When news first hit that Ice-T and his bubbly blond significant other Coco were ending their E! reality show (“Ice Loves Coco”) various rumors surfaced on the hip-hop icon’s future. But since then reports have now officially surfaced that Ice has signed on for another show with television powerbroker Ryan Seacrest. Ice-T’s next career move? TV talk show host.
The Urban Daily caught up with the Godfather of gangsta rap turned respected veteran actor to discuss his vision for the upcoming talk-show, rumors of a “Law & Order SVU” spin-off, his thoughts on the current hip-hop landscape and why he decided to reform his groundbreaking metal band Bodycount, who is slated to play at Rockstar’s Mayhem Festival 2014 kicking off July 05 at San Bernardino, California’s San Manuel Amphitheater.—Keith Murphy
TUD: There have been rumors of an Ice-T talk show. Are we going to see you channeling your inner Johnny Carson?
Ice-T: [Laughs] It’s something I really shouldn’t be talking about because you jinx yourself. Some people they go to one meeting and all of sudden they are, “I’m coming out with this project.” But I ended the reality show because at some point everyone knows what you’ve done. They know what you eat, they know that I got dogs. So what happens is the producer goes, “Well, let’s put Ice on a horse.” Because your life becomes redundant. Once I hang around you for a few months, I got it. It’s difficult to keep a reality show interesting. So I said, “Hey, the show did its job and it got people to understand me and my wife’s relationship.” You see I’m not mass murdering motherfuckers…I’m a normal dude. But of course the networks want to keep making more money.
What a shocker, right?
Right…so they are like how can we morph this show into something that you would like to do. So that’s the outline right now. It’s a talk scenario, but it’s based around you coming over our crib. And it’s not just based on celebrities. It’s based on normal people and good questions. We’ll probably talk about different topics, but something that’s comfortable for me to do. At this point in my career, if its not comfortable I’m not doing it. I think you should get some type of game off of a project like this. To me game is just a code for education. Even when I do a concert I want you to leave the show more intelligent. I want to turn some light bulb on in your head about something you weren’t thinking before you came to a gig.
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Speaking of shows, how has the Body Count reunion been going?
It’s coming together. Right now there are two living members of Body Count. [Drummer] Beatmaster V died of leukemia. And then [bassist] Mooseman had got paid, moved ut of the ‘hood, went back to his neighborhood, and caught up in a drive-by; shot in the back. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And then D-rock [rhythm guitar] just died of cancer recently. So we got new members. We got a drummer named Ill Will…the brother can play. Vincent Price, who has been the band for a minute. He was our guitar tech. And we are putting a new member in the band as we speak. They are auditioning in Vegas.
So we are actually going to get a Body Count album?
Yeah, and it’s already been recorded. We made the new album without the extra guitar player. Then they took it to LA to track it. Now they got to send it out to New York for me to do vocals on it. It’s called Manslaughter.
But you’ve always been a hardcore rock and heavy metal head. You were reppin’ Slayer in the 1980’s.
That’s just the music I’m really into. I like rock because it lets you expand upon what you could talk about. Hip-hop has become kind of narrow minded, but with rock I could get global. I can tag hip-hop if I want and come back. And I can still be raw.
So are you saying we are not going to hear another Ice-T album with you rhyming on the mic?
I still do Ice- T shows here and there. But I’m on some Frank Sinatra shit. Does Frank really need to make another song? No. Because I don’t want to damage my legacy, so I just keep doing my gangsta shit and those people that like it will enjoy it. Maybe I can do another Ice-T album, but you have to pick the right climate to do a hip-hop album. There was a Public Enemy climate; there was a Rage Against The Machine climate. Right now we are in a very glitzy, superficial climate. Nobody wants to hear anything about anything.
So let’s turn to “Law & Order.” Your character Det. Fin Tutuola has become one of the show’s TV icons. Is there are chance we are going to see a Fin spin-off?
There’s a lot of spin-offs. We have actually pitched some ideas. But you know, I ain’t trying spin-off until the show sinks [laughs]. This show is still flying high right now, so I don’t want to jinx it. It’s funny though, I’m good. The show is going good. I’m just happy to be on a show where the people are so talented. If you can be on “Law & Order” there’s no one in America that’s not going to say, “What? That show never leaves TV.” It’s on forever. I was blessed.