There are a few rappers from the history of hip hop that simply do not get the credit they deserve. One of the foremost names on that list is Ice-T. The ‘Cop Killer’ rapper is one of the pioneers of modern rap and his view on issues surrounding censorship and freedom of speech are as valid today as they were when he fought for them decades ago.
It means Ice T’s opinion on the finer details of the genre are always welcomed. The rapper has thankfully done such things and shared his views on the creation of gangster rap, the “real one” David Bowie and, now, his ten favourite albums of all time. It’s an impressive list of incredible LPs.
Such is Ice-T’s widespread appeal, the rapper was actually asked for his favourite albums by none other than Metal Hammer. Broken down into various categories and life experiences, T delivers a series of records that could set up a party, soundtrack a road trip or, indeed, anything else you need.
First up, is the “first album I bought” category, with Ice-T picking out Parliament’s classic The clones of Doctor Frankenstein, about which the rapper said: “I was in ninth grade and all that Parliament and P-funk was the big thing. It was interesting getting into Parliament because they had a kind of rock thing going on. There were lots of guitars in it. Even though it was considered funk, it had a little rock vibe, too.”
Perhaps one of the most revelatory selections was when Ice-T selected the album he wishes he made, selecting the iconic Eric B and Rakim record Paid in Full: “Every last one of those songs, I can sing with. When I heard rap for the first time, I was like ‘Woah! This is me, this is something I can take to the next level.’”
But it’s not all rap, the hip hop pioneer picks out a heavy metal classic for the album that most reminds him of school, noting Black Sabbath’s self-titled LP as one of the best: “Now here’s your rock record. I used to live with my cousin and he would always listen to rock radio – that’s what we had on all the time. There was one album that I used to play over and over again that I heard from that station and that was the first Black Sabbath album. And I’ve used that record over and over in my music.”
He also selects the record that most accurately reflects his notion of what heavy metal is, picking out Slayer’s Def Jam masterpiece Reign in Blood. “There’s a hip hop connection with Reign In Blood,” says T. “Rick Rubin produced it and the hook from [Public Enemy’s] ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!’ is from ‘Angel Of Death’. When I first heard the term ‘speed metal’ I was like, ‘I gotta hear this’ and when I did, I was like, ‘Oh, this shit is dope, man!'”
T also picks out classic albums from Mobb Deep as well as the first album he had sex to; Honey by the Ohio Players. But what is the album Ice-T would most like to be remembered for, the rapper noted O.G. Original Gangster as his favourite: “Probably Original Gangster. We brought that word O.G. into the vernacular and now everyone knows what it means. Now all of a sudden everything’s O.G. this and O.G. that… And it’s a real well-rounded and balanced album. It’s got a lot of different sides of Ice-T on it.”
Find the full list of Ice-T’s favourite albums below.
Ice-T’s 10 favourite albums:
- Parliament – The Clones Of Doctor Funkenstein
- Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full
- Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
- Enigma – The Cross Of Changes
- Slayer – Reign In Blood
- Schoolly D – Schoolly D
- Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss
- Mobb Deep – The Infamous
- The Ohio Players – Honey
- Ice-T – O.G. Original Gangster