Hard lessons are taken from a lifetime spent as the premier hustler of rap and Ice-T has brought those lessons into the heart of the first ever “Gangsta Hip Hop” recording as BLACK ICE with “URBAN LEGENDS” (Unlabeled Records), set for release on July 1, 2008.
After years as an in-demand actor on both the small and large screens (Law & Order: SVU, Surviving The Game), rap legend Ice-T, Black Silver and executive producer Babe Ruth have chosen this time, to reintroduce the Original Gangsta of rap to the world of hip-hop. Ice-T’s classic pimp swagger is back and all over this surprisingly modern collection of songs, taken to the next level of sound by producer Bionik, and balanced out by the b-boy inspired delivery of Black Silver. It’s all there, represented in the free-flowin’ cadence of the first track, “Black Ice” to the final, gat-loadin’, faux rapper slappin’ “Most Uv Tha Time”.
Ice-T says he was looking back when he moved ahead with the BLACK ICE project, “Early rap to me was just absolutely for fun. When I started, no one had even bought a car from rapping. You just did it with your friends, but now, those friends, they’re the hottest rappers. This is old style. There were no record companies, no big contracts or money changing hands, I just called up my friends and asked them to come down.”
Looking to his homebase of South Central L.A. for a solid partner, Ice-T chose collaborating with longtime crew member Black Silver, the West Coast’s undaground kingpin, for this latest venture. Working under the moniker BLACK ICE, the album features cameos from seasoned vets Too $hort, RBX, Aceyalone, Marc Live and Tash of Tha Alkaholiks, as well as respected up-and-comers Fedie Demarco, Act!on, Griffen, Faxx, Main Flow and E-Rule.
The rhythmic, pulsating staccato of the music, like an Uzi unleashed, will not be ignored and the lyrics, as real and street-savvy as ever, are on a level unexplored by Ice since his work on the classic genre-defining album, OG: ORIGINAL GANGSTA. Tracks like “Stop Talkin’”, “Bubble It Up” and the anthem-driven “Chevy ‘64” solidify how Ice & Silver come together to create a brand new style of urban music; while pieces like, “Street Sweeper”, “Out There” and “So Fly” display that original, authentic platinum-selling Iceberg material that made him a household name.
If there is some thing out of this record that holds his attention fast, it’s the fun he had with “So Fly”. Ice-T recalls, “I never thought of this, but it’s like the older Ice-T, now, being laid back. It’s a humble hip-hop record which you don’t hear much. I think it’s [the] jewel that came out of this one.”