Exclusive – Ice-T has opened a newly revamped recording studio with Naughty By Nature’s Treach in New Jersey. On Thursday (September 15), the Original Gangster posted a photo of himself holding a plaque with six of his gold records and Treach in the background.
“The homie @triggertreach and I just copped a new Recording Studio,” he wrote in the caption. “Hanging up some plaques… ‘Yep, I’ve sold a few records.’ Now that I’ve got a studio.. ya might get another ICE T album. Ya never know.”
The Homie @triggertreach and I just copped a new Recording Studio.. Hanging up some plaques… ‘Yep, I’ve sold a few records’ Now that I’ve got a studio.. ya might get another ICE T album 💿 Ya never know..💥 pic.twitter.com/Bltqm9AISR
HipHopDX got Ice-T on the phone for an impromptu interview to discuss his future endeavors, which may actually include a follow-up to 2006’s Gangsta Rap, his last solo album. As for the new studio, Ice-T explained it’s a place he and Treach were already frequenting often.
“It was a studio that we used in New Jersey that we were able to obtain through the owner,” he told DX. “It’s under new management and we remodeled it. The picture is of us putting up plaques in there. It was a good opportunity, and Treach and I use the studio anyway. We’re going to have an opening soon.
“Afrika Islam took that picture and I thought it was kinda cool. That’s when I had six consecutive gold records, so that’s big. Doing it once is cool but to do it over and over, that’s difficult.”
Just because Ice-T hasn’t dropped a solo album in over 15 years, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. Aside from his long-running role as NYPD Detective/Sergeant Odafin Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the 64-year-old rap legend won a Grammy Award for his work on Body Count’s latest album Carnivore, which arrived in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. He’s also been doing a lot of features.
“I was just in the studio with Kool Keith last week,” he said. “I’m working on his Black Elvis album. I did two songs on that. I just worked on Bishop Lamont’s album, I’m on that. As far as actually doing an album myself, I just have to get in the right space and right vibe. It’s a project. And I’ve been doing a lot of singles, just dropping them digitally. Body Count is in the studio as we speak.
“The Body Count album, Merciless, is being done. I was in the studio last week and laid six songs. We’re off to a good start on that. We have a performance in Kentucky, not this weekend but next weekend. So Body Count, we had a big album but it happened at the same time COVID hit so we dropped Carnivore and COVID hit, so we didn’t get to tour at all on that.”
He added: “Making music is different than people think. You can sit around and can’t write a rap and then you could go in and write an album in two days if you get inspired. It happens. Now that I have the studio and I’ll be in there with other artists, listening to beats and stuff like that, I probably will accumulate an album’s worth of music.”
As Ice-T pointed out, he’s carved out a comfortable life for himself. During the onset of his career, he made the music he wanted to make and the result ended up being now-classic albums such as 1987’s Rhyme Pays and 1988’s Power and 1991’s OG: Original Gangster. Now that he’s doing well financially, he doesn’t have the pressure of trying to sell 500,000 copies of everything he releases.
“I’m in a good place because it’s almost like where I was when I started making records ’cause I never really thought I was going to make money making records, so I didn’t give a fuck,” he explained. “So, I just made hardcore records. Now, I’m financially stable so I don’t really need money, and I can just put out a record I like and if it sells, it sells.
“I never really made radio records. I was one of the guys who would never do clean versions of my songs. I can make a decent album. I know all the vets. I know all the best people. When I make albums, I try to do a solid album solo before I bring in the features.
“I try to rap with cats I really fuck with. I don’t just call rappers out of the blue and go, ‘Hey, you got a hot record. Be on my album.’ So you know, I just might do an album that sells 10,000 copies to my hardcore fans. You never know.”