A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
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My life’s been a great story / In the ultimate war / Should I ill or do right? / Make peace or go raw?—Ice-T, “Exodus”
He’s a hip-hop icon credited with single-handedly creating gangsta rap in the 1980s. Television viewers know him as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on the top-rated TV drama Law & Order: SVU. But where the hype and the headlines end, the real story of Ice-T—the one few of his millions of fans have ever heard—truly begins.
Ice is Ice-T in his own words—raw, uncensored, and unafraid to speak his mind. About his orphan upbringing on the gang-infested streets of South Central Los Angeles. About his four-year stint in the U.S. Army’s famed “Tropic Lightning” outfit. About his successful career as a hustler and thief, the car crash that nearly killed him, and the fateful decision to turn away from a life of crime and forge his own path to international entertainment stardom.
Ice by Ice-T is both a tell-it-like-it-is tale of redemption and a star-studded tour of the pop culture firmament. The acclaimed rapper and actor shares never-before-told stories about friends like Tupac, Dick Wolf, Chris Rock, and an antler-clad Flavor Flav, among others. Readers will ride along as Ice-T’s incendiary rock band Body Count narrowly escapes from a riotous mob of angry concertgoers in Milan, and listen in as the music legend battles the self-appointed censors over his controversial “Cop Killer” single.
Most of all, Ice is the place where one of the game’s most opinionated players breaks down his own secret plan for living, offering up candid observations on marriage and monogamy, the current state of hip-hop, and his latest passion: doing one-on-one gang interventions and mentoring at-risk youths around the country.
With insights into the cutthroat world of the street—and the cutthroat world of Hollywood—Ice is the inspirational story of a true American original.
Tracy Marrow a/k/a Ice-T was born in New Jersey. As an only child whose parents died when he was very young, Ice-T became involved in Los Angeles gangs before spending four years in the army. He released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records and formed the thrash-metal band Body Count, whose 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single “Cop Killer.” He currently stars as Detective Fin Tutuola on Law & Order: SVU.
Douglas Century is the author of Barney Ross: The Life of a Jewish Fighter and Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse, and is the co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Takedown and Under and Alone. He has written frequently for The New York Times, among many other publications, and is a contributing editor at Tablet Magazine.
Tracy Marrow, better known as Ice-T, is a man of many faces: platinum-selling hip-hop artist, a former thief and pimp, and now actor on the television drama "Law & Order: SVU." Host Michel Martin speaks with Ice-T about his life and new memoir Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption from South Central to Hollywood. More at NPR.org
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Praise for Ice:
“In this intriguing memoir, groundbreaking rapper and actor Ice-T chronicles his rise from nomadic criminal to hip-hop star… Ice-T is a canny businessman, and he charts clearly the decisions that brought him up each step of a very treacherous ladder.
– Publishers Weekly
"In this no-holds-barred memoir, Ice-T writes with refreshing, if profane, down-to-earth candor....A fascinating and inspiring story."
– Booklist (starred)
“A boldly opinionated, bracingly street-tough memoir.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“An enlightening read… For anyone interested in how street smarts are transferable to the entertainment industry.”
– Library Journal
“Ice-T, in short, is someone hip-hop might have invented if he hadn’t invented himself…A goes-down-easy mélange of memoir, self-help, and amateur criminology. Ultimately, Ice showcases an eminently reasonable, positively likeable guy, the gangsta rapper even a parent could love.”
—New York Times Book Review
“It's as cool as its namesake….A fascinating memoir, the pages of which are jam-packed with tales of a guy who ‘actively did everything I rhymed about.’"
“In his spare, plainspoken autobiography, Ice-T speaks freely and unapologetically…. Ice is a good name for this memoir — its writer is a cool cat.”
—Los Angeles Times