Ice-T’s worn many different hats in his time in the entertainment industry: rapper, actor, author and reality TV star. Now, the O.G. of west coast Hip Hop is adding another title to his name as director of an upcoming documentary about Hip Hop culture Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.
As previously reported, Ice-T has enlisted rap heavyweights like Eminem and Kanye West for the film to discuss the art and history of rhyming. Now, in a recent interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, the gangsta rap pioneer spoke on his directorial debut and why he decided to make the film. He explained that he felt it was important that an O.G. of the Hip Hop game like himself step up and represent the culture to fullest extent.
“I was one of the early rap pioneers. I knew enough artists out there. I knew the ones that I respected and I felt that somebody had to tell this story,” he explained. “I felt it would be better if somebody from Hip Hop, a real rapper, to do it, rather than a journalist or outsider coming in, and I knew I could put a fair slant on it. Everybody was very open, easy-going. That’s what makes the movie so real. Everyone is in front of the camera, but they’re also talking to one of their friends and one of their peers. So I get interviews that I don’t think anyone else could have got.”
Ice-T also spoke about his six-year absence and why he’s chosen to focus an his acting career over his music. He explained that after his 1999 album The Seventh Deadly Sin, he wanted to tackle his challenge in acting, and that he’s been devoting more and more time to it ever since.
“You just take other career paths. After The Seventh Deadly Sin, I started to lean toward more acting,” he explained. “[You] put out albums and you think, ‘I’ve done that, I’ve accomplished that. I’ve climbed that mountain.’ Acting was a new challenge to me. To get good, you have to put 100 percent into it, so I’ve just been focusing on acting for the last 12, 15 years.”