Born In: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Tracy Lauren Marrow, known professionally as Ice-T, is an American rapper, singer, and actor. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved to the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. After graduating from high school, he served in the ‘United States Army’ for four years. Before he made it big, he survived on the streets, selling stolen car stereos, peddling drugs, and pimping. But he wanted to straighten out his life and music was his savior. Eventually, his music career picked up and he was signed to ‘Sire Records.’ He then released his debut album ‘Rhyme Pays.’ Soon, he founded the record label ‘Rhyme Syndicate Records.’ He co-founded the heavy metal band ‘Body Count,’ which he introduced in his album ‘O.G.’ When he got embroiled in a controversy over his track ‘Cop Killer,’ which glorified the killings of police officers, ‘Warner Bros. Records’ became uncomfortable and parted ways with him amicably. His later albums were not successful. He has been active on television and has been portraying the fictional detective ‘Odafin Tutuola’ in the long-running series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’ He has also performed on the big screen, mostly appearing as police officers or gangsters.
Girlfriend: Darlene Ortiz
Also Known As: Tracy Lauren Marrow
Spouse/Ex-: Coco Austin (m. 2005)
father: Solomon Marrow
mother: Alice Marrow
children: Letesha Marrow, Tracy Marrow Jr.
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: Crenshaw High School
U.S. State: New Jersey
City: Newark, New Jersey
education: Crenshaw High School
Ice-T was born Tracy Lauren Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey, USA, to Solomon, an African-American who worked as a conveyor belt mechanic at the ‘Rapistan Conveyor Company,’ and Alice Marrow, a Creole.
Though he was raised in a neighborhood where racism was prevalent, he escaped unscathed because of his lighter skin inherited from his Creole mother. By the time he was 12, he had lost both his parents.
After passing out of ‘Palms Junior High,’ he attended ‘Crenshaw High School.’
When he was in high school, gangism was part of the Los Angeles school system. Students belonging to the 'Bloods' and 'Crips' gangs attended ‘Crenshaw,’ and often fought in the school. He was never part of ‘Bloods’ or ‘Crips.’ But he often read Iceberg Slim’s novels and recited stories to his friends.
In 1979, he joined the ‘US Army.’ He joined the army as the money that he earned from selling cannabis and stolen car stereos was not enough to support his girlfriend and daughter. He served in the army for four years.
1983, he returned to South Central with the intention of becoming a hip-hop musician. However, he got caught up in street crime and became a jewel thief and pimp.
By 1983, he had adopted the name Ice-T after his favorite writer Iceberg Slim. He then recorded a rap called ‘The Coldest Rap.’
In 1985, he was wounded in a car accident and was hospitalized. Around this time, he won an open mic competition judged by Kurtis Blow as he was eager to pursue a professional rapping career.
After honing his skills, he started creating music for videos and released recordings. He then signed with ‘Sire Records’ in 1987 and released ‘Rhyme Pays,’ his debut album, which eventually went gold.
Between 1987 and 1988, he recorded the title theme song for Dennis Hopper's film ‘Colors,’ which was about inner-city gang life in Los Angeles. He then recorded his second album ‘Power,’ which received positive reviews and a gold certification.
He teamed up with former Dead Kennedy's front man Jello Biafra for the sarcastic kick-off track of his album ‘The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech… Just Watch What You Say’ in 1989.
His 1992 album ‘Body Count’ had the controversial song ‘Cop Killer.’ The song was intended to be a narrative from the view point of a criminal getting revenge on racist police officers.
The controversy surrounding ‘Cop Killer’ prompted ‘Warner Bros’ to block the release of ‘Home Invasion,’ Ice-T's next solo album, in 1993. The artist severed his relation with ‘Warner Bros. Records’ and released his work through ‘Priority Records.’
In 1993, he starred in the comedy film ‘Who's the Man?’ where he played a drug dealer who gets frustrated when called by his real name ‘Chauncey’ rather than his street name ‘Nighttrain.’
He collaborated with heavy metal bands during this period. For the film ‘Judgment Night,’ he did a duet with Slayer. In 1995, he guest performed on ‘Forbidden’ by ‘Black Sabbath.’
His subsequent albums, ‘Ice-T VI: Return of the Real,’ ‘The Seventh Deadly Sin,’ and ‘Gangsta Rap,’ failed as they deviated from the themes of his more successful works.
In 2000, he started portraying the fictional NYPD Detective ‘Odafin Tutuola’ in the NBC police drama series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’ The series has received several awards and nominations and has spawned many spin-offs.
Along with his music career, he has also tried his hand at film acting, landing roles in movies, such as ‘New Jack City,’ ‘Ricochet,’ ‘Trespass,’ ‘Surviving the Game,’ and ‘Johnny Mnemonic.’
In 2006, he came up with his own reality show titled ‘Ice-T Rap School’ where he taught eight teens from ‘York Preparatory School’ who competed for an imitation gold chain that came with a microphone.
In 2007, he appeared as a celebrity guest star on MTV’s sketch comedy show ‘Short Circuitz.’ The same year, he was also seen in the short-music film ‘Hands of Hatred.’
In 2012, he directed and executive produced a documentary titled ‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap,’ which featured several rappers.
In 2017, ‘Body Count’ released their sixth studio album ‘Bloodlust.’
In July 2019, Ice-T released his first solo hip hop track in 10 years. The track was titled ‘Feds In My Rearview.’
His 1991 album ‘O.G. Original Gangster’ introduced gangster rap, mixing social commentary with inflammatory lyrics. He pushed musical boundaries by recording heavy metal tracks with the band ‘Body Count.’
His 1993 album ‘Home Invasion’ peaked at No. nine on ‘Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums’ and at No. 14 on the ‘Billboard 200.’ It included singles, such as ‘Gotta Lotta Love’ and ‘99 Problems.’
In 1991, he shared a ‘Grammy’ with Big Daddy Kane and four others for the album ‘Back on the Block’ under the ‘Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group’ category. The album was produced by Quincy Jones.
In 2002, he won the ‘Image Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in Drama Series’ for his performance in ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’
He married Adrienne in 1976. They were blessed with a daughter whom they named LeTesha.
He also has a son named Ice Tracy Marrow with Darlene Ortiz.
In 2002, he married swimsuit model Niccole ‘Coco’ Marie Austin. On November 28, 2015, the couple welcomed their first child Chanel Nicole Marrow.
He once admitted, “If I hadn't had a chance to rap, I'd either be dead or in jail—or I'd be rich, but I knew the odds were against it.”
This legendary hip-hop artist, well-known as the father of gangsta music, helped establish the careers of artists like ‘N.W.A.,’ Snoop Dogg, and ‘Geto Boys.’
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