Flashback: Ice-T on Leaving the Music Business and Going Back to Hustling

In a flashback clip with Upfront and Ice-T, the rapper talks about how he got his start in the rap industry. Ice-T talked about how he was into poetry when he first started his rap career, but he heard Rappers Delight by Sugar Hill Gang. Once Ice heard that he began hooking his raps to beats and his career began, he made a record in 1982 called “The Coldest Rap” but he didn’t make money due to being a rookie and signing to a crazy contract, so he left the music business and went back to hustling.

Ice-T winded up getting back in the game and becoming successful by not focusing on money making or radio play, but sticking to making good music. “Radio ain’t controlling you, you know what I’m saying, I ain’t getting played on the radio, right, but I’m on your TV show.” Ice-T continues to say that radio and politics shouldn’t play a role in your success. “There’s people in the streets making way more money then people in the music business when I was out on the streets hustling and stealing I made more in one weekend than I had made in my entire rap career and I got platinum records.

Ice-T also talked about making the album, “Colors” for the movie “Colors,” about gang life. Ice-T talked about when the opportunity came to do the song he wanted to do it, but he had trouble making the song about actual gang life. He said he would rap like the gang would think, and his producer told him that the song sounded like a “pro-gang record.” He was worried about the record, but he felt comfortable releasing it, and it became a hit.

Check out the flashback clip above.

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