Feb. 16th, 1958
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Ice-T's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2013 - Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp
2010 - Lemmy
2010 - GhettoPhysics: Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up?
2010 - The Other Guys
2009 - Good Hair
2009 - A Family Underground
2003 - Beef
2003 - Beef
2003 - Tupac: Resurrection
2001 - Ticker
2001 - Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy
2001 - 3000 Miles to Graceland
2000 - The Alternate
1999 - Stealth Fighter
1997 - Mean Guns
1997 - Below Utopia
1995 - Tank Girl
1995 - Johnny Mnemonic
1994 - Surviving the Game
1993 - CB4
1992 - Trespass
1991 - Ricochet
1991 - New Jack City
Guest TV Roles[none found]
The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade. His aunt lived in the South Los Angeles district of Crenshaw, colloquially referred to as South Central. He became immersed in the street life of the inner-city and eventually became a member of the West Side Rollin 30s Original Harlem Crips.
In 1979, Marrow joined the Army after leaving Crenshaw High School, but his 4-year hitch was enough for him, as he was a leader, not a follower. "I didn't like total submission to a leader other than myself," he said. After ETSing from the Army in 1983, he returned to South Central with the intention of becoming a hip-hop musician. More than music, his life got caught up in street life as as a jewel thief and as a pimp. (His nomme de guerre, Ice T, is an homage to the fabled pimp and raconteur Iceberg Slim (Robert Beck (III)). He committed himself totally to his music after a 1985 car crash.
As a musician, Ice-T played a major role in the creation of the gangsta incarnation of hip-hop music and was a colossus of the West Coast hip-hop scene, despite his East Coast, greater New York, origins. Though his music displays a political consciousness, like the indictments of racism that were a hallmark of seminal hip-hop group Public Enemy, it also is nihilistic as befits a chronicler of street life. His most infamous song, the heavy metal "Cop Killer," was one of the major battle in the cultural wars of the 1990s, in which cultural conservatives enlisted the Moses of the right wing, Charlton Heston, to get Ice-T dropped from his then-label, Sire/Warner Bros.
The charismatic Ice-T has also achieved success as an actor in movies and on TV. He plays Detective Odafin Tutuola on the TV series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999), which is ironic for someone famous for "Cop Killer" and his feud with the L.A.P.D. Ice-T currently resides in North Bergen, New Jersey, with his wife, Nicole Austin (I).
- Almost didn't accept the role of Scottie in the film _New Jack City (1991)_ (qv) because he feared that if the film was a flop it would negatively effect his already hot hip-hop career. It turned out to be his breakthrough part and started him on his acting career.
- Is good friends with "Six Feet Under" vocalist 'Chris Barnes (VI)' (qv).
- Attended Crenshaw High School in south-central Los Angeles.
- Was injured in a car accident in 1986, when his Porsche 914 was broadsided by another vehicle. The car accident later served as a turning point where Ice focused his skills on rapping and producing albums.
- He said a few lines on Chunky A's ('Arsenio Hall' (qv)) song "Dope, The Big Lie," from the album "Large and in Charge."
- His song "Cop Killer," which was recorded with his heavy metal group Body Count, was the subject of a national debate on the glorification of violence in the media. After the song was removed from Body Count's self-titled debut album, and after further controversy over the artwork for the then-forthcoming "Home Invasion" album, he was dropped by Sire/Warner Bros. Records, which had released the album. The split was amicable, even though Sire had assigned the catalog number 45119 to the album. Later pressings of the self-titled Body Count album were replaced by the Ice-T solo track "Freedom of Speech (Just Watch What You Say)." "Home Invasion" was released eventually by Ice's now-defunct label, Rhyme $yndicate Records, through Priority/EMI, with the intended artwork intact.
- Chose his pseudonym in honor of author Iceberg Slim (pen name of Robert Maupin Beck, 1918-1992; aka, 'Robert Beck (III)' (qv)), an ex-pimp turned author whose heavy-hitting novels detailed the hard life of the criminal underworld.
- His wife, 'Nicole Austin (I)' (qv), a.k.a. Coco, is a swimsuit model.