It feels like Ice-T has been in hip-hop since the dawn of time. Eventually, he witnessed a lot of shifts in the genre and its ever-growing soundscape. After more than three decades in the industry, he has finally reached the conclusion that modern rappers are goofy and soft.
In a recent interview with Variety, Ice-T reflected on the early days of hip-hop and shared his thoughts on modern music, particularly the current state of hip-hop. The legendary rapper expressed his belief that many of today’s hip-hop artists are “goofy” and “soft” compared to the “ruthless” men portrayed in the gangster rap of his era.
Ice-T’s comments underscore his deep connection to the early days of hip-hop, where he established himself as a pioneer of the genre with his gritty, hard-hitting lyrics and commanding stage presence. He spoke with a sense of nostalgia for a time when hip-hop was a means of expressing the realities of life in the inner city, with rappers telling stories of hardship, violence, and survival.
“The music got goofy to me. The kids started looking weird. It all turned into something I wasn’t comfortable with.”
Ice-T also noticed a significant drop in people’s interest in his music later in the 2000s. This indicated that the genre was going through a metamorphosis and the culture was being shown differently by the new and upcoming stars of hip-hop. He also mentioned how Public Enemy, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and Wu-Tang Clan weren’t selling records, either.
There was a point where I was selling tons of records, then it cooled off. I felt a certain way. These kids got softer, and soft is not something I’m able to give audiences. The first word in hip-hop is ‘hip’ so how something stays hip for over 10 years is difficult.”
Later in the interview, the west-coast rapper expressed his delight at being given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month. He has also starred in over 75 films, including the critically acclaimed 1991 action crime film “New Jack City.” The two-time Grammy award winner made his acting debut in 1983 in the television series “Fame” and has never looked back since.
“When I started making records, I didn’t come into the music business thinking I would be a star. I was just seeing if I could get a fan base. I didn’t want to be the best rapper. I just wanted to be mentioned among the greats: LL Cool J, Run-DMC.”
Ice-T is widely considered one of the forefathers of gangsta rap and he sure has his fair share of reservations when it comes to what type of music he likes. After that interview, it’s safe to say he isn’t a fan of modern hip-hop.
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