About a day or so ago, I saw a tweet that respectfully challenged Tracy Marrow‘s legitimacy as a “legend” in the rap “game.” It made mention of ‘Cop Killer‘ being the only song of Ice’s that they’d ever heard, & asked the question – verbatim – “Why is he a legend again?”
My initial response was to bear proverbial arms, & engage the seemingly ignorant tweeter with some Ice T trivia, but what good would that have done? Once the looming 140 character limit sets in, the argument – & all subsequent points – would be lost between other peoples tweets, anyway. There’s no need to waste my time. Even still, though, the first song that came to mind was ‘Colors,’ & quick fast like a bunny, I was off to Google that music video & provide a link. But, how would I look arguing with some 18 year old kid who, upon further thought, was absolutely right. (& not for nothing, but the second song that came to mind was ‘L.G.B.N.A.F.‘)
Assuming said twitterer was relatively young, he’d absolutely have no reason to know who Ice-T really is/was. It’s not like he ever had a breakthrough smash hit, & back when he was somewhat popular, the world wasn’t vibing with the west coast (of America) like that. His stint on SVU has already put him in a position to be way larger than he ever would’ve become if he stuck to rapping full-time. (not to mention other endeavors I’m sure he’s had, but that’s neither here nor there…) I thought for a moment & realized that I couldn’t think of the last time I heard an Ice-T song on the radio, or even caught a video with him in it. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.
Hip Hop is a lifestyle. I believe I – along with countless others – have established that as fact. Rap is a particular function in that lifestyle that may not be designed for longevity. Think about it; there’s a reason that rapper’s careers are considerably shorter than those of other genres of music. Perhaps rap music is to be used as a vehicle to propel, to help assist in continuing forward motion & progress, so to speak. Even if it takes awhile, a la James Todd Smith – because LL Cool J’s first few movie roles were terrible – tenacity wins, usually, if it doesn’t get killed during the race. (Don’t quote me on that, though, because shit happens, but I’m sure you smell my cologne.) Now, what I could’ve told the reckless tweeter about was Ice-T’s real-life reputation in Los Angeles streets. I went to school with his daughter, & she dated one of my closest friends for a few months. With limited certainty, I can vouch for his street cred, if nothing else.
When its all said & done – however – the mere fact that dude was even thinking about Ice adamantly enough to tweet his name to the world is exactly why he’s a legend, no? That, & ’6n Da Morn.’
Also, if rookie rap cats can have month-old material being praised as “classic,” then surely a guy of Ice’s stature & career record doesn’t have anything to prove to them or anybody else.