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Body Count Brings South Central To London's KOKO.

If there's one word thrown around in music all too often, it's "legend." However, if there's one person that deserves that tag, it's Ice-T. The man credited with the first gangsta rap song ("Six In The Morning") by many has earned a reputation for his social commentary and tales of life in poor America, as well as his precise vocal delivery and story telling prowess. However it isn't just rap where Ice-T has had a profound effect, as in the early 90s he revealed his band, Body Count, put together with long time friends.

Their self-titled debut sold well but was massively controversial for its lyrical content, most notably the song, "Cop Killer," which was condemned by actor and NRA spokesman Charlton Heston and even President George H.W. Bush. Fast foward to 2018 and Body Count now have six albums under their belt, the most recent of which, "Bloodlust" was released last year. So, at the tender age of sixty, does Ice-T, Ernie C and company still have it? What do you think?

Unfortunately I wasn't able to catch opening act, Crisix, but I was able to see at least half of the second support group, Astroid Boys. This collective from the Welsh capital of Cardiff are very interesting indeed, not full on rap, not full on metal, but not rap metal either. They possess a fantastic energy and were able to make the KOKO, tonights large but awkward venue in Camden, feel very intimate, which is a difficult job for anybody. Not being familiar with them, I'm only able to name a few of the songs they played, including "Dirt," "Minging" and "Dusted" but I'll be checking out more of them in the future and I strongly urge anyone with a love for both metal and rap to do the same.

Lights, sirens, action. A dramatic intro tape with searchlights, sirens, a spoken word excerpt from "Bloodlust" and a hell of a lot of noise from the crowd meant it was time for Body Count. Interestingly, the band opened with two covers, which also appear on "Bloodlust," namely the combination of Slayer's, "Raining Blood" and "Postmortem," which they delivered with pin point accuracy. From here, the band launched into their own material, starting with "Bowels Of the Devil" from their debut and the title track from the album before last, "Manslaughter." There was a lot on Ice-T's mind tonight as he called out President Trump, racism and the lack of strong males in the world today.

"No Lives Matter," the superb single from "Bloodlust" was received really well, as was their eponymous song. There were a few treats in store too, including the Exploited medley, "Disorder," which comprised of the title song, "Chaos" and "UK82," as well as "Drive By" from the "Born Dead" album and plenty of other old favourites such as "KKK Bitch," "There Goes the Neighbourhood" and "Momma's Gotta Die Tonight." During the encore, another cover was brought out, this time the Suicidal Tendencies classic, "Institutionalized," before capping off the night with "This Is Why We Ride," another song from "Bloodlust." All in all, this show was a fun filled but hard hitting evening, where fans were treated to excellent musicianship and one of the most charismatic figures in music. Body Count are a bucket list band if ever there was one.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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