Ice-T is one of the godfathers of Gangsta rap. As the creator of ‘6 N The Mornin,’ the West Coast emcee paved the way for collectives such as N.W.A. and eventually Death Row Records.
That said, as one of the integral kingpins of California hip-hop, in an interview with Noreaga and DJ EFN on Drink Champs, the artist (real name Tracy Marrow) unveiled that he couldn’t bring himself to defend 2Pac (real name Tupac Shakur) during his feud with Biggie Smalls.
Speaking with the hosts, Marrow revealed that he chastised Shakur when he first heard his 1996 diss track ‘Hit Em Up.’ Revealing the 2pac and the Outlawz played for him, the lyricist recalled, “He was at my house with The Outlawz, a couple of The Outlawz, and he played me ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’ And I didn’t like it.”
He continued, “I was like, ‘You go’ start some shit.’ I didn’t like him starting the beef. I said, ‘You going in on dude’s wife and all that.’ Then at that time, he thought B.I.G. had shot him. You ain’t supposed to be handling that with a record. Really, are you? So, we kinda was on bad terms with that because he wanted me to ride with him, but I was like, I couldn’t.”
Nearly 30 years later, the G-funk diss track is widely considered the harshest, edgiest and best song ever. But Ice-T still believes that Shakur should never have released it in the first place and even hinted that it may have been a factor in his murder.
Although ‘Hit Em Up’ was highly controversial upon release, Marrow’s track ‘Cop Killer’ was also met with backlash when it was put out in 1992. Produced by Ernie C, the song was made as a protest record and was a sequel to ‘Fuck Tha Police’ by N.W.A.
Concerning ‘Cop Killer,’ Marrow explained how the national security aide to President Ronald Reagan, “Oliver North wanted to try [him] for sedition, which was punishable by death.” He stated he didn’t regret releasing it because it was necessary following the Watts riots.
You can hear Marrow’s Drink Champs interview below.