk

G-Funk is the untold story of three childhood friends from East Long Beach who helped commercialize hip hop by developing a sophisticated an...

More info

Hard 'N Heavy Volume 15

Hard 'N Heavy Volume 15

Video magazine with interviews and video clips. Featured on this volume is: Alice Cooper, Extreme, Ice-T & Bodycount, Iron Maiden, Wrathchi...

More info

Clinton Road

Clinton Road

A widowed firefighter seeks closure after his wife goes missing on an actual haunted road in rural New Jersey but must unlock the roads secr...

More info

Hidden Colors 5: The Art of Black Warfare

Hidden Colors 5: The Art of Black Warfare

The history of warfare as it relates to global Black society, broken down into 7 chapters that examines the ways the system of racism wages ...

More info

Johnny Mnemonic

Johnny Mnemonic

In a dystopian 2021, Johnny is a data trafficker who has an implant that allows him to securely store data too sensitive for regular compute...

More info

Luck of the Draw

Luck of the Draw

Jack Sweeny is a young man just trying to get a job. Turned down at another bank due to his criminal record he meets a girl, Rebecca, but al...

More info

The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique

The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique

Immortal Technique emerged from prison a changed man. As his inner journey continues he travels the world promoting a revolution of consciou...

More info

Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn

Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn

After being released from prison, Bobby goes back to the mob connected streets. When forced to make a life altering decision the truth is re...

More info

Rap's Most Wanted

Rap's Most Wanted

Documentery from 1991 where The 2 Live Crew, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Too Short, Ice-T, Geto Boys, H.W.A. drop real talk on different topics....

More info

Rhapsody

Rhapsody

The life of a beautiful rising female recording star is placed in jeopardy when she witnesses the drive-by shooting of a rival rap-star in L...

More info

Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav

Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav

It's Flavor Flav's turn to step in to the celebrity hot seat for the latest installment of The Comedy Central Roast....

More info

Guardian

Guardian

With a spate of violence that rocks the inner city, L.A.P.D. and ex-Marine John Kross investigates its cause: a new drug called Chaos. With ...

More info

Who Shot Biggie & Tupac

Who Shot Biggie & Tupac

An investigative crime special examining two of the greatest murder mysteries in pop culture history, digging deep into the entangled murder...

More info

The Legend of Dolemite! Bigger & Badder

The Legend of Dolemite! Bigger & Badder

Rudy Ray Moore tells all as only he can in this all-new retrospective legendary career. From his humble beginnings to his crowning as "King ...

More info

Straight Outta L.A.

Straight Outta L.A.

In 1982, Raiders owner Al Davis beat the NFL in court and moved his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. With a squad as colorful as its owner,...

More info

Drive Like Andretti

Drive Like Andretti

A documentary of legendary driver Mario Andretti's career, including the driver himself discussing his childhood and involvement in the worl...

More info

The Alternate

The Alternate

The President of the United States, in the midst of negative public opinion, is kidnapped while attending a charity function. However, this ...

More info

Who's the Man?

Who's the Man?

Ed Lover and Doctor Dre are two inept barbers. Deciding that maybe they ought to find another line of work, they join the police. A big mist...

More info

Sam Kinison: Family Entertainment Hour

Sam Kinison: Family Entertainment Hour

Get ready to scream with laughter! Sam Kinison's primal scream will echo down through the comedy hall of fame summing up so much of modernit...

More info

The Notorious B.I.G BET Official presents

The Notorious B.I.G BET Official presents

The Notorious B.I.G exploded onto the hip-hop scene in 1994 with the hip-hop anthem "juicy" after blazing remixes for Craig Mack and Mary J....

More info

Santorini Blue

Santorini Blue

An act of betrayal throws a young couple's marriage into jeopardy in this romantic drama featuring Richard Belzer and Ice-T....

More info

Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang

Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang

Jacob Two Two Meets The Hooded Fang is about a young boy who strives to be heard. He is nicknamed "Two-Two" for having to say things twice t...

More info

Rhyme & Reason

Rhyme & Reason

A study in the world of hip-hop, done mostly with interviews, in order to see why it is as popular as it is today and what the future holds....

More info

The Outhouse The Film 1985-1997

The Outhouse The Film 1985-1997

In the mid-1980s outside this college town, home of the Kansas Jayhawks, punk rock history was being made in the middle of a cornfield. Wher...

More info

Good Hair

Good Hair

An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, GOOD HAIR visits beauty salons and hairstyling battles, scientific labo...

More info

The Weird World of Blowfly

The Weird World of Blowfly

Clarence Reid is a musician who wrote and produced romantic and spiritual songs for some of the greatest Southern soul and R&B acts of the 1...

More info

Gangland

Gangland

In post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, an evil pack of outlaws is systematically turning civilians into prisoners and slaves. Worse yet, the sprea...

More info

Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison

Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison

Tribute to comedy great Sam Kinison...

More info

What Now

What Now

Three best friends explore the world of online swipe dating in Los Angeles and quickly find out that anyone who judges you based on your sal...

More info

Breakin'

Breakin'

A struggling young dancer joins forces with two breakdancers and together they become a street sensation....

More info

Rappin'

Rappin'

An ex-con and break-dancer helps save a neighborhood from a greedy developer while trying to win a rap contest....

More info

Exiled

Exiled

A Law & Order TV movie centered on the character Mike Logan....

More info

Survivor's Guide to Prison

Survivor's Guide to Prison

Today, you're more likely to go to prison in the United States than anywhere else in the world. So in the unfortunate case it should happen ...

More info

Crime Partners

Crime Partners

Hustlers, players and gangsters rule the urban streets of New York in this story about loyalty and betrayal. Billy Goode, a street-smart cro...

More info

A Family Underground

A Family Underground

This documentary examines the ferocious fans of the clown-rap group Insane Clown Posse, who go by the name of Juggalos and come together onc...

More info

Black and Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop

Black and Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop

...

More info

And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop

And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop

The film documents the development of hip hop culture since its inception in the 1970s. With interviews from various figures in the communit...

More info

Fuck

Fuck

A documentary on the expletive's origin, why it offends some people so deeply, and what can be gained from its use....

More info

3000 Miles to Graceland

3000 Miles to Graceland

It was an ingenious enough plan: rob the Riviera Casino's count room during an Elvis impersonator convention. But Thomas Murphy decided to k...

More info

Planet Rock: The Story of Hip-Hop and the Crack Generation

Planet Rock: The Story of Hip-Hop and the Crack Generation

A look at the rise of crack cocaine in urban America in the 1980s and it's influence on popular culture, especially in hip-hop music....

More info

UglyDolls

UglyDolls

In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the e...

More info

Kept

Kept

Dead bodies are piling up, and the leads the two LA homicide cops have point to Barbara, business manager for a successful architectural fir...

More info

Beef

Beef

A documentary on the evolution of MC battles from verbal one-upmanship to street warfare....

More info

Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

The dance crew from "Breakin'" bands together to save a community center from a greedy developer bent on building a shopping center in its p...

More info

Lemmy

Lemmy

Over four decades, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has registered an immeasurable impact on music history. Nearly 65, he remains the liv...

More info

CB4

CB4

A "rockumentary", covering the rise to fame of MC Gusto, Stab Master Arson, and Dead Mike: members of the rap group "CB4". We soon learn tha...

More info

The Other Guys

The Other Guys

Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble and Hoitz garner no headlines as they work day to day. When...

More info

It's Black Entertainment

It's Black Entertainment

A star-studded tribute (from the creators of That's Entertainment) to the contributions of Afro-Americans in film over the last century. Van...

More info

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy offers audiences a penetrating look inside the world of Ron Jeremy, America's most unlikely sex star and...

More info

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wh...

More info

Urban Menace

Urban Menace

An insane preacher seeks retribution from the local crime syndicate for the violent death of his family and the burning of his church in a h...

More info

Who Shot Biggie & Tupac

Who Shot Biggie & Tupac

An investigative crime special examining two of the greatest murder mysteries in pop culture history, digging deep into the entangled murder...

More info

Stealth Fighter

Stealth Fighter

A navy pilot fakes his own death and steals a stealth fighter plane from a U.S.A.F base. He then acts as a mercenary, targeting military ins...

More info

Urban Menace

Urban Menace

An insane preacher seeks retribution from the local crime syndicate for the violent death of his family and the burning of his church in a h...

More info

Images

Related