Ice-T’s reputation as an OG original gangster is now set in stone – in the form of a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The rapper and actor was honored with a record industry star Friday, the tour’s 2,747th, at 7065 Hollywood Blvd.
Taking the microphone to speak on Ice-T’s behalf were “Law & Order” franchise producer Dick Wolf, “Law & Order: SVU” co-star Mariska Hargitay and Public Enemy rapper Chuck D.
Ice-T – real name Tracy Lauren Marrow – was brought on stage to bask in the moment as Wolf stepped up to say a few words about their quarter-century relationship. In the audience sat his wife, Coco, and their 7-year-old daughter, Chanel, who would later join her dad on the podium.
“Ice has appeared in more of my shows than anyone else on earth. It’s been 25 years now,” Wolf said. “I’m going to show how old I am now by saying, ‘Ice is the coolest guy I’ve ever met ‘, and I have told him. I don’t know what the term for that is – ‘the bomb’? I don’t know.”
He went on to praise the actor, who plays Sgt. Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on “SVU” for his work ethic and his “universal appeal,” saying no one gets the reaction Ice-T does when he’s filming in public on city streets.
“He is universally liked by his countrymen,” said Wolf, “and I suppose the same is true of the music world.”
Then it was time for Hargitay to talk about the Walk of Fame, which she considers an “indescribably sacred” place where her star sits next to her mother Jayne Mansfield’s.
“Your whole story runs so deep,” Hargitay said of Ice-T’s legacy. “It runs deep, especially here in LA, and it runs deep around the world. You’re a rapper and an actor and an artist. And in a time when people are overusing words without thinking and exhausting the meanings, you really are the real OG”
She continued: “You have lived a story that has shaped how you see the world. A story that would have hardened many people beyond recognition. but instead it filled you with humanity, with humility, with grace and with so much wisdom. You are a devoted husband and a proud, proud, proud father, and you take your place here for all those reasons and so many more.
“But to me, Ice, the reason you’re here, and the reason you have fame in my heart, is because you’re the OG of friendship. You’re my real part, my true blue, authentic, steadfast friend, and I can not tell you what it means to me.”
Hargitay, like Wolf, said she has never seen Ice-T complain, ever, in the decades they worked together.
“Do you know why, Maris?”, the rapper broke in. “Hustlers don’t complain. We’ll figure it out.”
Hargitay also found out: She said Ice-T lets her call him “Icy” — a nickname no one else is allowed to use.
Then came Chuck D, the Public Enemy rapper, who has his own nickname for the rapper: Iceberg.
“OG, original gangster, original god, is where Ice-T has been all along,” said Chuck D. “He’s changed the world with words. I call him Berg as a nickname because he’s so cool he could lower the Titanic and raise it again.”
He talked about how Ice-T — who was born in New Jersey but moved to the Crenshaw District as a teenager — brought East Coast and West Coast rap together in conversation before companies made East vs. West “a thing.”
“He brought theatrics to hip-hop and rap, and you were frozen in the moment like he was the black rapper Alice Cooper, without biting the head off the bird,” Chuck D said as the friendly crowd laughed. “And he would hold you in the palm of his hand with words, wisdom and wit.”
He then praised “Iceberg” for his efforts as a writer, thrash-metal artist and actor in television and film. He called him out as “the superhero that he is, the ambassador, the spokesperson, the father, the godfather, the husband and the big brother. And also friend.” And he wished him happy birthday; Ice-T turned 65 on Thursday.
“It’s a good run,” said Chuck D, “and we’re going to keep running.”
When it was finally Ice-T’s turn at the microphone, he did not disappoint.
“I never thought I’d get a star – really? I mean, the way my life was going, it was what we can come up in Hollywood and steal. We were really out here causing real trouble. And this was just out of the question. Show business was just out of the question.”
Then came hip-hop, and Ice-T found something he could do, he said, recounting the stories of the life he’d lived on albums including “Rhyme Pays.” When Ice Cube and NWA came up and the media labeled the “reality” genre “gangsta rap,” said Ice-T, he billed himself as the “original gangster” who started it. He said he founded the Rhyme Syndicate to prevent all the hip hop groups in LA from fighting each other.
“With the Syndicate” — modeled after mafioso Lucky Luciano’s Eastern crime family commission — “we never had a beef in LA between rappers,” Ice-T said. He was proud of that.
Then he got a role as a policeman in Mario Van Peeble’s “New Jack City”, which sparked his interest in acting. His career grew from there, eventually leading to New York and “Law & Order: SVU.” That turned into 24 years on the show, which he said he loves because of the “good people” involved. He said he’s still having fun and that’s why he shows up.
Speaking about the star-studded ceremony, he said he thought his friends were more excited about it than he was – and he thanked them along with his music, film and TV colleagues.
“Last but not least,” said Ice-T, “I want to thank the mother-haters, because you really make me get up in the morning and be the best I can be. All those who didn’t say, all those who wanted to end my career, now I’m on the Walk of Fame … and that’s the motivation! You have to let the haters motivate you.
“If it wasn’t for the haters, I definitely wouldn’t have made it, I swear to God,” he added a moment later. “I’m going to give you so much more to hate in the future.”