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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who is Tracy Marrow?

Who is Tracy Marrow? The Rap world knows him by his stage name Ice-T, he is a Grammy Award and NAACP Image Award winning rapper, actor, and author. He is credited with helping to pioneer gangsta rap, a sub-genre of hip hop music, in the late 1980s. As an actor, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of NYPD Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Marrow was born February 16, 1958. Although one of West Coast hip hop's leading figures, Marrow, son of Solomon and Alice,[1] was actually born in urban Newark, New Jersey, and christened Tracy by his father. When he was a child, he moved from his native Newark to the upscale community of Summit, New Jersey. His mother died of a heart attack when he was in third grade and his father died of a heart attack four years later.[2] After his father died, he went to live with his paternal aunt in California and later attended Crenshaw High School in the district of the same name in South Central Los Angeles.[3][4] After high school, he entered the 25th Infantry Division in the United States Army, an experience he has said he did not enjoy.[5]
He was previously in a relationship with Darlene Ortiz, who was featured on the covers of his 1987 album Rhyme Pays and his 1988 album Power.[6] Ice-T is married to swimsuit model Nicole "Coco Marie" Austin.[1]

After leaving the Army, Ice-T began his long career of recording raps for various studios on 12-inch singles. These tracks were later compiled on The Classic Collection and also featured on disc 2 of Legends of Hip-Hop. His first song was "The Coldest Rap" in 1982. His first official rap record was "6 in the Mornin'".
He finally landed a deal with a major label Sire Records. When label founder and president Seymour Stein heard his demo, he said, “He sounds like Bob Dylan.”[7]Shortly after, he released his debut album Rhyme Pays in 1987 supported by DJ Evil E, DJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam, who helped create the mainly party-oriented sound; the record wound up being certified gold by the RIAA. That same year, he recorded the title theme song for Dennis Hopper's Colors, a film about inner-city life in Los Angeles. His next album Power was released in 1988, under his own label Rhyme Syndicate, and it was a more assured and impressive record, earning him strong reviews and his second gold record. Released in 1989, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say established his popularity by matching excellent abrasive music with narrative and commentative lyrics.[4]
In 1991 he released his album OG: Original Gangster, which is regarded as one of the albums that defined gangsta rap. On OG, he introduced his 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.[4] For his appearance on the heavily collaborative track "Back on the Block", a composition by jazz musician Quincy Jones that "attempt[ed] to bring together black musical styles from jazz to soul to funk to rap", Ice-T won a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, an award shared by others who worked on the track including Jones and fellow jazz musician Ray Charles.[8] Controversy later surrounded Body Count over its song "Cop Killer", a song intended as a narrative from the view of a criminal killing a police officer, from the National Rifle Association and various police advocacy groups.[4] Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T's upcoming album Home Invasion simply because of the controversy surrounding "Cop Killer". When Ice split amicably with Sire/Warner Bros. Records after a dispute over the artwork of the album Home Invasion, he reactivated Rhyme Syndicate and formed a deal with Priority Records for distribution; Priority released Invasion in the spring of 1993.[9] The album peaked at #9 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #14 on the Billboard 200, [10] spawning several singles including "Gotta Lotta Love", "I Ain't New To This" and "99 Problems" - which would later be covered by Jay Z in 2007. Ice-T had also collaborated with certain other heavy metal bands during this time period. For the film Judgment Night, he did a duet with band Slayer on the track "Disorder".[11] In 1995, Ice-T made a guest performance on Forbidden by the heavy metal band Black Sabbath.[1] Another album of his, VI - Return of the Real came out in 1996, followed by The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.[12]
His first rap album since 1999, Gangsta Rap, was released on October 31, 2006. The album's cover, which "shows [Ice T] lying on his back in bed with his ravishing wife's ample posterior in full view and one of her legs coyly draped over his private parts," was considered to be too suggestive for most retailers, many of which were reluctant to stock the album.[13] Some reviews of the album were unenthusiastic, as many had hoped for a return to the political raps of Ice-T's most successful albums.

One of the last scenes in Gift includes Ice-T and Body Count playing with Jane's Addiction in a version of the Sly and the Family Stone song "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey."
Besides fronting his own band, Ice-T has also collaborated with other hard rock and metal bands, such as Icepick, Motörhead, Pro-Pain, and Six Feet Under. He has also covered songs by hardcore punk bands such as The Exploited, Jello Biafra, and Black Flag. Ice-T made his first appearance at Insane Clown Posse's Gathering Of The Juggalos (2008 edition).[14].

Ice-T's first film appearances were in the motion pictures Breakin' (1984) and its sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1985). In 1991, he embarked on a serious acting career, portraying police detective Scotty Appleton in Mario Van Peebles' feature film New Jack City, gang leader King James in Trespass (1992), followed by a notable lead role performance in Surviving the Game (1994) in addition to his many supporting roles, such as J-Bone in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and the marsupial mutant T-Saint in Tank Girl, 1995. Marrow was also interviewed in the Brent Owens documentary Pimps Up, Ho's Down,[15] in which he is quoted as saying "I can't act, I really can't act", and raps at the Players Ball.
In 1993 Marrow along with other rappers and the three Yo! MTV Raps hosts Ed Lover, Doctor Dre and Fab 5 Freddy starred in the comedy Who's the Man? directed by Ted Demme.

In this movie Ice is a drug dealer who gets really frustrated when someone calls him by his real name "Chauncey" rather than his street name "Nighttrain".

In 1995 he had a recurring role as vengeful drug dealer Danny Cort on the television series New York Undercover, which was co-created by Dick Wolf. His work on the series earned him the 1996 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 1997, Marrow co-created the short-lived series Players, which was produced by Wolf. This was followed by a role as pimp Seymour "Kingston" Stockton in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (1998). These collaborations led Wolf to add Marrow to the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Since 2000 he has portrayed Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, a former undercover narcotic officer transferred to the Special Victims Unit. In 2002, the NAACP awarded Marrow with a second Image Award, again for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Law & Order: SVU. His participation in this series is somewhat ironic, given the early controversy surrounding his group Body Count with their song "Cop Killer". Marrow also appears in the movie Leprechaun: In the Hood. He once was presenter on Channel 4's Baaadasss TV.
In 1999, Marrow starred in the HBO movie Stealth Fighter as a United States Naval Aviator who fakes his own death, steals a F-117 stealth fighter and threatens to destroy United States military bases. This movie is often criticized for its poor script, military inaccuracies, and significant use of footage from other movies.[16]. He also acted in the movie Sonic Impact, released the same year.
Marrow voiced Madd Dogg in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as well as Agent Cain in Sanity: Aiken's Artifact. He also appears as himself in Def Jam: Fight for NY and UFC: Tapout fighting video games.
Marrow made an appearance on Chappelle's Show as himself presenting the award for "Player Hater of the Year." He was dubbed the "Original Player Hater."
At WrestleMania 2000, Marrow performed his song "Pimpin Ain't Easy" during The Godfather and D'Lo Brown's entrance.
He also played as Hamilton in a 2001 thriller film named 3000 Miles to Graceland.
Beyond Tough, a 2002 documentary series aired on Discovery Channel about the world's most dangerous and intense professions, such as alligator wrestlers and Indy 500 pit crews, was hosted by Marrow.[17]
In 2007, he appeared as a celebrity guest star on the MTV sketch comedy show Short Circuitz. Also in late 2007, Marrow appeared in the short-music film "Hands of Hatred" which can be found online.

On October 20, 2006 Ice-T's Rap School aired and was a reality television show on VH1. It was a spin-off of the British reality show Gene Simmons' Rock School, which also aired on VH1. In Rap School, rapper/actor Ice-T teaches eight teens from York Preparatory School in New York City how to become a real hip-hop group called the "York Prep Crew" ( "Y.P. Crew" for short). Each week, Ice-T gives them assignments and they compete for an imitation gold chain with a microphone on it. On the season finale on November 17, 2006, the group performed as an opening act for Public Enemy.
Ice-T also made an appearance on NBC’s new game show "Celebrity Family Feud" on June 24th 2008. In the show Ice-T and Coco teamed up in a competition against Joan and Melissa Rivers to compete for their favorite charity. The Rivers family won their round.
Ice-T also made an appearance in a reality television show in the early 2000s, an episode of the MTV show, Cribs.

He has condemned the alleged involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in drug trafficking (in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal, as documented in the Kerry Committee report and elsewhere[18]) on tracks such as "This One's for Me" and "Message to the Soldier", and in sections of his book.
He was criticized for misogyny in his lyrics, and this has deterred some people from supporting him. In The Ice Opinion, he claimed that he was a feminist insofar as he believed in equal pay for women and equal rights generally. He argued against the position that being a stripper or a model is demeaning to women by an analogy with a man who considers a gay man to be demeaning all men by his actions, arguing that if the latter feeling is untenable, the former is as well.
The track "Escape from the Killing Fields" expressed a difference in views from rappers like Redman and Ice Cube
in that Ice-T did not see any virtue in staying in the ghetto, but rather encouraged Black people to leave the ghetto. The last track on O.G. Original Gangster is a spoken-word opposition to the Gulf War and to poor conditions in prisons. After Born Dead in 1994, Ice-T's music has contained much less political commentary than before.
In 1994, Ice-T wrote a book titled The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a Fuck?.[2] The purpose of the 199-page book was to respond to questions about his political beliefs, his life and the controversy surrounding his music. Having often voiced controversial statements about corruption, he goes into detail about his suspicions of police/CIA involvement in drug trafficking and of how certain businesses profit from prison-building.

On June 17, 2008, Ice-T appeared on DJ Cisco's Urban Legend mixtape, speaking against Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

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and Hurricane Chris in relation to hip-hop's criticized status.
On June 23, 2008, Ice-T responded to Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's video response, where he apologized against Hurricane Chris for the comments, saying that the comments were made "in anger" and that Hurricane isn't really in the beef. As for Soulja Boy, Ice-T apologized for the "eat a dick" comment, but continued to state that Soulja Boy's music is garbage. He also makes it clear that he isn't trying to set off a war against the Dirty South. Instead, he said: "If any war (is going to start), it's gonna be good hip-hop versus whack hip-hop, you understand what I'm saying? And if there has to be a war on that battlefield, I'm proud to be the general, nigga." [19][20]. At the end of the video, Ice-T's 16-year-old son appeared, repeating his father's "eat a dick" comment.

Since the Soulja Boy Tell 'Em comments, many hip hop artists have commented on the situation. Artists such as Kanye West[21] and 50 Cent have voiced their agreement with Soulja Boy's reaction. Other artists, such as, Spice 1,[22] Method Man, and Snoop Dogg, have decided to affiliate themselves with Ice-T in this situation and, more recently, underground emcee Apathy made remixes of the singles "Swagga Like Us" (featuring Jay-z, T.I., Kanye West, Li'l Wayne) and "Love Lockdown" (featuring Kanye West),

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which expressed his views on hip-hop today and emcees who use Auto-tune such as Lil' Wayne and Kanye West.

Main article: Ice T discography
1987: Rhyme Pays
1988: Power
1989: The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say
1991: O.G. Original Gangster
1993: Home Invasion
1996: VI - Return of the Real
1999: The Seventh Deadly Sin
2006: Gangsta Rap

1984: Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
1984: Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!
1985: Rappin (Uncredited)
1991: New Jack City
1991: Ricochet
1992: Why Colors?
1992: Trespass
1993: Who's the Man?
1994: Surviving the Game
1995: Tank Girl
1995: Johnny Mnemonic
1996: Frankenpenis
1997: Mean Guns
1997: The Deli
1997: Below Utopia
1997: Space Ghost Coast to Coast
1998: Crazy Six
1998: Exiled
1999: Sonic Impact
1999: Frenzo Smooth
1999: The Wrecking Crew
1999: The Heist
1999: Judgement Day
1999: Urban Menace
1999: Stealth Fighter
1999: Final Voyage
1999: Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang
1999: Corrupt
2000: Guardian
2000: Sanity, Aiken's Artifact
2000: Gangland
2000: Leprechaun in the Hood
2000: The Alternate
2000: The Disciples
2001: Stranded
2001: Kept
2001: Tara
2001: Crime Partners 2000
2001: 3000 Miles to Graceland
2001: Point Doomth="425" height="344">
2001: Deadly Rhapsody
2001: R, Xmas
2001: Ticker
2001: Out Kold
2001: Ablaze
2001: Air Rage
2002: On the Edge
2004: Up In Harlem
2004: Lexie
2004: San Andreas (video game) as Madd Dogg.

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