Ice-T has long been revered for his contribution to gangsta rap. Due to his legacy as a pioneer in the hip hop sub-genre, the Los Angeles native recently sat down with Soren Baker, who authored The History of Gangster Rap.
During the pair’s chat on “Unique Access Ent.,” Ice-T discussed the future — or lack there of — of gangsta rap. As he’s said in past interviews, Ice-T believes the sound started with him and ultimately ended with 50 Cent.
“To me, the last gangster rapper was 50 Cent because he basically embodied that image; that, ‘I don’t give a fuck,” Ice-T explained. “50 Cent had you really believing you didn’t wanna fuck with him. I heard 50 Cent when he was beefing with Fat Joe and he was like, ‘Fat Joe, I’m right down the street. It’s real hard to find a ni**a when you know he got a gun, ain’t it?’ I’m like, ‘Okay!’”
Ice-T also said the popular rappers of today don’t scare him, which he thinks is necessary for gangsta rap.
“I think 50 is the last one who did it that I believed,” he said. “I think now, the new trap rappers, you know, they’ve convinced me they can get high, they’ve convinced me maybe that they can sell a little drugs, but they don’t scare me. I think a real gangsta rapper has to scare you a little bit. I don’t think there’s no new people that do it.”
Ice-T did me give honorable mentions to Kendrick Lamar, who he says has kept “a nice little hood edge,” and YG. He added that he groups The Game in with his inclusion of 50 Cent.
“Game was a part of G-Unit, but once that movement happened... I don’t know,” he said. “They do the drill rap out of Chicago and stuff like that — youngsters and stuff — but I don’t know. That’s just for me.”
“I think, we scared the world so quickly and then when Eminem did it they were like, ‘Okay,’” Ice-T continued. “Now, people are kind of conditioned to it. It’s not like when [Ice] Cube came out and said, ‘Crazy motherfucker named...’ Like, ‘What the fuck?! Who are these motherfuckers!’ Now, everybody’s like, ‘Okay, cool, y’all gonna Crip walk and dance and shit.’ It’s not as threatening now.”
Ice-T did add one name to the list, though, who he claims is the last real gangsta rapper.
“You know who the last gangsta rapper was? Bobby Shmurda,” the icon said.
“But that’s when keeping it real goes wrong,” Ice-T added, referring to Shmurda’s incarceration. “They were bar for bar snitching on themselves.”
Check out Ice-T’s full interview below.