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Ice-T

Ice-T

Ice-T rose to fame, and notoriety, as a pioneer of both gangster rap and rap-metal before forging a prolific screen career which included notable acting roles in "New Jack City" (1991), "Tank Girl" (1995) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999-). Born Tracy Lauren Marrow in Newark, NJ in 1958, Ice-T lost both his parents by the age of 12 and subsequently spent his teenage years with his aunt in South Los Angeles where he was introduced to rock music, the works of Iceberg Slim and the Crips. He developed a love of hip-hop during his four-year stint in the U.S. Army and following his honorable discharge, and brief stint as a high-end thief, he decided to pursue a music career. He achieved underground success with 1983 debut single, "Cold Wind Madness," and a year later showcased his talents in both "Breakin'" (1984) and its rush-released sequel. After landing a major label deal with Sire Records, Ice-T released his first LP, Rhyme Pays, in 1987, following it up with 1988's Power and 1989's The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech But it was 1991's O.G. Original Gangster, hailed as one of the gangsta rap genre's pivotal records, which elevated him to the status of hip-hop great. That same year Ice-T also won a Grammy Award for a collaboration with Quincy Jones and kickstarted his serious acting career with the role of NYPD detective Scotty Appleton in action thriller "New Jack City." After playing gang leaders in both "Ricochet" (1991) and "Trespass" (1992), Ice-T courted huge controversy with "Cop Killer," the closing track from his new heavy metal project Body Count's eponymous debut album, and was forced to release his next solo record, 1993's Home Invasion, through his own label as a result. Ice-T continued to moonlight throughout the decade, releasing two further solo and Body Count albums apiece and making memorable appearances in "Surviving the Game" (1994), "Tank Girl" (1995) and "Johnny Mnemonic" (1995), as well as taking the lead in short-lived crime drama "Players" (NBC, 1997-98). But he switched his attentions to acting entirely at the turn of the century, appearing in over two dozen films in the space of just three years, the majority of which were straight-to-DVD action fare such as "Judgment Day" (1999), "The Alternate" (2000) and "Tara" (2001). During this prolific period, Ice-T was also cast as former undercover narcotics officer Odafin Tutuola in "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999-), a role he would assume for the next two decades. Alongside appearing in a whole host of other cinema-bypassing movies, including "Tracks" (2005), "Santorini Blue" (2013) and "Crossed the Line" (2014), Ice-T also hosted documentary series "Beyond Tough" (Discovery Channel, 2002), turned teacher for talent contest "Ice-T's Rap School" (VH1, 2006) and opened up his private life for the cameras in reality show "Ice Loves Coco" (E!, 2011-13). Having returned to music in 2006 with Gangsta Rap, Ice-T then recorded another three albums with Body Count, picking up a Grammy nod for 2017's Bloodlust.
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