Rapper Ice-T was born Tracy Lauren Marrow in Newark, New Jersey, on February 16, 1958. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served there for four years. To get by on the streets, he sold stolen car stereos, sold narcotics, and pimped. But he was determined to get his life back on track, and music was his savior in the process. He was eventually signed to Sire Records once his music career took off. Later, his first album, “Rhyme Pays,” was published. Soon after, he created Rhyme Syndicate Records, a record label. For his first record, ‘O.G.’ he co-founded the heavy metal band, Body Count. Warner Bros Records were uncomfortable with his song ‘Cop Killer,’ which celebrated the murdering of police officers, and broke company with him amicably after the scandal. His subsequent albums were commercial failures. He has appeared in several television shows, including “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” where he portrays the fictitious investigator Odafin Tutuola. Additionally, he’s appeared in several films as various law enforcement and mafia characters.
Tracy Lauren Marrow
February 16, 1958
In addition to his well-known raps on street life and violence, Marrow is a well-known rapper. At an early age, the famed American rapper lost both of his beloved parents. As a result, he was forced to face life’s challenges alone. After losing his father, Marrow relocated to his aunt’s house in south-central L.A. His involvement in inner-city life as a sixth grader there helped shape his career as a rapper and subsequently gave him the credibility necessary to become an anti-gang activist. Marrow graduated from high school against the disdain of his peers.
Marrow was in the U.S. Army for four years before commencing his professional rap career in the early 1980s. As a result, he returned to his native Los Angeles and began to live a life dictated only by his own desires. He began rapping as a result of the influence of a buddy. Marrow had a natural gift for rapping, which his buddy recognized and encouraged him to pursue. Marrow’s life was dramatically transformed when he came upon the notion of rapping. In 1983, the celebrity was given his stage name. Before beginning his rap career, he was a member of a street gang. Marrow released his first album “Rhyme Pays” in 1987, according to a contract he had struck with Sire Records. Marrow became a well-known star as a result of one of his videos going viral all over the globe. It wasn’t until later that the rapper produced a haunting song. His second album was all about L.A.’s inner-city gang violence. “Power,” his second album, earned a lot of praise from fans and was certified gold.
As a rising star of West Coast rap, he put out two additional albums in the 1980s. The gangster rap sound he pioneered with O.G. Original Gangster in 1991 had a significant influence. Marrow released ‘Cop Killer’ in 1992, and it quickly became the most talked-about and controversial song of his career. Marrow’s controversial songs against police officers drew a lot of attention. Marrow would go on to release a slew of ground-breaking Billboard singles throughout the next few years. Marrow’s acting prowess was on display at the same time as his rhyming prowess. There are several films he appeared in before landing on “Johnny Mnemonic” and “New Jack City’.’ Marrow also appeared on television and had his own reality program on V.H.1 called “Ice-T’s Rap School,” which aired on the network. The role as Detective Odafin Tutuola in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” remains his most remembered.
He enlists in the army because the money he makes peddling marijuana and stealing car stereos was insufficient to support his girlfriend and daughter.
Marrow ultimately signs with a big label, Sire Records, and releases his first album, "Rhyme Pays."
'The Iceberg' releases and cements his status as a real hip-hop superstar by combining outstanding harsh music with tough, insightful storytelling and political commentary, particularly on hip-hop censorship.
Marrow launches his acting career, appearing in the updated blaxploitation film "New Jack City;" he also records the film's theme song, 'New Jack Hustler.'
He begins starring in the N.B.C. police drama series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" as the fictitious N.Y.P.D. detective Odafin Tutuola.
Why We Love Ice T
Rap was a means of his escape
Marrow spent four years in the United States Army before commencing his formal rap career in the early 1980s. Following that, he returned to his hometown of Los Angeles and began living a self-driven life. He began rapping after being encouraged by one of his pals. His friend recognized his inherent rap ability as a potential source of revenue; rapping was a game changer in his life.
Creation of the gangsta incarnation of hip-hop
Marrow contributed significantly to the development of hip-hop gangsta's incarnation as a musician and was a giant of the West Coast hip-hop culture, despite his East Coast, greater New York, upbringing. While his music has a political conscience, similar to the criticisms of racism that defined the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy, it is also nihilistic, as one would expect from a chronicler of street life.
Father of gangsta music
This iconic hip-hop musician was dubbed the Father of Gangsta Music. He was also instrumental in launching the careers of artists such as N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, and the Geto Boys.
5 Surprising Facts
Members of notorious gangs
Marrow encountered the legendary fighting gangs, the Crips and the Bloods while growing up in Los Angeles.
He sold marijuana and stole car stereos
He made ends meet as a kid by selling marijuana and stealing vehicle stereos; at the time, his fiancée was pregnant, and he was in desperate need of funds.
His song 'Cop Killer' created an uproar
In 1992, after the acquittal of Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King in 1991, Marrow and Sean C's song became a focal point for violent black demonstrations.
The first record to bear a sticker
Marrow's debut album "Rhyme Pays" was the first hip-hop C.D. to have a warning label.
His stage name was inspired
By 1983, he had taken the moniker Ice-T in honor of his favorite author Iceberg Slim.
Ice T FAQs
Was Marrow a ranger in the army?
No, he did, however, serve in the United States Army as a member of the 25th Infantry Division’s infantry battalion.
What ethnic origin is Ice T?
He was born to Solomon and Alice Marrow; Solomon was African-American, as was his mother Alice, who was of Louisiana Creole ancestry.
What is Marrow most well-known for?
Marrow is well known for his raps about street life and brutality, as well as his impact on the genre of gangster rap.
Ice T’s birthday dates