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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood » User review

Ice-T Tells His Life Story

  • Jun 16, 2011
Ice-T, born Tracy Marrow in northern New Jersey, has certainly lead an unconventional life. From the telling his parents were emotionally detached and they both died at a young age, then he was shipped off to relatives in Los Angeles. Being an unwanted addition to the family on the fringes of what became a gang infested area of Los Angeles, Ice-T grew up learning to fend for himself and navigating the perilous rise of gang violence.

Ice-T eventually joined the Army, believe it or not, then used his new found skills to become a thief, knocking off jewelry stores and other high priced items, and getting away with it. Over time he started getting into the rap game and eventually found a more legitimate way to make a living.

Ice-T's career, and his longevity, in the entertainment industry in and of itself is a testimonial to his survival skills. He survived on the streets as a youth, survived in a perilous life of crime, and then survived in the cut throat world of the entertainment industry. He was smart enough to get while the getting was good and carved a career in the burgeoning rap game and transited to acting.

Ice is one of the progenitors of what became know as gangster rap, the hardcore, thrumming beats telling about life on the streets the way it really is, raw and real. And as the rap game exploded he became one it's bigger stars.

The he showed his versatility, branching out with is hardcore, heavy metal band Body Count and thwarting convention both within the rap world and the world at large. I recall buying the original Body Count album the day it came out with the song Cop Killers on it. As I listened to it, and that last song came on, I chuckled. I knew there was going to be a firestorm over that song, but I never thought it would reach to the level it did, where Ice-T eventually pulled the records from the shelved, and ultimately had a mutual parting of the ways with Time Warner. It's cool to own one of the original CDs with Cop Killer on it.

In this incident Ice-T showed he was a man of character in many ways. First, he stood up for his right of free speech but at the same time was willing to pull the record from the shelves because Time Warner had stood by him and he didn't want to bite the hand that fed him. Some might criticize pulling the record from the shelves but he did it to protect those who put stock his craft and helped him rise to a new level.

And I will never forget seeing Ice-T opening for Public Enemy in College Park, Maryland around that time. He was rapping that night and had signed an agreement with the University of Maryland not to sing Cop Killer. Know what the last song of the night was after Public Enemy performed? Yes, the crowd went pretty wild when the sirens went off and Ice was screaming Cop Killer at the top of his lungs.

Finally, the fact Ice-T was able to extend his career by becoming an actor is amazing. His role in New Jack City launched a great series of acting gigs, which eventually lead to his current role on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Ice-T has aged gracefully, is still kicking it, and he tells it all here in this memoir that is very much worth reading. He's had a fascinating life, but is still a down to earth, tell it like is, easy going person. If you are a fan of original gangster rap and Ice-T it is a must read.

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June 17, 2011
Ice T is a surprising man, and I really admire him. I was so excited by your review, I just had to create an Ice T badge. Enjoy!
June 19, 2011
That is JUST TOOOOO AWESOME!!! What a cool badge! Thanks. Glad you liked the review.
June 28, 2011
So glad you liked it! If you have other reviews you want badges made for, just let me know. I usually create them when I'm inspired from reading something, but I'm always open to ideas. :)
More Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life... reviews
review by . September 24, 2011
      Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood      I have always been a fan of the O.G. himself since, well since I can remember, Ice T was always one of those guys that just came off real to me. So when I had the chance to read the man's autobiography I jumped at the chance since I wanted to know more about him. I was always a fan of his music and a big fan of his acting, since "New Jack City" and on all …
Quick Tip by . September 24, 2011
Everything you could ask for is here, from beginnings to where he is now. From his kids to his career and everything in-between, the O.G. himself tells it like it is and like only he knows how. There is even a funny story about Quentin Tarantino, what more could I ask for?
About this book


In this intriguing memoir, groundbreaking rapper and actor Ice-T chronicles his rise from nomadic criminal to hip-hop star. After losing both parents by the age of 12, Tracy Marrow was shipped to relatives in Los Angeles where he navigated the growing gang culture of the city and became a father at 18. A four-year tour in the army was followed by a lucrative interlude robbing jewelry and clothing stores. As his fellow thieves began to file off to prison, Ice-T turned to the nascent rap scene and scored immediate success. Continuing to reinvent himself, Ice-T went on to front a rock band and also was one of the first rap figures to work in film and television. There™s little focus on the music itself, but rather on his careers and his observations on the various subcultures he passes through. What lifts the book above the general run of entertainer memoirs is the quality of these observations—Ice-T is a canny businessman, and he charts clearly the decisions that brought him up each step of a very treacherous ladder. (Mar.)
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ISBN-10: 0345523288
ISBN-13: 978-0345523280
Author: Ice-T
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: One World/Ballantine
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