Ice-T & Body Count Come Blasting Back
But despite the new outreach effort, Body Count is still very old-school in the way it does business. During the writing process for Manslaughter, there were no digital files being sent around on Dropbox. Ice-T says he's been burned before trying to piece songs together digitally.
"That's how we did a couple albums, and they sucked," he says. "So I didn't want to do that. I said, 'The only way to do this record is to go back to our first formula,' which was all of us in the same room, writing the songs. Last summer, we had a house in Vegas. My wife was out there doing her show, and we rented a house. We had Body Count out there, and we took two months and we just wrote music."
Likewise, the band had no interest in putting out a DIY album. A requisite for Ice's involvement in the new project was the backing of a record label first, just like they did it back in the day.
"I just wanted to have a real label behind us, a good video and everything, so we can make a valid re-entrance into the game," Ice-T says. "At Sumerian, basically, the owner, Ash Avildsen, is a fan. It was not a difficult sale at all. Body Count sold millions of records before, so it's like, 'Can they do it again 20 years later?' And he believed in us. Now we're out here trying to rebuild our fan base."
Naturally, it wouldn't be a real Body Count record without some strong opinions supplied by the band's always-busy front man. Ice-T says he picked the title for Manslaughter as a way to call attention to what he's called the "pussification" of men in recent years. For a born agitator like Ice, life just ain't as interesting without a little controversy.
"I just think that nowadays men have become so politically correct that nobody has an opinion," he says. "Maybe it's Facebook. Maybe nobody wants to be 'unliked.' I just think everyone wants to be nice and friendly and afraid to say anything. Just like music! Music was really heavy and hard, and then it kind of got soft. And Body Count is heavy and hard, so for us to exist, we need a climate of rugged men who want to tackle problems."
By any means necessary, in most cases. On Manslaughter, Body Count takes the fight to the enemy, be it pop rappers, wannabe gangstas or the shit-eating hipsters and real housewives in the video for the hilariously violent "Talk Shit, Get Shot." The band is back to relishing the role of the bad guy, pushing buttons as hard and as fast as it can. Call it shock-rock with a message.
Just don't take it too seriously, Officer.
"Everything in Body Count, you gotta remember, is grindhouse," Ice-T says. "Everything in Body Count is hyper-sexual, hyper-violent, over-the-top, and it's also done with a bit of humor. That's why the album cover looks like we're in a zombie movie. It's symbolism, it's not reality."
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