Ice-T's Crossover Project Body Count Introduces New Member, Revisits "Cop Killer"
"There goes the neighborhood," Ice-T loudly exclaimed. The rapper/actor wasn't here to shoot a commercial or drop a beat. At this moment, the second day of FFF 2013 in Auditorium Shores park, he was "in the house" with his metallic creation, Body Count. The song in question, which deals with the prejudices of black people playing rock music, took on a different context after Ice-T explained Austin, Texas marked the beginning of legal trouble he experienced with "Cop Killer." Because of the controversy surrounding this song from the group's self-titled debut, and I didn't even know Austin's PD chief instigated the controversy, I wondered if we would hear this infamous track.
Our ear drums endured word-shaped ammunition spraying of metallic hardcore shaped from the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles before the cool one concluded with "Cop Killer." Police officers bobbed heads without worry of a riot or their own safety. I guess it took over 20 years before these public servants understood this was only entertainment, although I understand their initial concern. Ice-T has been on record stating the song was about a fictional character who got fed up with police brutality. This was his way of channeling his own frustration and disgust with police brutality and racial profiling.
Much in line with Ice-T's rap outfit, prejudice and the uphill struggle for poverty-stricken black America are a fixture in Body Count lyrics; however, he often tackles these taboo subjects with humor. Ice-T has a dirty mind and songs likes "KKK Bitch" balance his horny rhymes with political humor. He led the crowd in singing "ahhhh ahhh ahhh" to back up his chorus lines about dating the Grand Wizard of the KKK's daughter. He trimmed some of the minutes on this song, so we couldn't hear the morale of the story: "So what we're really trying to say is Body Count loves everybody. We love Mexican girls, black girls, oriental girls. It really doesn't matter; if you're from Mars and you have a pussy, we will fuck you!"
Austin is unusually wet right now, but it was not warm enough for Ice-T to whip out "Evil Dick." However his perverted shenanigans continued on both stages (BC on the Black Stage and Ice-T on the Blue Stage) as he singled out a girl from the crowd. He asked this cute girl her age. She replied with "16." He retorted with a joke about how that was a job for SVU. During his solo set, he humped the monitors during the his ode to sex "LGBNAF (Let's Get Buck Naked and Fuck), but apparently the game has been hard on the 55-year-old-man; he moved gingerly and had to use both hands to gain thrust. The Ice man was on his game most of the time, but not always coherent, which was entertaining in itself. He said the festival's name incorrectly several times and misspoke a young man's name who he brought on stage.
The doom-ridden "Masters of Revenge" and the intense, up-tempo exposition of prison life "Bowels of the Devil" preceded chuckler "KKK Bitch." After this song, the BC crew unveiled their appreciation for Los Angeles metal. First they followed Slayer, note-for-note, in their recreation of the Ice-T/Slayer duet "Disorder" from the "Judgment Night" soundtrack. Ice-T ignited the audience's fervor for stage diving and moshing through yelling a familiar word to all Slayer fans, "War!" Next, BC paid tribute to LA-based crossover legends, Suicidal Tendencies. With this version of "Institutionalized," Ice-T modernized the conversation between son and mother. The boy just wanted to play his X-Box and surf the internet...and his mother wouldn't let him.
Fans of Ice's acting career found the allusion to "SVU" hilarious and were thrilled to see and even meet his better half, Coco, who they know from the reality show "Ice and Coco." I was surprised to see Agent Steel axe-slicer extraordinaire, Juan Garcia backstage with Body Count and beefing up their sound on stage. I saw him a while later heading to the Blue Stage to watch Ice-T. He said this was his first show with the group. They brought him into the fold to replace deceased guitarist, D-Roc. He also mentioned he was responsible for the band getting a record contract. One of the gripes I hear concerning Body Count is their lack of skill. Anyone who has heard Agent Steel or Killing Machine (with David Ellefson) know this dude has chops. Expect him to bring more speed and technical brilliance to BC.
Ice-T's solo performance concluded our night. Due to our late night the night before, we missed sets from Pelican, Melt Banana, Venomous Maximus (played at noon). We also missed out on the solid FFF Nites lineup close to home at Hotel Vegas featuring Bruce Lamont, Eagle Claw, Inter Arma and Black Tusk. I've covered most of these artists at SXSW, so no surprises unveiled here. Our early retreat, however, allowed us to experience a full day at the park on Sunday. Check back into Metalunderground.com soon to read my report of Sunday Slayer Sunday!
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