If you missed the first half of the interview, go back and check out yesterday's blog; there's some game from the man in there that's not to be missed...
But today, here is the conclusion of SOHH Left Coast's interview with a West Coast legend... Ice Mothafuckin' T.
Interview by SOHH Eighty
SOHH Eighty: It seems like the first lesson that you taught those kids -- to draw from their own life and not make shit up -- is something a lot of people in the game these days missed out on.
Ice T: Yeah, well, you can only lie for so long, you know? And if you get out here and portray being a thug or a gangsta or whatever and you ainâ€™t one, the streets are gonna walk up and touch you. It ainâ€™t the smartest thing in the world to do... you gonna have to live with it. Like when Jamie Kennedy did Malibuâ€™s Most Wanted -- itâ€™s not something you want to portray if youâ€™re not ready to live it. On my new album, the Gangsta Rap album, itâ€™s more of an overview from an O.G.â€™s standpoint, like this is where itâ€™s been, this is how I see it. My boys say, â€˜This is your grown man album.â€™ This is for people who have been through the cycle, are over 25, understand whatâ€™s going on, and donâ€™t really wanna hear a 19-year-old kid rap, â€˜cause he canâ€™t really give â€˜em any information. And the whole hip hop style of, you know, â€˜get ya grown man on and ya grown woman onâ€™ comes from, when we first started makinâ€™ rap, we was all kids. Nobody had no jobs, nobody had no kids, so you could just be seriously partyinâ€™ all the time, gettinâ€™ high, drinkinâ€™, trippinâ€™, fuckinâ€™ girls, ya know? But now, I might ask you what you did this weekend and youâ€™d say, â€˜Ah man, I took my kids and my girl out to the parkâ€™ or whatever, Iâ€™d say, â€˜you done got ya grown man on.â€™ Itâ€™s okay though, â€˜cause right now if youâ€™s a O.G. hip hopper and you ainâ€™t gettinâ€™ ya grown man on, you bullshittinâ€™. So hip hop has to mature or some of us have to mature. If I make the same album I made twenty years ago, thatâ€™s wack.
â€˜Cause thereâ€™s no progression involved.
Thereâ€™s no progression. You ainâ€™t tryinâ€™ to hear Ice-T, forty-somethinâ€™ up here talkinâ€™ that same shit. Itâ€™s gotta be different. But at the same time, Iâ€™m still the same cat. People say, â€˜oh well you should mellow out.â€™ Well Iâ€™m like, at the same time the mob boss, heâ€™s sittinâ€™ in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank still callinâ€™ hits.
Definitely. I mean, thereâ€™s different forms of gangsta shit, and as far as living in a mansion with a shark tank in your office and an indoor pool that turns into an outdoor pool on some Transformers shit, it doesnâ€™t really get more gangsta than that.
You know, for me man, gangstaâ€™s just beinâ€™ real about it and being honest and havinâ€™ enough guts to say you play Playstation and you love your girl and all that too, ya dig? Iâ€™ve hung around some of the most dangerous cats and theyâ€™re the most nice people... until you take â€˜em left. So all that posturinâ€™ and posinâ€™ and â€˜all I do is get high and drink,â€™ and all that bullshit, thatâ€™s corny. You not gonna be able to do that forever. So, it has to be redefined and it has to be explained like that by the people who are really livinâ€™ it. Iâ€™ve always been held accountable for my music. I got real friends doinâ€™ real things and I got boys in the pen, and they not gonna let me make no record lyinâ€™. They like, â€˜Ice, câ€™mon nigga, you didnâ€™t do that.â€™ You know, they gonâ€™ check me. A lot of these cats, they just go in the studio and whatever comes into they mind, they just say, â€˜Yeah, thatâ€™s me.â€™
So what was your mindframe going in to record the new album?
Iâ€™m in New York now, Iâ€™m in New York doinâ€™ Law & Order, so I been working with Smooth Da Hustla and Trigga Da Gambla, the whole SMG crew -- we did an underground album called Repossession: Sex, Money and Guns. We put it out in Europe and it did pretty well -- never released it in the United States. And everybody was just tellinâ€™ me, â€˜Ice, man, do another record, do an album.â€™ So then one of my boys had a producer out of Virginia and he brought over all this music and said, â€œIâ€™ma sit in front of you â€˜til you pick some tracks.â€™ So I started pickin music, and once I had the music, I just started writinâ€™. And we just put the album together, you know? It is what it is. I mean, at this point in my career, my agendaâ€™s not to sell no million records, I donâ€™t really care about that. Itâ€™s just really to make another statement.
And the thing is, youâ€™re already eatinâ€™, so thatâ€™s one thing you donâ€™t have to worry about. That probably opens it up a little.
Well fortunately for me, I never really counted on my records or rap music to really eat. I mean, I never really said, â€˜If I donâ€™t get played on the radio, Iâ€™m not gonâ€™ live.â€™ I was very smart with my money. I knew how to take my advance budget and if they was givinâ€™ me a half a million dollars, I was makinâ€™ my record for fifty grand. And I would take the difference and double that and triple that and by the time the record came out, I could give a fuck what it sold. But you right though, layinâ€™ back now, just makinâ€™ a calm record â€˜cause I want to, there is a kind of calmness in the album.
Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m sayinâ€™. It wasnâ€™t like you were lazy or anything, but there wasnâ€™t a crazed urgency behind it like there was on Rhyme Pays or Power.
People say â€˜Ice, whatâ€™s the difference in you between now and then?â€™ and the old Ice-T was, â€˜Iâ€™ll kill everybody, motha, AAAGGHH!â€™ And the new Ice-T is, â€˜By the way... you know I kill you, right?â€™
So other than Smooth and Trig, who by the way were really slept on, who else out there right now are you feelinâ€™?
Hmmm... I like Young Jeezy. I like how he rhymes, it just sound like he in pain -- â€˜Lord donâ€™t let me go to jail tonight!â€™ I like T.I. T.I.â€™s young, but he sound like heâ€™s about 60. I mean, he got like a old soul to him. Of course, Ghostface Killah and the Fishscale album. I mean, câ€™mon, lyrically, when you dealinâ€™ with Ghostface and Raekwon and them cats, thatâ€™s top of the game. And you know, Iâ€™m a Mobb Deep fan. Thatâ€™s like one of my favorite groups. I mean, I donâ€™t know if I like the Blood Money album as much; I donâ€™t really know if they fit into 50 Centâ€™s program, I like it when theyâ€™re just real grimey and stuff. But those are another couple of my favorite lyricists right there.
Go holler at Ice T's website at www.icet.com