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Music

Ice-T's three favourite metal albums of all time

@jackwhatley89

There are a few rappers from the history of hip hop that simply do not get the credit they deserve. One of the foremost names on that list is Ice-T. The ‘Cop Killer’ rapper is one of the pioneers of modern rap, an originator of gangster rap and being a guiding light regarding his view on censorship and freedom of speech. Those notions are as valid today as they were when he fought for them decades ago.

It means Ice T’s opinion on the finer details of the genre are always welcomed. The rapper has thankfully obliged and shared his views on creating gangster rap, the “real one” David Bowie, his favourite rappers of all time and, now, his favourite rock records. It may seem strange for the originator of gangster rap to be so indebted to the genre of rock and heavy metal, but alongside his band Body Count, Ice-T has always been across all types of subversive music.

Such is Ice-T’s widespread appeal; the rapper was actually asked for his favourite albums by none other than Metal Hammer during which he delivered three heavy metal records that will go down as the greatest of the genre. Broken down into various categories and life experiences, Ice-T provides a series of records that could set up a party, soundtrack a road trip or, indeed, anything else you need.

The hip hop pioneer picks out a heavy metal classic for the album that most reminds him of school, noting Black Sabbath‘s self-titled LP as one of the best: “Now here’s your rock record. I used to live with my cousin, and he would always listen to rock radio – that’s what we had on all the time. There was one album that I used to play over and over again that I heard from that station, and that was the first Black Sabbath album. And I’ve used that record over and over in my music.”

He also selects the record that most accurately reflects his notion of heavy metal, which he would give to somebody looking to understand the genre. “I’d give him two songs: ‘Iron Man’ by Black Sabbath and ‘Angel Of Death’ by Slayer.” Pushed to select just one album to facilitate the role of the two singles, Ice-T picks out Slayer’s Def Jam masterpiece Reign in Blood, about which the rapper says: “There’s a hip hop connection with Reign In Blood. Rick Rubin produced it, and the hook from [Public Enemy’s] ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!’ is from ‘Angel Of Death’. When I first heard the term ‘speed metal,’ I was like, ‘I gotta hear this,’ and when I did, I was like, ‘Oh, this shit is dope, man!'”

The power of metal seemingly flows through Ice-T’s veins as he also picks the “album that makes me want to fight” as another classic from Slayer, their brilliant LP Season in the Abyss from 1990. “Seasons In The Abyss,” he answers flatly before expanding. “Any good Slayer album makes you wanna fucking hurt someone real bad. They always have the most violent pits. Their riffs just bring out the aggression in people; I’ve been stood on the side of the stage, and when they come on, the fucking mixing desk moves.”

All of the above proves that Ice-T has always been a fan of the most subversive music around. Metal is as integral to Ice-T as hip hop, and his selection of three of the best albums ever made in the genre are a testament to that.

Ice-T’s favourite metal albums:

  • Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  • Slayer – Reign In Blood
  • Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss