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General information  

  • Real name : Tracy Marrow
  • Place of birth : Newark
  • Date of birth : 16/02/1958

Alias  

  • The Ice-berg
  • Tracy Lauren Marrow
  • Iceberg

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Ice-T (1958)

Tracy Marrow

Type :  

  Summary  

Tracy Marrow , better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an American musician and actor.

He was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved to the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles when he was in the 7th grade. After graduating from high school, he served in the United States Army for four years. He began his career as a rapper in the 1980s and was signed to Sire Records in 1987, when he released his debut album Rhyme Pays. The next year, he founded the record label Rhyme Syndicate Records (named after his collective of fellow hip-hop artists called the Rhyme Syndicate) and released another album, Power.

He co-founded the heavy metal band Body Count, which he introduced in his 1991 album O.G.: Original Gangster. Body Count released its self-titled debut album in 1992. Ice-T encountered controversy over his track "Cop Killer", which was perceived to glamorize killing police officers. Ice-T asked to be released from his contract with Warner Bros. Records, and his next solo album, Home Invasion, was released later in the Fall of 1993 through Priority Records. Body Count's next album was released in 1994, and Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1990s.

Since 2000, he has portrayed NYPD Detective Odafin Tutuola on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

  Biography  

 early life
Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow, son of Solomon and Alice Marrow, in Newark, New Jersey. As a child, his family moved to upscale Summit, New Jersey. Solomon was an African American, and Alice was Creole. For decades, Solomon worked as a conveyor belt mechanic at the Rapistan Conveyor Company. The first time race played a major part in Tracy's life was at the age of 7, when he became aware of the racism leveled by his white friends toward dark-skinned children, and that he escaped similar treatment because they thought that Marrow was white because of his lighter skin. Relating this incident to his mother, Alice told him "Honey, people are stupid"; her advice and this incident taught Marrow to control the way the ignorance of others affected him.

Alice died of a heart attack when Tracy was in third grade. Solomon raised Tracy as a single father for four years, with help from a housekeeper. Tracy's first experience with an illegal activity occurred after a bicycle that Solomon bought him for Christmas was stolen. After Tracy told his father, Solomon shrugged, "Well, then, you ain't got no bike." Tracy stole parts from bicycles and assembled "three or four weird-looking, brightly painted bikes" from the parts; his father either did not notice, or never acknowledged this. When Tracy was 12 years old, Solomon died of a heart attack. For many years, AllMusic.com has stated that his parents "died in an auto accident", but Ice-T has stated that it was actually he who had been in a brutal auto accident and that was decades later.

Following his father's death, Tracy lived with a nearby aunt briefly, and was sent to live with his other aunt and her husband in View Park, a middle-class black neighborhood in Los Angeles. While his cousin Earl was preparing to leave for college, Tracy shared a room with him. Earl was a fan of rock music and listened to only the local rock stations; sharing a room with him spurred Tracy's interest in heavy metal music.

 Gang affiliation, criminal life and time in the Army
Tracy attended Palms Junior High, which was predominately made up of white students, and included black students bused in from South Central. After graduating, he attended Crenshaw High School, which was almost entirely made up of black students. Marrow stood out from most of his friends because he did not drink alcohol, smoke tobacco or use other drugs, as a result of his survival instincts. During high school, gangs began to intensify in the Los Angeles school system. Students who belonged to the Bloods and Crips gangs attended Crenshaw, and fought in the school's halls. Tracy aligned with the Crips, and began reading the novels of Iceberg Slim, which he memorized and recited to his friends, who enjoyed hearing the excerpts and told him, "Yo, kick some more of that by Ice, T," and the handle stuck. Marrow and other Crips wrote and performed "Crip Rhymes", long before the advent of hip hop and recorded rapping.

At the age of 17, Tracy received the Social Security death-benefit money for the death of his father to rent an apartment for $90 a month. Marrow sold cannabis and stole car stereos for money, but was not making enough money to support his girlfriend and daughter, leading him to join the United States Army for the financial benefits; he served for four years in the 25th Infantry Division. His commanding officer ordered Marrow to lead a group of soldiers to steal some supplies for him. Marrow and the group were jailed for the theft of an infantry rug. While awaiting trial, he received a $2,500 bonus check, and decided to escape from the jail and desert his Army duties, returning a month later after the rug had been returned. He received an Article 15 non-judicial punishment, and completed Advanced Infantry Training.

Marrow became interested in hip hop music while serving in the Army. During this period, he heard Sugar Hill Gang's newly-released single "Rapper's Delight", which inspired him to perform his own raps over the instrumentals of this and other early hip-hop records, but the music did not fit his lyrics or form of delivery, leading Marrow to try to develop his skills as a rapper.

As a squad leader at Schofield Barracks, Marrow met a real-life pimp named Mac in Hawaii, where prostitution was not heavily prosecuted, due to the high level of visits from soldiers during their weekends, as well as tourists, in order to keep the level of violence low. Mac admired that Marrow could quote Iceberg Slim, and taught Marrow how to pimp. Marrow was also able to purchase stereo equipment cheaply in Hawaii, including two Technics turntables, a mixer, and large speakers, and began to learn turntablism and rapping.

Towards the end of his time in the Army, Marrow learned from his commanding officer that he could receive an honorable discharge and leave the Army early because he was a single father, and left four months ahead of schedule.

 music career
 Early career
After leaving the Army, Marrow wanted to stay away from gang life and violence, and decided to make use of the stereo equipment he had purchased in Hawaii, and make a name for himself as a disc jockey. As a tribute to Iceberg Slim, Marrow adopted the stage name Ice-T. While performing as a DJ at parties, he received more attention as a rapper, and decided to pursue a career as a rapper. After breaking up with his girlfriend Adrienne, he returned to a life of crime, and robbed jewelry stores with his high school friends, pretending to be customers in order to plan the thefts, and later smashing the display glass with baby sledgehammers, events Marrow later described in his raps.

One of Marrow's friends, Sean E. Sean, was arrested for possession of not only cannabis, which Sean sold, but also material stolen by Marrow. Sean took the blame, and served two years in prison. Marrow stated that he owed a gratitude to Sean, because his prison time allowed Marrow to pursue a career as a rapper. Concurrently, Marrow wound up in a car accident and was hospitalized as a John Doe because he did not carry any form of identification due to his criminal activities. After being discharged from the hospital, he decided to abandon the criminal lifestyle and pursue a professional career rapping. Two weeks after being released from the hospital, he won an open mic competition judged by Kurtis Blow.

 Professional career

In 1982, Marrow met producer William Strong from Saturn Records, who recorded his first single, "Cold Wind Madness", also known as "The Coldest Rap", which became an underground success, becoming popular even though radio stations did not play it due to the song's hardcore lyrics. Marrow appeared as a featured rapper on "Reckless", a single by DJ Chris "The Glove" Taylor, and recorded the songs "You Don't Quit" and "Dog'n the Wax" with Unknown DJ, who provided a electro hop sound for the songs.

Marrow received further inspiration as an artist from Schoolly D's gangsta rap single "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?", which Marrow heard in a club. Marrow enjoyed the single's sound and delivery, as well as its vague references to gang life, although the real life gang, Park Side Killers, was not named in the song.

Marrow decided to adopt Schoolly D's style, and wrote the lyrics to his first gangsta rap song, "6 in the Mornin'", in his Hollywood apartment, and created a minimal beat with a Roland TR-808. Marrow compared the sound of the song, which was recorded as a B-Side on the single "Dog'n The Wax", to that of the Beastie Boys. The single was released in 1986, and Marrow learned that "6 in the Mornin'" was more popular in clubs than its A-side, leading Marrow to rap about Los Angeles gang life, which Marrow described more explicitly than any previous rapper. He intentionally did not represent any particular gang, and wore a mixture of red and blue clothing and shoes to avoid antagonizing gang-affiliated listeners, who debated his true affiliation.

Ice-T finally landed a deal with a major label Sire Records. When label founder and president Seymour Stein heard his demo, he said, "He sounds like Bob Dylan." Shortly after, he released his debut album Rhyme Pays in 1987 supported by DJ Evil E, DJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam, who helped create the mainly party-oriented sound. The record wound up being certified gold by the RIAA. That same year, he recorded the title theme song for Dennis Hopper's Colors, a film about inner-city gang life in Los Angeles. His next album Power was released in 1988, under his own label Rhyme Syndicate, and it was a more assured and impressive record, earning him strong reviews and his second gold record. Released in 1989, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say established his popularity by matching excellent abrasive music with narrative and commentative lyrics.

In 1991, he released his album O.G. Original Gangster, which is regarded as one of the albums that defined gangsta rap. On OG, he introduced his heavy metal band Body Count in a track of the same name. Ice-T toured with Body Count on the first annual Lollapalooza concert tour in 1991, gaining him appeal among middle-class teenagers and fans of alternative music genres. The self-titled debut album by Body Count followed. For his appearance on the heavily collaborative track "Back on the Block", a composition by jazz musician Quincy Jones that "attempt to bring together black musical styles from jazz to soul to funk to rap", Ice-T won a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, an award shared by others who worked on the track including Jones and fellow jazz musician Ray Charles.

Controversy later surrounded Body Count over its song "Cop Killer", a song intended as a narrative from the view of a criminal getting revenge on racist police officers guilty of brutality, from the National Rifle Association and various police advocacy groups. Consequently, Time Warner Music refused to release Ice-T's upcoming album Home Invasion because of the controversy surrounding "Cop Killer". When Ice split amicably with Sire/Warner Bros. Records after a dispute over the artwork of the album Home Invasion, he reactivated Rhyme Syndicate and formed a deal with Priority Records for distribution. Priority released Home Invasion in the spring of 1993. The album peaked at #9 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #14 on the Billboard 200, spawning several singles including "Gotta Lotta Love", "I Ain't New To This" and "99 Problems" – which would later inspire Jay Z to record a version with new lyrics in 2003.
Ice-T had also collaborated with certain other heavy metal bands during this time period. For the film Judgment Night, he did a duet with Slayer on the track "Disorder". In 1995, Ice-T made a guest performance on Forbidden by Black Sabbath. Another album of his, VI - Return of the Real came out in 1996, followed by The Seventh Deadly Sin in 1999.

His first rap album since 1999, Gangsta Rap, was released on October 31, 2006. The album's cover, which "shows [Ice-T] lying on his back in bed with his ravishing wife's ample posterior in full view and one of her legs coyly draped over his private parts," was considered to be too suggestive for most retailers, many of which were reluctant to stock the album. Some reviews of the album were unenthusiastic, as many had hoped for a return to the political raps of Ice-T's most successful albums.

Ice-T appears in the film Gift. One of the last scenes includes Ice-T and Body Count playing with Jane's Addiction in a version of the Sly and the Family Stone song "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey."

Besides fronting his own band and rap projects, Ice-T has also collaborated with other hard rock and metal bands, such as Icepick, Motörhead, Pro-Pain, and Six Feet Under. He has also covered songs by hardcore punk bands such as The Exploited, Jello Biafra, and Black Flag. Ice-T made an appearance at Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos . Ice-T was also a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists. His new BBC-funded movie 'Art Of Rap' features a who's who of underground and mainstream rappers.

Ice T announced via Twitter that he is in the process of collecting beats for his next LP which as of November 2011 is expected sometime during 2012.

 personal life
 Relationships and family

In 1976, Marrow's girlfriend Adrienne gave birth to their daughter, LeTesha, and they attended high school while raising the child. Later in 1984, while filming Breakin', Marrow met Darlene Ortiz, who had been at the club in which the film was being shot, and the two began a relationship; Ortiz was featured on the covers of Rhyme Pays and Power. Marrow and Ortiz had a son, Ice Tracy Marrow, in 1992. On December 31, 2001, Marrow married swimsuit model Nicole "Coco Marie" Austin. In celebration of their 10th wedding anniversary, the couple renewed their wedding vows on June 4, 2011.

 Religion
Marrow has never stated his religion, although he has stated that he believes in God.

 Legal issues
Marrow was arrested in New York City on July 20, 2010, for driving without a valid license and not wearing a seatbelt, with his wife as a passenger, while taking his bulldog to the vet for knee surgery. The NYPD said he would be given a ticket and released.

acting career
Ice-T's first film appearances were in the motion pictures, Breakin , and its sequel, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo . These films were released before Ice-T released his first LP, although he appears on the soundtrack to Breakin. He has since stated he considers the films and his own performance in them to be "wack".

In 1991 he embarked on a serious acting career, portraying police detective Scotty Appleton in Mario Van Peebles' feature film New Jack City, gang leader Odessa in Ricochet , gang leader King James in Trespass , followed by a notable lead role performance in Surviving the Game , in addition to many supporting roles, such as J-Bone in Johnny Mnemonic , and the marsupial mutant T-Saint in Tank Girl . Marrow was also interviewed in the Brent Owens documentary Pimps Up, Ho's Down, in which he claims to have had an extensive pimping background before getting into rap. He is quoted as saying "once you max something out, it ain't no fun no more. I couldn't really get no farther." He goes on to explain his pimping experience gave him the ability to get into new businesses. "I can't act, I really can't act, I ain't no rapper, it's all game. I'm just working these niggas." Later he raps at the Players Ball.

In 1993 Marrow along with other rappers and the three Yo! MTV Raps hosts Ed Lover, Doctor Dre and Fab 5 Freddy starred in the comedy Who's the Man?, directed by Ted Demme. In this movie, Marrow is a drug dealer who gets really frustrated when someone calls him by his real name, "Chauncey," rather than his street name, "Nighttrain."


In 1995 Marrow had a recurring role as vengeful drug dealer Danny Cort on the television series New York Undercover, co-created by Dick Wolf. His work on the series earned him the 1996 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 1997 Marrow co-created the short-lived series Players, produced by Wolf. This was followed by a role as pimp Seymour "Kingston" Stockton in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie . These collaborations led Wolf to add Marrow to the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Since 2000 he has portrayed Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, a former undercover narcotics officer transferred to the Special Victims Unit. In 2002 the NAACP awarded Marrow with a second Image Award, again for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Law & Order: SVU.

In 1997 Marrow had a pay-per-view special titled Ice-T's Extreme Babes which appeared on Action PPV, formerly owned by BET networks.

In 1999 Marrow starred in the HBO movie Stealth Fighter as a United States Naval Aviator who fakes his own death, steals a F-117 stealth fighter, and threatens to destroy United States military bases. He also acted in the movie Sonic Impact, released the same year.

Ice-T made an appearance on the comedy television series Chappelle's Show as himself presenting the award for "Player Hater of the Year" at the "Player-Haters Ball", a parody of his own appearance at the Players Ball. He was dubbed the "Original Player Hater."

Beyond Tough, a 2002 documentary series, aired on Discovery Channel about the world's most dangerous and intense professions, such as alligator wrestlers and Indy 500 pit crews, was hosted by Marrow.

In 2007 Marrow appeared as a celebrity guest star on the MTV sketch comedy show Short Circuitz. Also in late 2007 Marrow appeared in the short-music film Hands of Hatred, which can be found online.

Ice-T was interviewed for the Cannibal Corpse retrospective documentary Centuries of Torment, as well as appearing in Chris Rock's 2009 documentary Good Hair, in which he reminisced about going to school in hair curlers.

politics
On June 5, 2008, Ice-T jokingly stated that he would be voting for John McCain in the 2008 American elections. Ice-T also speculated that his past affiliation with Body Count could hurt Barack Obama's chances if he endorsed him, so he'd choose instead to ruin John McCain's campaign by saying he supported him.

Show more

  Played TV shows  

  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
That's How I'm Livin' 04:38 2000
I Ain't New Ta This 05:00 2000
Colors 04:24 2000
O.G. Original Gangster 04:44 2000
Money, Power, & Women 04:34 2000
There Goes the Neighborhood 04:00 2000
Body Count 05:18 2000
Gotta Lotta Love 04:26 2000
Return of the Real 04:58 1996
Syndicate 4 Ever 04:05 1996
Real? 01:38 1996
Bouncin' Down the Strezeet 03:50 1996
Make the Loot Loop 03:39 1996
Cramp Your Style 03:52 1996
Where the Shit Goes Down? 05:20 1996
Rap Is Fake 00:44 1996
Haters 00:45 1996
Pimp Anthem 04:35 1996
The Lane 03:45 1996
Forced to Do Dirt 04:55 1996
How Does It Feel 04:30 1996
Inside of a Gangsta 04:03 1996
Rap Game's Hijacked 05:31 1996
They Want Me Back In 03:09 1996
A Lotta Niggas 00:58 1996
It's Goin' Down 00:33 1996
I Must Stand 04:02 1996
The 5th 04:26 1996
New Jack Hustler 00:00 1991
Dick Tracy 03:33 1990
You Played Yourself 00:00 1990
Lethal Weapon 04:35 1989
I'm Your Pusher 05:35 1988
Radio Suckers 04:24 1988
The Syndicate 03:32 1988
Heartbeat 04:08 1988
Soul on Ice 04:42 1988
Drama 04:15 1988
Grand Larceny 03:51 1988
Power 04:25 1988
High Rollers 04:36 1988
Intro 01:11 1988
Girls L.G.B.N.A.F. 03:00 1988
Personal 03:43 1988
Intro/Rhyme Pays 06:29 04/11/1987
Squeeze the Trigger 06:12 04/11/1987
Pain 03:36 04/11/1987
Sex 02:57 04/11/1987
I Love Ladies 04:44 04/11/1987
409 05:20 04/11/1987
Somebody Gotta Do It (Pimpin' Ain't Easy!!!) 03:03 04/11/1987
Make It Funky 05:09 04/11/1987
6 'n the Mornin' 07:11 04/11/1987
Our Most Requested Record 06:45 04/11/1987
The Game's Real 04:32
New Life 04:00
Walking in the Rain 04:36
Ridin' Low 04:07
Real Talk 04:49
Gangsta Rap 03:49
Step Your Game Up 04:07
Pray 02:50
My Baby 03:57
Pimp or Die 03:57
Everything Is Going to be Alright 04:18
Code of the Streets 04:48
Please Believe Me 04:32
It's All Love 04:14
Dear God Can You Hear Me 03:51

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Ice-T", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.