When Keeping It Real Goes Right
The mighty Body Count has returned to give us a surprisingly great record this year with Manslaughter. This fifth release is a fun but serious trip through issues that Ice-T is passionate about. He’s keeping it real.
One thing about Ice-T and Body Count is the brutal honesty expressed. Ice-T isn’t holding back. The opening track is called “Talk Shit, Get Shot.” If that doesn’t scream honesty, then what would? He also discusses his thoughts on a wide variety of topics from Alcoholism (“Back To Rehab”), to economic displacement (“Enter The Darkside”) to the state of music today.
The music on this record is incredible as well. The rest of the band is absolutely tearing it up behind him with insane riffs. The production is spot on. Ernie C, longtime collaborator and founding member, writes all the music and has put together a tremendous album; he knows how to compose a great metal song.
The big surprise of Manslaughter (besides the album as a whole) is the cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized.” Not only is the cover done to perfection, but the lyrical content has been updated for the new era. Ice-T adds references to video games, tech support and Oprah, and it perfectly encapsulates the frustrating issues we face in 2014. There is also a cover of “99 problems,” the Jay-Z hit, that is a bit on the rude side. It’s so over the top that you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this cover is. No spoilers here; just take a moment, make sure your boss isn’t around, and bump it.
The fear is that this record will not get the credit it deserves and fall through the cracks. Manslaughter is an impressive album that will stick in your mind for days on end. It shows that nowadays there is finally someone who is willing to be honest about the issues we face every day. It’s refreshing to hear that kind of honesty in music. We don’t get enough of it.