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'Original Gangster': Rapper and Actor Ice-T

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'Original Gangster': Rapper and Actor Ice-T

'Original Gangster': Rapper and Actor Ice-T

'Original Gangster': Rapper and Actor Ice-T

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4824690/4826194" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ice-T. Evan Agostini/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Ice-T.

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T is one of the original gangster rappers, of whom Greg Knot of The Chicago Tribune wrote: "Ice-T is that rare gangster rapper who leads with his brain instead of his gun or his crotch."

Ice-T's 1992 song "Cop Killer,” performed with his heavy-metal band Body Count, landed him at the center of a controversy about gangsta rap — was it a legitimate form of expression or incendiary hate-mongering? His latest album is The Pimp Penal Code.

Ice-T continues to perform as a musician but has also cultivated a successful acting career. His roles include a policeman on the TV show Law and Order Special Victims Unit and parts in the films New Jack City, Trespass and Ricochet. (This interview originally aired May 1, 1992.)

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