Ice Cube and Ice-T are two of the most influential and respected rappers in the history of hip-hop. They both rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as part of the West Coast gangsta rap movement that challenged the social and political status quo. They also both ventured into acting, starring in several successful movies and TV shows. But are they related by blood or by name? Here is the truth behind the rap legends.
Ice Cube: The Original Gangster
Ice Cube was born as O’Shea Jackson in Los Angeles on June 15, 1969. He grew up in South Central, a notorious area plagued by poverty, crime, and violence. He developed an interest in hip-hop at an early age, and started writing lyrics in his teens. He formed his first rap group, C.I.A., with his friend Sir Jinx, and sold his first song to Eazy-E, a local rapper who founded Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller.
Ice Cube soon joined forces with Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, and MC Ren to form N.W.A., one of the most controversial and influential rap groups of all time. N.W.A. pioneered the genre of gangsta rap, which depicted the harsh realities of life in the streets, and criticized the police brutality and racial oppression faced by African Americans. Their 1988 album Straight Outta Compton was a landmark in hip-hop history, featuring songs like “Fuck tha Police”, “Gangsta Gangsta”, and “Express Yourself”.
However, Ice Cube left N.W.A. in 1989, due to a dispute over royalties and creative control. He accused Eazy-E and Jerry Heller of exploiting him and the other members of the group, and launched a solo career with the help of New York-based producers The Bomb Squad. His debut album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, was released in 1990, and was a critical and commercial success. It was followed by Death Certificate in 1991, and The Predator in 1992, which both went platinum and cemented his reputation as one of the best rappers of his generation.
Ice Cube also started acting in movies, making his debut in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood in 1991. He played Doughboy, a young gang member who struggles to survive in South Central. He also co-wrote and starred in Friday in 1995, a comedy film that spawned a successful franchise. He later appeared in movies like Three Kings, Barbershop, 21 Jump Street, and Ride Along. He also produced several movies and TV shows, including Straight Outta Compton, a biopic about N.W.A.
Ice-T: The Cop Killer
Ice-T was born as Tracy Lauren Marrow in Newark, New Jersey on February 16, 1958. He lost both of his parents at a young age, and moved to Los Angeles to live with his aunt. He became involved in the street life, joining a gang called the Crips, and engaging in various criminal activities. He also developed a passion for hip-hop, inspired by artists like Grandmaster Flash and The Sugarhill Gang.
Ice-T started rapping in the early 1980s, performing at parties and clubs under the name Iceberg Slim. He recorded his first single, “The Coldest Rap”, in 1983, followed by “Reckless”, which was featured on the soundtrack of Breakin’, a movie about breakdancing. He also formed a rap group called Rhyme Syndicate with other aspiring rappers from L.A., such as Everlast and Kid Frost.
Ice-T signed with Sire Records in 1987, and released his debut album Rhyme Pays. It was one of the first albums to feature explicit lyrics about violence, drugs, sex, and crime. It was also one of the first albums to receive a parental advisory sticker from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His second album Power was released in 1988, and went platinum. It included songs like “I’m Your Pusher” and “High Rollers”.
In 1989, Ice-T released his third album The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech… Just Watch What You Say!, which was more political and social than his previous albums. It addressed issues like censorship, racism, police brutality, and freedom of expression. It also featured a song called “The Hunted Child”, which was about child abuse.
In 1991, Ice-T released his fourth album O.G. Original Gangster, which is considered by many to be his magnum opus. It was a double album that showcased his versatility as a rapper, incorporating elements of rock, metal, funk, and jazz into his sound. It also introduced his heavy metal band Body Count, which he formed with some of his high school friends. Body Count released their self-titled debut album in 1992, which included a song called “Cop Killer”, which sparked a huge controversy and backlash from the law enforcement community, the media, and the politicians. The song was about a vigilante who kills corrupt and racist cops, and was inspired by Ice-T’s own experiences with police harassment and brutality. The song was denounced by then-President George H. W. Bush, then-Vice President Dan Quayle, and then-Governor of Texas Ann Richards, among others. It also led to boycotts, protests, death threats, and lawsuits against Ice-T and his record label Warner Bros. Ice-T eventually agreed to remove the song from the album, and asked to be released from his contract with Warner Bros.
Ice-T signed with Priority Records in 1993, and released his fifth album Home Invasion. It was another political and social album, that addressed topics like racism, censorship, gang violence, and the Rodney King riots. It also featured a song called “99 Problems”, which was later sampled by Jay-Z for his hit song of the same name. Ice-T released two more albums in the 1990s, Ice-T VI: Return of the Real in 1996, and The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.
Ice-T also started acting in movies, making his debut in New Jack City in 1991. He played Scotty Appleton, a police detective who goes undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel led by Nino Brown, played by Wesley Snipes. He also starred in movies like Ricochet, Trespass, Surviving the Game, and Johnny Mnemonic. He later appeared in movies like Tank Girl, 3000 Miles to Graceland, and Leprechaun in the Hood.
Since 2000, Ice-T has been playing Detective Odafin Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a spin-off of the popular crime drama series Law & Order. He has also been hosting a true crime documentary series called In Ice Cold Blood on Oxygen since 2018. He has also continued to make music with Body Count, releasing albums like Murder 4 Hire in 2006, Manslaughter in 2014, Bloodlust in 2017, and Carnivore in 2020.
Are They Related?
So, are Ice Cube and Ice-T related by blood or by name? The answer is no. They are not related by blood, nor do they share any family ties. They are not even from the same city or state. They are simply two rappers who happen to have similar stage names that start with “Ice”. However, they are friends and colleagues who have collaborated and supported each other throughout their careers.
Ice Cube and Ice-T first met in 1987, when Ice Cube was still a member of N.W.A., and Ice-T was already an established solo artist. They were both signed to Sire Records at the time, and they recorded a song together called “The Syndicate”, which was featured on Ice-T’s second album Power. The song also included other rappers from Rhyme Syndicate, such as Everlast and King Tee.
Ice Cube and Ice-T also appeared together on the 1990 single “We’re All in the Same Gang”, which was a collaboration between various West Coast rappers to promote peace and unity among the gangs of Los Angeles. The song also featured Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Eazy-E, MC Hammer, Tone Loc, Young MC, Digital Underground, and others. It was produced by Dr. Dre and Michael Concepcion, a former gang leader who founded the rap label Solar Records.
Ice Cube and Ice-T also starred together in the 1992 movie Trespass, which was directed by Walter Hill and written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. The movie was about two firefighters who find a treasure map that leads them to an abandoned building where they encounter a gang of criminals led by King James, played by Ice-T. Ice Cube played Savon, one of King James’s henchmen.
Ice Cube and Ice-T have also expressed their mutual respect and admiration for each other over the years. They have praised each other’s music, movies, and TV shows. They have also defended each other from criticism and controversy. For example, when Ice Cube left N.W.A., Ice-T supported his decision and encouraged him to pursue his solo career. When Ice-T faced backlash over “Cop Killer”, Ice Cube defended his right to free speech and artistic expression.
In conclusion, Ice Cube and Ice-T are not related by blood or by name. They are two rap legends who have made their mark on hip-hop history with their groundbreaking music and influential messages. They are also friends and colleagues who have collaborated and supported each other throughout their careers. They are both icons of the culture who deserve respect and recognition for their achievements.