Ice-T – “O.G. Original Gangster” 25 Year Album Anniversary

Ice-T-original-gangster-back-in-the-day-buffet

 

Ice-T released his fourth studio album “O.G. Original Gangster” on May 14 1991.  The album was produced by Ice-T, Afrika Islam, DJ Aladdin, DJ SLJ and Bilal Bashir.  The album is probably Ice-T best work on wax and also introduced us to his rock/metal group  Body Count.

This album is bangin from the start!  I was born and raised in South Central and East LA and have every single Ice-T album and early singles, and I can tell you this is his best work by far!  When The album starts with “LA, home of the bodybag” you know ish is about to get serious!  Track #3 “Ziplock” is only 1:20 but it’s so dope that you’ll be playing this on repeat over and over again.  Over a dope gangsta beat, Ice T goes hard with lyrics like these,

“Once again I’m back in the place to be
The I, the C, the E, the T
I’ll never get a Grammy, so fuck the G
All I need is crowd, and my M-I-C
Got a gangster ass DJ named Evil E
My record label’s called Warner B
William Morris is my agency
I’ll never go broke, I got property
Got a dope pitbull named Felony
Got four gold albums
So what you tell’n me?
Power was two, Iceberg was three
This one here shipped five hundred G
Now when I roll, I roll stupid deep
Benz’s, Beamers, and boomin’ Jeeps
I’m always strapped
Cause my money I keep
You move on the Ice
And you’re goin’ to sleep”

On “Mind Over Matter” Ice-T goes on the slow tempo flow on top of a dope guitar sample from Funkadelics’s “I Bet You” track.  But it’s what he says that will get you listening from start.

“Sometimes I write my rhymes
At night and fall asleep
Wake up with new techniques
Grab the pen
And place it on some loose leaf
Nothin’ soft, always the tough meat
The white paper and
Blue lines excite my mind
Not allow’n me to stop the rhyme
Until the whole motherfuckin’
Book’s complete
Then I write on the
Back of the sheets”

 

“New Jack Hustler” was added to this album form the New Jack City soundtrack, but it’s still one of Ice T’s greatest hits.  DJ Aladdin samples the ESG track “UFO” and although it’s been sample a million times, it sounds dope on this track.  Ice T brings that bravado once again with lines like:

“What’s up? You say you wanna be down?
Ease back, or muthafucka get beat down.
Out my face, fool I’m the illest,
Bulletproof, I die harder than Bruce Willis.
Got my crew in effect, I bought em new Jags,
So much cash, gotta keep it in Hefty bags.
All I think about is keys and Gs
Imagine that, me workin at Mickey D’s (ha ha ha ha).
That’s a joke cause I’m never gonna be broke,
When I die there’ll be bullets and gunsmoke.
Ya don’t like my lifestyle? Fuck you!
I’m rollin with the New Jack crew.
And I’m a hustler”

Over a “Synthetic Substitution” Ice T flexes his lyrical skills on his title track.  The beat is dope and fits perfectly with Ice T rhymes.

“Try to roll on me, please!
I’m protected by a thousand emcees
and hoodlums and hustlers
And bangers with Jeri curls
we won’t even count the girls
Cause they got my back
And I got theirs too
Fight for the streets
When I’m on Oprah or Donahue
They try to sweat a nigga
But they just didn’T figure
What my wit’s as quick as a hair trigger
“He’s not your everyday-type
Prankster.”

I’m Ice-T, the original gangster”

The one thing Ice T is known for is his storytelling abilities on the mic.  “Midnight” is probably the second best storytelling track next to “6 In The Morning”.  The beat has an eerie but dope heavy guitar riff courtesy of Black Sabbath and drum beat courtesy of Led Zeppelin.  The rhymes get you on the edge of your seat to hear what happens next.

 “Midnight chillin’ at A.M P.M.
Coolin’ drinkin’ apple juice
In Evil’s BM
The sound’s up loud
To attract attention
Armoraled tires
On a lowered suspension
Nardi to steer with
Alpine deck was glowin’
Bumpinn’ Big Daddy
And the nigga was definitely flowin'”

So how does it end you ask?  We go back to the original classic track from way back!

“Fixed the crew up
And even though Evil’s car blew up
We made it home and then I crashed out
Thinkin’ bout my all-night death bout
Then somethin’ woke me up
From my dark sleep
The sound of fuckin’ police
When they’re tryin’ to creep
Broke thru my door
With no goddamn warning
Looked at my watch
It was six in the mornin’!”

But even after all that, we get one of the greatest and deepest Ice T tracks ever.  On The Tower” he raps over the theme song instrumental of the movie Halloween and serves some serious heartfelt lyrics about being in the “pen”.

“This is my second day
I got a ten year stay
I learned my first lesson
In the pen you don’t plaay
I saw a brother kill another
Cause he said he was gay
But that’s the way it is
It been that way for years
and when his body hit the ground
I heard a couple of cheers
It kind of hurt me inside
That they were glad he died
and I ask myself
Just who had the power?
The Whites? The Blacks?
Or just the gun tower!”

The album as a whole is some dope ish and definitely on another level than his previous albums.  On “MVP” he gives his “thank yous” to all the mc’s and dj’s/producers that have helped him along the way.  He also released a VHS tape with all his tracks on video.  That ish was dope too!  On the same day De La Soul dropped their second LP so you know it was a good day in 1991.  Peace to Ice T and The Syndicate!  We salute you!

-Al E.

 

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