Saturday Sample Session- Ice-T
‘Power’ is the second studio album by American rapper Ice-T. Released on September 13, 1988, this album received positive reviews upon it’s release.
The album also contains lyrics which began a feud between Ice-T and rapper LL Cool J. The album cover, which features Ice-T’s then-girlfriend Darlene Ortiz, Ice-T, and DJ Evil E, was described as “perpetuating stereotypes” by many of his critics.
But if you look beyond the album art, you’ll discover that Ice-T had a lot to say. He released two singles from this album. The first single was I’m Your Pusher. On I’m Your Pusher he surprised his critics by proclaiming himself a pusher of dope beats and lyrics instead of drugs.
Ice-T obviously has a deep respect and admiration for 70’s soul music. He used a sample from Curtis Mayfield’s I’m Your Pusherman from the Superfly soundtrack for his first single. But he didn’t stop there.
Ice-T’s second single High Rollers was a cautionary tale to wanna be street hustlers:
Now radio stations probably won’t play
This record because of the things I say
They’ll say I’m glamorizing the hustling hood
And a record like this can do no good
But I’m not here to tell ya right or wrong
I don’t know which side of the law you belong
Yes, the game has flash, but sometimes hurts
Behind any mistake, hard times lurks
And jail’s not your only problem though it may seem
You just may die by a barrage from an M-16
But to each his own, choose the mobile phone
The tailored suit, the luxury home
You’ll never get caught cause you got nerves of ice
And you’re much smarter than those crooks on Miami Vice
Ice-T couldn’t have chosen a better sample for High Rollers. The music and drum beat give it an updated 70’s player vibe that perfectly compliments the lifestyle described in High Rollers.
Easin In was performed by Edwin Starr as a single from the movie “Hell Up In Harlem”. The music lends itself to the lifestyle becoming the soundtrack for hustlers and players worldwide. Both songs share a similar theme, yet High Rollers is socially conscious.
As he describes the decadent lifestyle of the high rollers, he also states “very few live to retire”. If anyone thought he was glamorizing the hustler lifestyle they weren’t listening.
Tell me what you think about Ice-T and this week’s Sample Session.