Famed rapper, actor, songwriter, record producer and author, Ice-T (born Tracy Lauren Marrow) recounts making the highly controversial 1992 single “Cop Killer,” in his thirties, with his heavy metal group, Body Count. Ice-T, now 62-years-old, has a unique perspective of the poignant messages behind the unabashed fantasy revenge song about retaliating against police brutality, in the most fatal form.
At the time of the release of “Cop Killer”, according to Theprp, “Part revenge fantasy, part rally cry against police brutality, the song saw police unions across the U.S. unite in protest against the band and their label Warner Bros. Records. U.S. Presidential condemnation and intense financial pressure to have the track banned following.”
Burdened by government scrutiny and pressures mounting by Body Count’s label to pull the song from the album, as previously reported by Theprp, “Ice-T eventually withdrew the song from the band’s self-titled album as part of a deal with Warner Bros., but to this day, it has yet to be made available officially again since. The song’s absence was recently the subject of this investigative report from Billboard.” To listen to Body Count’s “Cop Killer” stream below, via YouTube.
Paralleling the contentious social climate at the time Body Count released “Cop Killer” to how similar the current social climate is, tensions have arisen to cause worldwide protests in response to the senseless acts of killings such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey and George Floyd. The aforementioned Theprp article furthers that, “When asked recently by The Washington Post if he thinks fans would understand ‘Cop Killer’ more now than during its original release in the 90s, Ice-T responded:
It was a song about somebody who, during a moment like this, got so mad that they went after the cops. We don’t want that guy. But a lot of times you warn people by saying this can happen. I never killed no cop. I’ve written better songs that are more on point with what I believe today. I was a little more radical back then. ‘No Lives Matter’ addresses my feelings at this moment. You got to remember, 30-years-ago Ice is different than 62-year-old Ice.
Ice-T also adds how the now 62-year old Ice-T would respond, saying:
My correct guidance right now is know your allies and let’s continue to go forward. Don’t let up. Let’s go after Breonna Taylor’s killers. Let’s get it done.
Body Count recently released their seventh full length studio album, Carnivore, on March 6, via Century Media. To listen to Body Count’s “No Lives Matter” off their sixth full length studio album, 2017’s Bloodlust stream below, via YouTube.