'There Goes the Neighborhood'Long, long before Lil Wayne picked up a guitar and an Autotuner and decided he wanted to be a “rock star,” there was Ice-T.
Anyone remember Body Count? Ice-T’s hardcore band that came about more or less after his being certified the OG gangsta rapper, but before he became Det. Tutuolain on “Law & Order: SVU”?
Well, I was rooting around my CD collection earlier, waiting for inspiration to strike so I could maybe post something, and I saw Body Count’s debut disk. I haven’t listened to this thing in years, so I dropped it in my CD player and I was pleasantly surprised. For some reason, I’d had a memory of this disk sounding slick and overproduced. Not at all. Musically, BC is right there alongside any other decent thrash band. These guys aren’t virtuoso musicians, but what they do, they do competently: They basically set Ice-T’s angry raps against a hardcore background. “A rock album with a rap mentality,” as one reviewer called it.
Ice-T, a fan of hardcore music long before he started his rap career, debuted Body Count on his 1991 album, O.G. Original Gangster. They made an impressive public debut later that same year at Lollapalooza. The self-titled Body Count debut album was released in March 1992. And it was just a short while after that when the shit hit the fan.
“I thought I was safe,” Ice-T said in an interview. “I thought within the world of rock ‘n’ roll, you could be free to write what you want. Hell, I was listening to Talking Heads singing ‘Psycho Killer.’ Fuck it, I’ll make ‘Cop Killer’.
“But, that was the cross of metal with something that was real. Now we’re not just killing your family, we’re killing somebody so real that everybody just went, ‘oh shit.’”
After vehement protests, Ice-T pulled the song from the album and re-released it with a song called “Freedom of Speech,” co-written by Jello Biafra.
Body Count still plays together occasionally, whenever Ice-T’s schedule can accommodate it. Their last disk was 2006’s Murder 4 Hire. Here are a couple of things from the first album.
There Goes the Neighborhood.mp3