The hip-hop music industry has been graced with exceptional talents from various rappers who, in turn, have become standards by which others are inspired and measured. A lot of them, including Ice-T, come from very rough backgrounds, and against all odds, have become phenomenal icons recognized worldwide.
Ice-T managed to write his name in gold with his distinct kind of lyricism that paints a picture of street life and violence, things that heavily defined and influenced the gangster rap genre. He has since gone ahead to have an acting career, appearing as a recurring cast member of the series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 2000, among others.
His Early Life Was Marred By Tragedies, Losing Both Parents AT A Young Age
Ice-T was born Tracy Lauren Marrow on the 16th of February, 1958 in Newark, New Jersey. The young talent was born to an African-American father named Solomon and a Creole mother Alice Marrow. It is not clear what his mother did for a living, however, his father worked at the Rapistan Conveyor Company as a conveyor belt mechanic for years.
When Ice-T was in the third grade, his mother died of a heart attack. He was subsequently raised by his father who later died from a heart attack when the young Marrow was 12. This meant that he had to live with relatives. At the time, the rising artist first stayed with a nearby aunt before moving to View Park-Windsor Hills, a neighbourhood of upper-middle-class blacks in South Los Angeles, to stay with another relative where he shared a room with his cousin Earl, who was a fan of rock music. It is said that Earl was constantly listening to the local rock radio stations and that was what sparked Ice-T’s interest in heavy metal music.
Ice attended Palms Junior High and then Crenshaw High School. Despite the huge presence of gangs in his school, the teenager didn’t smoke, use drugs, or drink alcohol, and was not a gang member. He, however, later became affiliated with the Crips.
Tracy enjoyed reading the novels of Iceberg Slim, which he memorized and recited to his friends. As the story goes, his friends enjoyed hearing the excerpts and would say to him, “Yo, kick some more of that by Ice, T”, giving him his popular nickname.
Ice-T’s First Experience With Crime Was In High School
We wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that Ice-T got into contact with criminal activities when he became affiliated with the Crips gang in high school. However, he began selling cannabis and stealing car stereos to earn extra cash after he got his girlfriend knocked up and needed additional income to support her.
Following the birth of his daughter, the artist enlisted in the US Army in October 1977; there, he got involved with some soldiers charged with the theft of a rug. He was paid a $2,500 bonus check while awaiting trial and went absent without leave. However, the rapper came back after a month, and with the rug found, Ice-T received non-judicial punishment for his dereliction of duty.
On the 6th of June 2012, while on an episode of The Adam Carolla Podcast, the rap artist claimed he started another criminal career as a bank and jewellery shop robber. He and his friends started without arms but progressed from there. He later left the crime scene but returned to a life of crime and robbed jewellery stores after calling it quits with his then-girlfriend Caitlin Boyd. He described how his gang would pretend to be customers to gain access and then proceed to smash the display glass using baby sledgehammers.
Ice-T, who claimed he doesn’t like talking about that time of his life, said it is all in the post now and he is glad that the US justice system has statutes of limitations, which had likely expired when he admitted to his involvement in multiple Class 1 Felonies in the early-to-mid 1980s. He called it quits with criminal activities after he wound up in a car accident and was hospitalized in 1985.
He Started His Entertainment Career As A DJ
Tracy began his career as a disc jockey, taking the name Ice-T as a tribute to Iceberg Slim. While he performed as a DJ, more recognition was given for his rap skills, besides, the DJ won an open mic competition judged by Kurtis Blow as he was eager to pursue a professional rapping career.
The entertainer went ahead to hone his skills and began creating music for videos and released recordings In 1987, he inked a record deal with Sire Records, releasing his debut album Rhyme Pays, which was certified gold by the RIAA. His next album, Power followed in 1988 under his own label Rhyme Syndicate, earning him his second gold record along with rave reviews. Before Power, the rapper worked on the title theme track for Dennis Hopper’s movie Colors, which was centred on inner-city gang life in LA.
With His Music Career Well Established, Ice-T Went Ahead To Launch Other Albums
In 1989, his album The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech… Just Watch What You Say came to light featuring the sarcastic kick-off track which he did in collaboration with Jello Biafra – the former Dead Kennedy’s frontman. 1991 saw the release of O.G. Original Gangster; an album that has defined gangster rap. On the album, he introduced his heavy metal band Body Count on an eponymous track. Their first album, Body Count, was released in March 1992 through his own label, Rhyme Syndicate.
The rapper ran into a problem with Body Count because of the track Cop Killer – a controversial track which was a narrative from the point of view of a criminal getting vengeance on racist cops. As a result of the ensuing controversy, Warner Bros had to block the release of his next album Home Invasion in 1993; this led to his exit from Warner Bros and his new deal with Priority Records.
Deviating from the themes of his more successful works, the rap artist released three albums Ice-T VI: Return of the Real, Gangsta Rap, and The Seventh Deadly Sin which were big failures. Body Count’s latest album Bloodlust hit the music stand in 2017 and in 2019, Ice-T dropped his debut solo hip hop track in ten years titled Feds In My Rearview.
The American Entertainer Has Equally Created A Niche For Himself In The Movie World
His movie debut was in the 1984 movie Breakin’, and its 1985 sequel Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. He played the starring role of a drug dealer in 1993 on the set of Who’s the Man. Ice-T performed a duet with Slayer in the movie Judgment Night and appeared as a guest star in Forbidden by Black Sabbath.
2000 was the year he joined the cast of the NBC police drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as the fictional NYPD Detective Odafin Tutuola. The TV series which later spawned several spin-offs has been nominated for numerous awards and received a few. His other major productions include New Jack City, Trespass, Ricochet, Johnny Mnemonic, and Surviving the Game. The gangster rapper has his own reality show titled Ice-T Rap School, he made an appearance on MTV’s sketch comedy show Short Circuitz and appeared in Hands of Hatred. the multitalented artist was also the executive producer and director of Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap – a documentary that featured rappers in 2012.
The Famed Rapper Has Long Given Up Bachelorhood To Embrace Marriage
Ice-T is a married man, he exchanged marriage vows with Nicole Natalie Marrow (née Austin) known better as Coco or Coco Austin. They first met when the rapper went to his friend’s movie shoot where Coco was engaged as a model, he proceeded to give her a pick-up line with the question “Would you ever consider dating a gangster rapper?” Coco who didn’t know what to say, told him that he was nice to which he answered: “Well, baby, if you take the ‘n’ off nice, you get ice.”
The duo only knew each other for two months before their nuptials which was accomplished in January 2002. Earlier in 2015, the couple announced the impending birth of their daughter Chanel Nicole Marrow who joined the family on the 28th of November 2015. Coco showers her husband with love and is not averse to sharing their intimate photos on social media.
Inside Ice-T’s Family Life With His Wife And Daughter
The couple’s union is inching towards the second decade and from what is perceivable, they are enjoying marital bliss. They even renewed their wedding vows on the 4th of June 2011 in anticipation of their 9th wedding anniversary. The couple had a penthouse apartment in North Bergen, New Jersey, and constructed a five-bedroom house in Edgewater, New Jersey.
They worked together on their reality TV show Ice Loves Coco but decided to quit after a couple of seasons even though the show got great ratings. According to the couple, they got tired of letting cameras into their lives and watching the drama play out on screen. Ice-T was recently arrested for driving through a bridge without paying while his wife sat in the car breastfeeding Channel.
Let’s Meet His Wife Coco Austin
She’s an American actress, dancer, model, entrepreneur, and social media sensation. Coco was born to actor parents and began dancing at the tender age of six. At around the age of 18, she became a calendar model, specializing in lingerie, swimsuit, and body modelling. Ice-T’s wife was notably the first Caucasian to be featured on the cover of Smooth Magazine, after which she went on to feature in more than 50 magazines. Before her surgical enhancement, Coco was just a tomboy called Nicole.
The model eventually created her own self-titled quarterly magazine and appeared in low-budget R-rated movies, TV series, talk shows, and reality shows. Her most notable appearances are in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Celebrity Family Feud, and Ice Loves Coco.
Ice-T Was Already A Father Before He Met Coco
The American entertainer was still a teenager when he started having relationships with the opposite sex. He got his high school girlfriend Adrienne in the family way during the time that life was really tough for him. Consequently, he resorted to crime, selling hard substances, and stealing car stereo to support his pregnant girlfriend. His daughter LeTesha was born on the 20th of March, 1976.
After he broke up with Adrienne, Ice-T started dating Darlene Ortiz whom he met while filming Breakin in 1984. Their relationship lasted for a while but later ended after he fathered his second child, a son named Tracy Marrow Jr. who was born in 1992. He also dated Caitlin Boyd during his crime days.