Ice-T and his longtime friend Spike are using their lives as cautionary tales to deter others from falling victim to street life.
The rapper who hails from New Jersey helped pen a memoir, “Split Decision: Life Stories,” of over 300 pages detailing some of his and Spike’s early days committing theft. In it, Ice-T shares that while his friends remained caught up living the life of gangsters he had to make a shift.
“One of my friends and I started out in the same business, we were in the streets, breaking the law, hundreds and hundreds of robberies. When I started making music, I told my boys, ‘I’m done with this life. I wanna do something better, I’m gonna make music,’ ” the rapper said while on “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”
At the time, Ice-T said he was 27 and knew there was no promise of a long, let alone fruitful, life, if he continued to run the streets. In 1987, two years later after choosing a different path, he released his debut album “Rhyme Pays” and became a prominent gangster rapper. His friend Spike however continued to live a life of crime that ultimately cost him his freedom.
“He decided to continue and ended up catching a life sentence. So, he got out of prison, he did 26 years, and when he came home, he wanted to write a book,” said the “This is Why We Ride” rapper. He continued, “I said the only thing that makes you special is that we were friends together. I could have ended up you, you could have ended up me, and let’s do a cautionary tale to tell these cats that you know this is not the road you want to take.”
Ice-T since has enjoyed a music career spanning three decades and two genres with his rap music and his metal band Body Count. With a wealth of life experiences under his belt, the “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” actor has made it a point to share advice when given the opportunity.
In a separate interview, he further elaborated on why he stresses the importance of decision-making when speaking with the younger generations. “One of my mottos is we may know how much money we have, but nobody knows how much time we have,” he said while appearing on “The View.” “Your time is the most valuable thing. So think about every move you make. And going forward is difficult, going backwards is instantaneous. All I gotta do is stand up, throw this glass across the room and my whole career would be done, you know what I’m saying? It’s like I can lose everything with one simple mistake,” he added.