Ice-T Bridges the Gap With The Art of RapJune 14th, 2012
By Dan Reagans
It’s been 21 years in the making; West Coast rap pioneer Ice-T has made the transition from an original gangster to an original griot. The hardened rapper-actor is gearing up to release his documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, which serves as a hip hop 101 ethics crash course. Highlighting the principles of lyricism and defining his gangster-ism in the new film, the Law & Order: SVU co-star has certainly come a long way from his days of battling cops and politicians. Throughout his decades-long career, the iconic MC has crisscrossed between hip hop and Hollywood, making himself a household name via platinum album, blockbuster films and hit television shows. Now all that hard work comes full circle in this riveting documentary on the genre that introduced Ice to the world.
Making his first big splash as Scotty Appleton opposite Wesley Snipes in the Mario Van Peebles-directed flick New Jack City in 1991, the West Coast spitter has been a fixture in the Hollywood scene ever since. Much like other rappers turned actors such as Will Smith and Ice’s one-time nemesis LL Cool J, Ice is well respected for his dual threat talents, and now he’s making a triumphant return to hip hop, but this time not so much as a firebrand figure but as Professor Ice.
Still in possession of his infamous stone-cold gritty demeanor, it’s clearly evident that the tough loving teacher missed the platform on which he made his most noise. Though he admits to having a distaste for the new direction hip hop is heading in, one must give Ice credit for stepping up to the plate and using his Hollywood clout to help walk the new rap fans down memory lane to instill some core values. Thankfully this time around he is setting an example opposed to attempting to make one out of someone. Ice made headlines in 2008 for feuding with rapper Soulja Boy after calling the then-teenage rapper out and accusing him of single handedly killing hip hop.
While Ice may be old school and his views can be perceived as outdated or a bit out of touch, it’s always good to see an established pioneer reach back. No matter how big or small, we all have a special place in our hearts for our first love. While this new doc may be lost on some of the young knucklehead listeners of this generation, the point is clear, no matter how far you go and how much you achieve, hip hop is in your DNA forever.
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