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Ice-T Biography

Home > Music > I > Ice-T > Biography

Birth Name: Tracy Marrow
Born: 1958/02/16
Birth Place: California, United States
Years Active: 1982-present
Genres: Gangsta Rap, Hardcore Punk, Heavy Metal

Ice-T (born Tracy Marrow, February 16, 1958) is an American musician and actor. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved to the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles when he was in the 7th grade. After graduating from high school, he served in the United States Army for four years.

He began his career as a rapper in the 1980s and was signed to Sire Records in 1987, when he released his debut album “Rhyme Pays,” the first hip-hop album to carry an explicit content sticker. “Rhyme Pays” peaked at #93 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and at #26 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album, and in particular the track, “6 'N the Mornin',” were influential in the early development of gangsta rap. The record wound up being certified gold by the RIAA.

In 1996 he founded the record label Rhyme Syndicate Records (named after his collective of fellow hip-hop artists called the Rhyme Syndicate) and released his second album, “Power.” The album was certified platinum and reached the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 and the Top 10 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.

Ice-T’s third album, “The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say,” was issued by Sire/Warner Bros. Records in 1989. The gold record was his second to reach the Billboard 200 Top 40, peaking at #37.

In 1991, he released his album “O.G. Original Gangster,” which is regarded as one of the albums that defined gangsta rap. It peaked at #9 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at #15 on the Billboard 200, while certifying gold.

On”OG,” he introduced his heavy 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 in 1992. Ice-T encountered controversy over his “Body Count” track “Cop Killer,” which was perceived to glamorize killing police officers.

Ice-T asked to be released from his contract with Warner Bros. Records, and his next solo album, “Home Invasion,” was released later in the fall of 1993 through Priority Records. His fourth gold record reached #14 on the Billboard 200, his highest placement, and #19 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Body Count's next album, “Born Dead,” was released in 1994, and Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1990s, “VI – Return of the Real” in 1996 and “The Seventh Deadly Sin” in 1999. Seven years later he released the solo album, “Gangsta Rap,” which like his previous effort, failed to chart.

He began appearing in feature films in 1984 and has since appeared in over 50 movie roles. Since 2000, he has portrayed NYPD Detective Odafin Tutuola on the NBC police drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In 2011, the E! reality show “Ice Loves Coco” debuted. The show is mostly about his relationship with his wife of ten years, Nicole “Coco” Austin.