Five minutes alone with Body Count's Ice-T

A bodycount press shot

BLOODLUST IS MORE POLITICAL THAN THE LAST BODY COUNT ALBUM. WAS THAT INTENTIONAL?

“When I make records, whatever’s going on around me dictates what I’m writing about. This album was written last year during an election so all these political things were in my face. The title of Bloodlust came from hearing people arguing over relative levels of violence. Is the United States more violent than Germany? Or the UK? The fact is that humans are a violent species. We all have this bloodlust. We all show it in different ways, but everyone’s guilty.”

DOES MUSIC HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ADDRESS SERIOUS ISSUES?

“Certain artists feel that responsibility, but if you don’t have it in you, leave it alone. I hate it when people are asked political questions and don’t have a fucking clue. I don’t feel it’s my job to apply that burden onto artists that have the ability and the intelligence to speak about such things, but if you choose to do it, God bless you. If this record has great commercial success, record labels will be saying to other bands: ‘You’ve gotta get political, go read some magazines’ and suddenly you’ll get a bunch of people trying to talk shit about shit they don’t know shit about. The last thing we need now is political pop music.”

DO YOU THINK ROCK WILL STEP UP IN THIS POST-TRUMP CLIMATE TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO PROTEST?

“I think so. It’s in me and it fired me up. When we put out the first Body Count album it was before the riots. Rage Against The Machine and all of us were in the pit. It was time. I think that time’s come around again, that people are tired of hearing about partying in the club and all the bullshit. Hopefully we’ll strike a match that gets people excited. I put up my video [for Body Count’s No Lives Matter] yesterday and it’s already had over 200,000 views. It’s not on radio, so obviously people are talking.”

NO LIVES MATTER’S MESSAGE IS CLEARLY CHIMING WITH PEOPLE; THAT THERE’S A BROADER ISSUE THAN SIMPLY BLACK LIVES MATTER, THAT THE POOR OF ALL RACES ARE UNITED BY THE FACT THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT TRULY DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT WHETHER THEY LIVE OR DIE.

“They don’t give a shit about anybody. When Black Lives Matter came out I got pissed at people diluting the message saying All Lives Matter, because black people are being killed right now. But when you take it onto a global level, all humans are just collateral damage to whoever’s trying to get the money. They don’t give a fuck if they’ve got to wipe out rainforests or poison people. Black Lives Matter is not a statement of power, it’s a statement of desperation. You’ve got to take it seriously when somebody black gets killed, especially by the cops, but it’s my job to take you one step deeper, to bottom line this shit and find out where the real problem is.”

THE ESTABLISHMENT DEPEND UPON A POLICY OF DIVIDE AND CONQUER…

“Blacks and whites, unless they’re racists, are all mad at the same shit. The poor, both black and white, don’t have a voice so get fucked over, but you put us together and we are a voice. And they don’t want that. So a cop shoots a kid. They say it’s a white cop so I get mad at the white guy who lives next door to me. He didn’t do shit, but this is the game. They get men to fight women, Jews to fight Christians, Christians to fight Muslims, and in the meantime, they’re just making money.”

BLOODLUST IS OUT NOW VIA CENTURY MEDIA

The gospel according to Ice-T

Ice-T: Bloodlust title comes from my overview of humans