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Ice-T

Ice-T

Rapper & Actor, Law & Order: SVU

Biography

Ice-T not only invented gangster rap, he has lived it. Ice-T is the original embodiment of LA Hip-Hop and a cultural icon. Through his music, his books (The Ice Opinion, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood), and his lecture tours of America’s prisons, high schools, libraries, and colleges (including Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford), Ice-T has become an influential spokesman for America’s youth, regardless of color. Read More >

Born in New Jersey, Ice-T learned the art of survival pretty fast. An only child whose parents died when he was very young, Ice-T became involved in Los Angeles gangs before spending four years in the army.

His first break came when the producers of the film Breakin’ asked him to rap in the movie. He went on to become rap music’s original gangster, writing songs like “Six in the Mornin” and “New Jack Hustler.”

Ice-T formed Rhyme Syndicate Records in 1989 and released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count with close high school friend and guitarist Ernie C. Body Count’s 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single “Cop Killer.” Body Count was the most critically acclaimed act on the highly successful 1991 Lollapalooza tour, and continues to tour worldwide.

As his politics were grabbing headlines, Ice-T’s film and television career was taking off. The controversial personality secured roles in New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass and Johnny Mnemonic, all while building a flourishing television career. He has numerous independent and documentary film roles to his credit as well.

Ice-T currently stars in NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Odafin Tutuola for his 20th season. For three seasons in 2012/2013 Ice and his wife, Coco starred in the E! reality show Ice Loves Coco.

As an artist, his reach has crossed into interactive media. He is the voice of “Griffin” in the billion dollar grossing Gears of War 3 & 4 games as well as other popular games like Grand Theft Auto and Scarface. As an author, he has released three books in, the first being, The Ice Opinion (1994), following that there was, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood (2011) and a fictional tale entitled, Kings of Vice (2013).

In Jan 2012, Ice premiered his directorial debut, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, at the Sundance Film Festival. In Sept 2012 the Ice-T produced documentary Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2013.

For 2017, Ice produced and starred in Who Shot Biggie and Tupac for FOX. He also released a new Body Count album, that garnered a 2018 Grammy nomination for Best Metal performance and Produced and Hosted Ice Cold Murder for Oxygen. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

The Art of Rap

Ice T Gives the Best Advice to His SVU Castmates

Opportunity Meets Preparation

Speech Topics

Overcoming Adversity

Ice’s life has often been defined by overcoming adversity. As a child he lost both of his parents by the time he was 11. He was then shipped from New Jersey to Los Angeles to live with an alcoholic Aunt who treated him horribly. At 17 he moved out and started living on his own in south-central while the violent and infamous gang culture exploded. To add to this, he got his girlfriend pregnant. Faced with that responsibility, he decided to join the Army. While in the Army, he learned the power of discipline. After his stint as a Ranger, he settled into civilian life, to only get into a horrific car accident and was in a coma for three days. However, at this point in his life the new rap musical form debuted and was quickly catching on. Ice had always made gang rhymes and realized that he had a talent for writing street poetry. Rather than mimicking what everyone else was doing, he created the genre of gangster rap. Yet, when he approached record labels about his music, he was always told three things: only East Coast rappers sell, rap music is a fad, and you’re not talented. Time and time again, Ice was thrown into adversity. The tune of his life was the repetitive obstacle, opportunity, obstacle, opportunity. His mindset at every juncture brought him success. In this lecture, he talks about the lessons he learned and what he did to not just survive, but to thrive.

Race in America: Two Sides of a Coin

The Cultural Relevance of Rap Music & How It Shaped My Life