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Ice-T Talks Latest Body Count Album, the Pussification of Men + More

by Photo of Elizabeth Ramanand

Ice-T shares his theories on today’s generation, hip-hop, metal and a whole lot more!

Ice-T Talks Latest Body Count Album, the Pussification of Men + More

In this article…

If you ever get a chance to Ice-T, he is one of the most interesting and unfiltered people to chat with. We were beyond lucky to sit down and talk with Ice at Afropunk Festival 2014 in Brooklyn about his band Body Count, the message of their latest disc Manslaughter, his thoughts about music and people in general.

Onstage and in other interviews you have spoken about the "pussification" of men. How do we "unpussify" them?

It’s gone crazy right now, you know I don’t know. That whole theory for the album came from my absence from music. Just from what I noticed with males as a whole, I think with all this social media everyone is so concerned with getting likes that nobody has an opinion and it strikes hard with men. It’s almost like if you say you’re a man – you can't even say that, it’s like that’s something wrong. I’m just saying you have to stand for something and right now with all the sh-t’s that’s going on you need strong leaders and that takes a lot of courage.

I don’t really know, I just try to show by example. I speak out, I say things. People say “Damn but you’re on NBC and you’re saying this sh-t?” I don’t care. You got to be 100 percent you. I don’t know, there’s one theory that women pussify men because they understand femininity more than masculinity so if they can eliminate masculinity then they can control the world. [Laughs] The more you can get me to be like a woman the more you can control me because women don’t really understand masculinity so there’s a bit of a wall there. A lot of it comes with political correctness too.

I think the way you can unpussify men is as a woman to let him know that he’s actin’ like a b-tch. Just say “I’m allowed to do that, you’re not allowed to do that.” There’s a lot of things [women] that you guys can do because you’re women but there’s certain things we shouldn’t be doing and you’re supposed to check us on it.

With being a part of so many different things, various genres of music, TV, having a podcast and much more, what does Body Count and creating heavier music do for you that the rest of these fields you’re in doesn't do?

It’s just another artistic outlet, with metal and rock a lot more rage is available. To me, hip-hop was always cool and funky so rage didn’t really tie into it, Public Enemy did it. With this [Body Count] you can get really angry and let a lot of aggression out so I think this is my outlet for aggression.

You collaborated with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed on this new album Manslaughter. How was this experience for you?

I met Jamey when he was doing Headbanger’s Ball and he met me and was like “I’m a f---ing real life fan” and there’s a way when people tell you they're a fan and you know that they’re more than just a fan. We hit it off right from there and I never heard of Hatebreed and he’s like I want you to be on this record and we did a song called “Real Recognizes Real.” He brought a studio over to my house and we recorded it and he’ just a genuinely cool guy.

If you really look at metal, it’s got a lot of hip-hop in it. If you look at Randy [Blythe] from Lamb of God he could be a f---kin’ rapper – the way he moves onstage, his aggression, his attitude, his swag. Body Count in 1992 introduced a whole new look to metal, prior to us everybody was wearing spandex, we came out in khakis. Then all of a sudden you got your Rage Against the Machine, you got your Korn and all these different bands so everyone’s influenced. All these metal bands listen to hip-hop so the call and response you get with Hatebreed, it’s very similar, it’s just with guitars and different drum patterns.

The message is also the same, with good heavy music and good hip-hop music, the message is usually empowering.

Right and that’s another reason I had to do Body Count. Hip-hop right now, that ain’t my thing – it’s pop. If all you’re going to sing about is partying, money and girls, that’s pop. You’re not addressing a damn thing. When I put out rap it was a different climate, music has climates, there was a climate of Public Enemy a climate of KRS-One, now is the climate of pop. I had to come back to metal and then in one sentence attempt to readjust the climate of metal with Manslaughter which is like sayin’ “Ain’t no p------s here. We’re gonna do some male s—t. Move your f—kin’ a--.” That’s what Black Flag was to me and this is why we’re here right now.

When you embraced heavier genres of music did you get any s—t for it?

No, people have always been scared of me. [Laughs] So what I do, I do it in away where you can like it or f—k off. When I go onstage I can’t ask them to do s---t, I tell them “I have control of you mother---ers right now. You f---kin’ follow my instructions.” So when I came out and I did metal it was like “Yeah I’m doin’ metal, so what?”

How about when you were younger, anyone give you any trouble then?

When I was younger I listened to it [Heavy Metal] but people didn’t know I was listening to it. I wasn’t walking around with Iron Maiden t-shirts so it was kind of like I was a closeted metal head. I’m sure there are still hardcore metal fans who are still purists, or let’s just say it, racists – they got a problem with it. If you really track rock, black people invented rock, you got to go to Chuck Berry, you got to go to Little Richard. If you’re a real human being you’re going to close your eyes and either say that s---t sounds dope or that s---t sounds wack.

When you look at people like Dead Kennedys, there’s a black person in Dead Kennedys. You look at Bad Brains, they are playing and so this Afropunk Festival is a great thing. It’s funny I walked to the stage and you know why I walked to the stage – I wanted to see if there was a mosh pit. I wondered - black people – will there be a mosh pit? I went out there and I was very happy to see a mosh pit. It’s a great thing and I believe that as an artist you sit back and make your music and then you figure out what genre it falls into later or you create a genre.

For all your Body Count, metal, hip-hop and ticketing needs check out CHARGED.fm!

Check Out Body Count's Video for “Talk S—t, Get Shot”

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