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Gangsta Rap (Special Edition)

Ice-T

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Album Review

Ice-T's first solo rap CD since 1999's 7th Deadly Sin is a mixed bag. Lyrically, the Iceberg hasn't changed much. He's still hard — much harder than you'd expect a VH-1 regular to be — and he's still uncompromising with the language and his attitude towards women (ladies, unless you want to learn how to go from "ho" to "pro," avoid this album). The word-filled and moving "Dear God Can You Hear Me" displays some growth and on "New Life" he sounds suitably reborn. "My Baby" is a worthy sequel to the nasty "Girls L.G.B.N.A.F." from his 1988 album Power and the fascinating beat laid on "Pray" is as icy cold as the lyrics. Problem is, "Pray" is the only time the production is excellent and the B-list beatmakers rounded up for Ice-T's comeback seem much less enthused than they should be. T's protégés and guest stars aren't that gripping either and you'd think the Bush Jr. years would set the man on fire. Instead, he macks on about money, ho's, and the game for 16 tracks, and with no sweet beat to latch onto, the results are numbing. If you've been pining for the stripped-down, ball to you fall attitude of his debut, go for it. Otherwise, this is a hardcore fan's album, and a spotty one at that.

Biography

Born: 16 February 1958 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ice-T (born Tracy Marrow) has proven to be one of hip-hop's most articulate and intelligent stars, as well as one of its most frustrating. At his best, the rapper has written some of the best portraits of ghetto life and gangsters, as well as some of the best social commentary hip-hop has produced. Just as often, he can slip into sexism and gratuitous violence, and even then his rhymes are clever and biting. Ice-T's best recordings have always been made in conjunction with strong collaborators, whether...
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Gangsta Rap (Special Edition), Ice-T
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