Actor Ice-T recently revealed why he stopped making hip-hop music and hasn’t released a solo album since 2006’s “Gangsta Rap.”
The 65-year-old “Colors” rapper currently stars as Detective Odafin Tutuola on the long-running NBC drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
The former rapper explained in an interview with Variety that hip-hop music changed so much that he was no longer comfortable making it. He also said that record sales cooled off.
“Hip-hop changed. The music got goofy to me,” he told the outlet. “The kids started looking weird. It all turned into something I wasn’t comfortable with. There was a point where I was selling tons of records, then it cooled off. I felt a certain way.”
The New Jersey native added that he noticed other once popular hip-hop groups were also not selling enough records, and many artists “got softer,” which he said was something he couldn’t do.
“Then I realized Public Enemy, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and Wu-Tang Clan weren’t selling records either,” Ice-T said. “There was a paradigm shift. These kids got softer, and soft is not something I’m able to give audiences.”
He continued, “The first word in hip-hop is ‘hip,’ so how something stays hip for over 10 years is difficult. … Besides, I still do my ‘Ice-T: Art of Rap’ shows, which is my legacy hip-hop. Think of it like seeing Frank Sinatra. You want to hear the classics.”
Ice-T rose to fame during the 1980s as a hip-hop artist before transitioning to acting with films like “Breakin'” and “New Jack City.” The “99 Problems” rapper eventually joined the “Law & Order” franchise after meeting creator Dick Wolf back in 1995.
He also went on to star in several more films, such as “Surviving the Game” and “Judgment Day” and has starred on “Law & Order: SVU” for 24 seasons.
Considered one of the forefathers of gangsta rap, the “G Style” artist performed during the hip-hop tribute at the 2023 Grammys on Feb. 5. He later received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, where he kept it real during his speech on Feb. 17.
“And last but not least, I wanna thank the motherf—n’ haters,” Ice-T said. “‘Cuz, you really make me get up in the morning and be the best I can be. All the naysayers, all the people who wanted to end my career, now I’m on the Walk of Fame, b—h-ass motherf—kers.”
Ice-T, whose legal name is Tracy Lauren Marrow, is married with three kids. Marrow has a 46-year-old daughter, LeTesha Marrow, with his former high school sweetheart, Adrienne.
Marrow also has a 32-year-old son, Ice Tracy Marrow Jr., with ex-girlfriend Darlene Ortiz. Marrow met Ortiz while filming “Breakin'” in 1984. He also shares an 8-year-old daughter, Chanel Nicole Marrow, with his wife, Coco Austin.