10 Cool Photos of Ice T at the Art of Rap Show

Ice T on mic copy

Great catching up with Ice T during the recent Art of Rap Show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Many forget that Ice T who is featured on the TV show Law & Order is an accomplished artist who helped pioneer Hip Hop on the West Coast.  He is also a seminal figure in what many refer to as gangster rap.

Ice T is also groundbreaking in the sense that he is also known for his work in the rock arena for his group Bodycount who caused a lot of controversy in the early 90s with the song ‘Cop Killer‘.

During his performance at the Art of Rap Show Ice T put on an incredible show.  The man hasn’t lost a step. He also introduced us to a new artist who is the nephew of the late Crip founder Tookie Williams.

Ice T and talked briefly just before he hit the stage. He noted the importance of keeping Hip Hop alive and providing space for artists who bring well honed skills to the table. It’s for this reason he developed the Art of Rap Tour.

Below are some photos I took of his stellar performance.. Enjoy

Ice T Set to Help Launch a New Reality TV Show Called ‘Life After Prison’

IceTcop-225Rapper turned actor Ice T is continuing to make moves from actor to producer/ executive producer for film projects.  Last year his film Art of Rap received rave reviews and helped lay ground work for Ice T to take on other projects.

This time around he’s embarking on doing a reality show with a social justice tip called ‘Life After Prison‘. Ice T explains that a good friend of his, a former gang member and ex-felon  named John Boy Watts approached him about doing a TV show that focuses on helping those who come out of prison get back on their feet and stay out of jail.

John Boy who is the star of the show is shown presiding over 6 ex-felons who live in a house where their efforts to stick to the straight and narrow are chronicled. John Boy is shown dispensing wisdom and guidance. Ice T agreed to be one of the executive producers noting thatprison impacts everyone directly and indirectly and that we should not ignore the plight of those locked up. He said everyone deserves a second chance..

From the trailer it looks like a Big Brother Reality type show which is likely to raise eyebrows. After all, the jury is still out as to just how effective these types of shows can be in addressing complex issues. The fear is they tend to oversimplify complex and systemic issues and boil it down to individual exploits.

Currently there is a lot of talk about the prison industry, its short comings and outright mistreatment of inmates. This has been heightened by scholars like Michele Alexander and book the New Jim Crow and most recently Attorney General Eric Holder who is pushing to lessen mandatory minimum sentences.

There are also array of campaigns ranging from changing the sentencing guidelines and profit motive around mass incarceration and private prisons to  the California prison hunger strike which has just entered its 7th week. It’ll be interesting to see if any of these pressing issues are addressed within the scope of this new TV show. If not,  hopefully they address the fact that there severe shortage of resources to help returning inmates to get back on their feet and stay out of jail.

In any case Prison Reform is a major issue and hopefully this Reality TV show doesn’t obscure the reality of folks on the ground fighting to change things. With the United States leading the world in the number of people incarcerated, our human rights record for the treatment of prisoners under fire and more than half our prisoners on lock down for non violent offenses, we can’t afford to have issues around prison over simplified to the point we lose focus even as this show successfully shows folks a path to success.

The early buzz on Life After Prison is that its good and surely needed.

Below is a trailer to the upcoming show..



Hiero’s ‘Gun Fever’ Adds to Hip Hop’s Long Debate on Gun Control

Hiero Says No to GunsWas peeping this recent video from Hiero directed by Casual who recently did a song and video addressing gun violence in their native Oakland..The song added to the nationwide highly controversial debate about gun control.

“We are not promoting guns or violence,” explains Tajai (Hieroglyphics / Souls Of Mischief), “but simply expressing our thoughts on the issue and encouraging further dialogue.”


Adding to the conversation is Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion who teamed up with Drake and his daughter Cori B to give their take on gun violence.


In watching those two video,  I got to thinking about how divided folks within Hip Hop have been on this topic over the years. While its probably safe to say, when asked very few would advocate violence, but there have been quite a few artists ranging from  Ice T to Spice 1 who have said absolutely ‘No’ to retiring their guns..While rap peers like Pharaoh Monch and Nas have given voice to the harms of hot led flying through our community.


Of course we had last year’s famous twitter debate between NRA member Killer Mike and Boston emcee Akrobatik. This is the fullexchange which was captured by the good folks over at The Rap Up.

Killer Mike debate

Killer Mike debate pt 2.

Killer Mike Debate pt3

Killer Mike debate pt4

Killer Mike debate pt5

That debate reminds of the ones that jumped off back in the days when Ice Cube’s old group, Da Lench Mob, made it clear that the AK-47 was essential for us to get our freedom… How many of y’all remember this video and these searing lyrics?

An AK talks but bullshit runs
I wish I had time to count all my guns
‘Cause a nigga is runnin’ out of funds
But H.Rap says “Freedom got a strap!”
[I wish I was in dixie Ak Ak
Then shit wouldn’t have been bad in the sixties
No way No way]


We also have long time gun enthusiast Bay Area rapper E-A-Ski who came on my radio show and got into a heated debate with gun control folks..He like Killer Mike who came on the scene years after, has long argued against banning guns. He did this popular song back in the days called ‘Blast if I Have To




Art of Rap Opens this Weekend… Reclaim Your Humanity & Go See It..

This weekend Something from Nothing The Art of Rap opens in theaters this weekend and as I noted in my earlier review it is absolutely deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. It’s compelling, witty and much-needed in terms of refocusing us on what Hip Hop and rap in particular is really about. Ice T who made the film really did his thing..

Earlier this week Chuck D of Public Enemy who is featured in this documentary alerted us to an excellent article On Blackness, Humanity and the Art of Rap that his wife Dr Gaye Theresa Johnson had penned for the Huffington Post. She absolutely nails it and I urge everyone to read it.. She kicks things off:

Blackness — in style and sensibility — has been one of the most admired, most reviled, most circulated, and least credited set of characteristics in the history of commodification. And there can be no better example of this than hip hop. When rap music first gained mainstream traction in the late seventies, its artists were dismissed and disrespected by politicians, pundits, and the music business itself. But by the late eighties, the same corporate bodies who had previously shunned it were making millions of dollars selling it. By 1990, label executives had created a “gangsta formula,” a business hook that repackaged rap’s depictions of black urban realities into a titillating buffet of hypermasculinity and glorified violence, relegating women artists to the margins and creating a new outlet of expression for what became its largest consumer demographic: young white men.

She also notes…

The Art of Rap writes humanity back into rap music in a moment when black people are more popular than ever in mainstream society, but in some incredibly damaging ways. We’ve mistaken the proliferation of black images in the media for the notion that there is some kind of equality of positive representation of black humanity.

peep the entire article HERE

Dr Gaye Theresa Johnson connects Blackness & Humanity to the Art of Rap

In reading Dr Gaye’s article and reflecting on the film, it wasn’t lost on me how the this weekend’s box office  opening was downplayed as we were met with lots of noise about the opening of the movie Rock of Ages starring Tom Cruise, Jay-Z opening his new 40/ 40 Club in the new Barclay Center and the ugly fight between singers Chris Brown and Drake. If you live in NYC the police killing of a young black women in Brooklyn who they say was in a stolen car has also dominated the headlines.

Don’t get me wrong, at this point in time, one shouldn’t expect the mainstream media to do right by us. The pedalling of corporate interests including sensationalized stories of Black pathology, death and violence, all big money-makers in America, will be highlighted before stories depicting our true selves. There will always be fierce resistance to acknowledging and embracing our humanity.

Ice T holding it down on the Jimmy Fallon Show

With that being said, the way to combat that is to take note and do as Ice T did, reaffirm who we truly our on our own terms and our own dime and do what Hip Hop momentarily forgot to do which is build its own institutions. In talking with Ice T the other day, he said it was important to uplift the culture and give something back. He also noted the importance of constantly hustling and not shying away from the grind. Hence even if this movie is not the main priority for some big wig media power broker, its gonna shine, because we make the moves to make it happen.

To help promote this film we seen Ice leverage his celebrity status to show up on outlets like Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show and Wendy Williams to name a few..

As for the rest of us, change comes when we revolutionize our thinking, readjust our values and take those first steps to shedding the dictates of out of control, consumerist corporate agendas. In other words ‘they’ are gonna stick to their game plan, will we stick to ours?

In supporting this movie we can stick to ‘our’ game plan by passing along the link below which lists the theaters where Art of Rap is showing in your city .http://bit.ly/NDe3XD

You can stick to the game plan by by talking this movie up the way we talk up beefs and petty gossip.  Lastly lwe can stick to our game plan by getting back in the habit of digging and seeking out new music and new artists vs waiting for them to show up via our radio or some other commercial outlet.. It used to be a time corporations chased the streets to try and discover what was new and hip. Today we chase the corporations who in turn sell us repackaged goods.. Let’s flip the script on that.. Enjoy the weekend and the Art of Rap


If You Luv Hip Hop, Ice T’s New Movie ‘The Art of Rap’ is a Must See

One of the dopest films out or soon to be out at a theater near you is the Something from Nothing the Art of Rap, put together by Ice-T... Yes, there have been a number of documentaries put out over the years that have focused on emceeing, but this one really hits home for a few reasons..

First, the stories are being told by those who do it..This is important, because far too often the nuanced  and subtle perspectives by the practitioners are often left out or overshadowed by everyone else when documentaries are made. We get to really see how folks are thinking and feel where they’re coming from. There’s no middle-man, expert, punditry interpretation.. You walk away really understanding how and why Hip Hop and in particular rap is an American art form given to the world..

The second thing, is we got to hear from many of the pioneers and see them execute their craft without the feeling like they were being rushed off or their interviews cut short to make room for artists or big names who are well-known today in 2012.

Common holds it down in the film ‘Art of Rap’

It was good to hear good solid interviews with pioneering and iconic figures who still have it like Grandmaster Caz, Mele-Mel, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Nas, Chuck D, Q-Tip and Doug E Fresh to name a few.  They were nicely balanced out with folks like Kanye West who got busy in this film, along with artists like  Immortal Technique, Eminem, Bun B and Common to name a few..

On a side note the Grandmaster Caz spit the illest rhyme out of everyone in the entire film..I had to get that in , because a couple of my buddies thought Kanye took the cake. A couple thought Eminem came hard while others felt WC made his presence felt.. That’s the good thing about this film.. we’re all gonna come out debating who repped.. So I’m just gonna keep it real with ya since its my blog.. Grandmaster Caz killed it.. case closed!..

It was good seeing Ice T do the interviews because he pulls things out of his peers that many film makers probably couldn’t.. It was good to see him in the role of journalist, fan and participant as he ripped a few flows to remind cats, he still has flavor. It was good to see the camaraderie and mutual respect and admiration which often led humorous exchanges..

The only shortcomings to this movie is it should’ve been longer.. I think 4 or 5 hours would’ve been great.. LOL Seriously Ice will have to make additional parts to this, because as dope as this flick is, there are many angles that weren’t fully covered.. There’s no way to fit everyone and everything into a film like that..especially since Ice allows folks to talk and show off their skillz.. He wasn’t cutting and editing just to fit everyone in..

Other critiques?? Pick a city, any city around the country, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Oakland, Cleveland, Boston.. Pick a city and I guarantee at every showing, there will be someone pointing out that the Art of Rap didn’t include their favorite rapper or the person they perceive to be the sharpest spitter from their part of town..There’s gonna be cats saying there wasn’t enough midwest, not enough South, no Bay Area etc etc.. That’s gonna happen and even with that critique the film is still dope..It might drop down to a 9.5 as opposed to a 10..

There will be folks from different generations who feel like more could’ve been added. Yes there will be a few who say the film should’ve included more pioneers, more cats from the 80s, more cats from the 90s and millennium cats. Some will want more underground, others will want it to be more mainstream.. That’s gonna happen… and even with that, as I noted earlier still this is a Must See film

It was good to see Salt in the Art of Rap

Personally I think Ice could’ve added a few more sistas in the mix.. It was good to see Salt, It was great to see Lyte.. I wanted to see Yo Yo, Medusa, Invincible and Jean Grae.. and while they weren’t in the film, it’s still dope.

The good news is Ice filmed hours upon hours of material and I’m almost certain we’ll see additional parts where our personal favorites are included.. As I said this is not a forced documentary. It flowed really well and had a very authentic feel and is an important, essential addition in the Story of Hip Hop..

Major Props to Ice T.. I fully expect this documentary to be nominated for an Oscar.. It’s that damn good.

-Davey D-

Below is the official video for the Art of Rap.. Smooth tha Hustla brings heat..



Celebrating St Patrick’s Day Hip Hop Style..This is How We Do!

When I wanna celebrate St Patrick’s Day I only do it with our Favorite Irish Hip Hop group House of Pain… How many of y’all remember these two classics? And just to keep things gulley i decided to toss in some classic footage from that St Patrick’s Day classic starring Ice T called Leprechauns in the Hood.




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Patrolmen Benevolent Association Prez Lashes Out At Ice-T; Rapper Replies To Arrest w/ a Video

With the police holding rallies for killer cops Johannes Mehserle, others suing the estate of Sean Bell and now police pushing to pass laws making it a felony to video tape them, it’ll be interesting to see how far they push things with Ice T…Will they let it be or try to flex and make the high profile rapper/actor an example via a boycott or something like that..In anycase I’d rather have Ice T beefing with the police over a perceived wrong rather than Soulja Boy  We’ll keep you posted..

-Davey D-


 (AllHipHop News) The president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association lashed out at rapper/actor Ice-T, after the rapper was arrested near the Lincoln Tunnel in New York, for allegedly driving with a suspended license. 

Ice-T, who plays detective Fin Tutuola on Law & Order: SVU, voiced his displeasure with the arrest on Twitter. 

The rapper posted the arresting officers name and badge number, before labeling him a “punk b**ch rookie cop.” 

“[Ice-T] may play a police officer on TV, but his disdain for law enforcement is well-documented,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said. “Real police officers enforce real laws that exist to keep everyone safe, even a disrespectful, former rap performer-turned-actor, whether he likes it or not.” 

Ice-T famously beefed with police officers nation wide after his rock band “Body Count” released the controversial song “Cop Killer.” 

“I’ve got absolutely NO problems with cops in general,” Ice-T tweeted today. “Just some people are a**holes. They don’t have to be cops. A suska [sic] is a sucka.” 

Ice-T is attempting to turn the whole fiasco into a positive learning experience. 

“The whole s**t was a joke. But it showed me how eager some people are to see me in handcuffs,” Ice-T tweeted. “Good wake up call 4 me.” 

via AllHipHop.com Daily News

Below is Ice T on video on U-Stream explaining his arrest


Click HERE to See video

Here’s a link to the full hour long video http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8518499

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Breakdown FM w/ Davey D-All Day Play #8: There Goes the Neighborhood


Click HERE to Listen to Podcast

As we kick off our 3 day weekend  and with so many people snowed in, we decided to put some funk in your trunk with this week’s show.. We took it back to the old school and came with some vintage joints that’ll have you really appreciating this thing we call Hip Hop…Highlights include the Public Enemy. When you listen beyond their most well known hits you realize Chuck D and company have a pretty deep catalogue of songs.. Almost all of them address some sort of issue.. I think they are underestimated..

Had to dig deeper and pull out something from the late Pumpkin. he was Hip Hop’s first official drummer and of course we had DJ Cheese and his landmark cut ‘King Cut’

We kick things off with a special back to Africa remix I did featuring Malcolm X and music from the late J-Dilla..

Its all butter folks.. please enjoy


Breakdown FM w/ Davey D on All day Play#8

There Goes the Neighborhood

01-J-Dilla ‘J-Dilla Meets Malcolm X’-(DaveyD remix)

02-Dr Dre w/ Ice Cube ‘Natural Born Killa’

03-Public Enemy ‘Assault Mix’

04-Public Enemy ‘House of Rising Son’

05-Public Enemy ‘How to Kill a Radio Consultant’

06-DJ Punisher ‘The Cutting Edge’

07-DJ Pumpkin ‘King of the Beat’

08-DJ Cheese ‘King Cut’

09-Bobby Jimmy ‘We Like Ugly Women’

10-Digital Underground ‘DooWhatchalike’

11-MC Lyte ‘10% Diss’

12-Lost Boyz ‘Music Makes me High’

13-Ice Cube ‘The Mack’

14-Outkast ‘Players Ball’

15-Ice T ‘Colors’

16-‘Dr Dre w/ Snoop Dogg ‘Next Episode’

17-Marley Marl w/ MC Shan ‘The Bridge’

18-Ice T  ‘6 In the Morning’

19-Eric & Rakim ‘ The Ghetto’

20-Conscious Daughters ‘Something to Ride To’  ‘(Davey D Screwball remix)’

21-Snoop Dogg ‘Gin & Juice’

22-Mystical ‘Shake Your Ass’

23-Black Sheep ‘The Choice Is Yours’

24-Grandmaster Flash ‘Girls Like the Way he Spins’

25-Donald D ‘FBI’

26-Whodini ‘Friends’

27-Dogg Pound ‘Lets Play House’

28-Kool Moe Dee ‘Go see the Doctor’

29-The Doc ‘ It’s Funky’

30- MC Lyte ‘Cappucino’

31-Craig Mack ‘Get Down’

32-Heavy D ‘Black Coffee’

33-Mobb Deep ‘Shining’

34-Gang Starr ‘Words I Manifest’

35-KRS-One ‘Outta Here’

36-Kool G Rap ‘Road to the Riches’

37-Brand Nubians ‘To the Right’

38-Schooly D ‘Megamix’

39-Ice Cube ‘Megamix’

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BlackHistoryFacts: Every Place Has a Story to Tell-Early LA Hip Hop


Rich Cason & Formula V

When it comes to Hip Hop every city has its own pioneers and their own unique special history.. Some of it was influenced by what was going on in New York, a lot of it was homegrown and came to light once things started to bubble up from NY in the early 80s.. In other words, in places like LA and the Bay Area there was already a thriving street dance scene where people were tutting, popping and roboting which had nothing to do with New York..  Funk and later Uptempo dance records  were the gems that galvanized people..

Below are some of the first records I recall hearing out of LA back in the early days of LA rap, which I should add was different from the Bay which has its own unique history.. What I liked about LA’s history was many of the artists started off as DJs..  People like Arabian Prince, DJ Unknown, Egyptian Lover, Chris The Glove Taylor, Tony G, Joe Cooley , Julio G, Uncle Jamms Army etc..

In the video below you see Chris the Glove who produced the cut Wreckless and featured Ice T is shown in this 1983 video along with Egyptian Lover demonstrating deejaying..

A lot of the music in LA’s early Hip Hop days was classified as electrofunk and is often associated with the sound Afrika Bambaataa established with his song Planet Rock. However, when speaking with the eraly DJs from LA, they say they were already into that sound way before hearing Planet Rock. Egyptian Lover explained that he was influenced by early Prince and Kraftwerk.. and that he had been deejaying in a crew since the mid 70s.. Folks in LA will recall how Egypt who was part of Uncle Jamms Army used to do huge parties at the LA Coliseum where they would work 4 turn tables at a time which was pretty major back at that time..

Here’s an interview we did with Egypt where he breaks all this down


Uncle Jamms Army  ‘Naughty Boy’

Other pioneering figures  had already been playing in bands and were producers.. Rich Cason is a one such pioneer. You can’t talk about LA Hip Hop without proppin him up.. He’s a key foundation… The first records I heard from LA that I associated with Hip Hop was Killer Groove by Formula V, Gigiolo Rapp and Bad Times by Captain Rapp were all produced by Cason. His legacy goes way back to the  60s. In fact his group Formula V had been putting out records since 1973.

Killer Groove by Formula V w/ producer Rich Cason

Captain Rapp Bad Times..

Captain Rapp Gigolo Rapp

Arabian Prince

Arabian Prince who was an original member of NWA is another pioneering figure in LA Hip Hop who was deejaying in a crew since the 70s.  He started out as a DJ and later went on to produce. He’s unique in the sense that he was a pioneering figure in Hip Hop’s electro-funk movement as well as pioneering figure in Hip Hop’s gangsta rap movement. A quick look at his track record will show you that he produced landmark tracks for everyone ranging from JJ Fad to Bobby Jimmy and the Critters as well as NWA.  Here’s an interview he did with him. http://odeo.com/episodes/25600777-Interview-w-Original-NWA-Arabian-Prince

Tons of things have been written about the World Class Wrecking Crew which was home to Dr Dre… They had a bunch of hit songs and Dre helped elevate the deejay game before he went on to start producing..

Wrecking Crew w/ Dr Dre Surgery

 Here are some other early cuts I recall from back in the days..Now please keep in mind this is just a taste of a city that is steeped with stories.. No, we haven’t touched on the dance scene and influence. We haven’t talked about KDAY and the Mixmasters which go back to ’83 and 84.. We haven’t touched on the Good Life or any of that..  This is just a sample.. A great place to go to get some good info on early west coast is my folks from germany who run www.westcoastpioneers.com

LA Dream Team ‘Rockberry’

Ice T 6 in the Morning..

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3 Classic Songs from the early days of LA Hip Hop



3 Classic Songs from the early days of LA Hip Hop

This was a classic meeting of the Hip Hop minds so to speak as Afrika Islamwho had recently moved to Los Angeles teamed up with Ice T and showed that Hip Hop was beyond the confines of New York… They formed a group called the Zulu Kings which included Mele-Mel who now adorned the title Grandmaster since he and Flash were no longer cool and  Bronx Style Bob. They did a song called ‘The Beach’ which celebrated the lifestyle of LA. I remember first hearing this on my way home from San Francisco on KDAY 1580 out of LA. Back in the days the nation’s only 24/7 rap station had an AM signal which at night would bounced 400 miles up the coast-from LA to the Bay. It was one of the first times I had heard a collab with east and west coast artists.


Below is another classic cut that help put early LA Hip Hop into a larger spotlight. Its the classic joint from Ice T called 6 in the Morning that I first heard back in ’85-’86  Back in those days LA was ruled by police Chief Darryl Gateswho pretty much let of LAPD do what they want which was crack heads and be the most abusive force in the country. I think Ice captured the moment..He brought to light life on the ghetto streets of LA which up to that time was only slightly glimpsed through TV cop dramas like Starsky and Hutch. Many like to credit this song with setting off the ‘Gangsta rap genre.

The one thing that was a bit bothersome and it only became so as I got older and bit more educated was Ice describing how he and his boys  they beat some woman down. It wasn’t something I paid close attention to back in the days.. But its pretty jarring now. Hopefully all of us have grown to not see that as a cool thing even if its in a dope song..

PS please forgive this wack swagbucks ideo.. apparently Warner brothers owns the copyright and won’t let it show on Youtube.. Maybe one day these record companies will learn..


Where Ice T gave us a pretty indepth description of of LAPD, Toddy Tee dug deeper with a song that actually made national news. It was called Batter Ram and it reffrenced the reinforced army tank that LAPD had purchased to knock over crack houses.  Than LA police chief Darryl Gates said it was needed, many thought the tank was not only over the top, but also in violation of people’s civil rights. There were a couple of occassions where the tank was used on the wrong houses..  This is arguably one of the first ‘political/social commentary songs  coming out of LA


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Ice T is a pioneering figure in LA Hip Hop who is credited with setting off the gangsta rap genre and creating a bridge between the two coasts.

Ice T is a pioneering figure in LA Hip Hop who is credited with setting off the gangsta rap genre and creating a bridge between the two coasts.