America is clearly divided. Since the November 2016 election, it seems that reality has only been highlighted by the consequent protests, riots and civil uproar. Ice-T, who’s never one to shy away from voicing his opinion (no matter how controversial), founded Body Count in the early ’90s, a raw, in-your-face punk rock version of gangster rap. Its most contentious song, 1992’s “Cop Killer,” infuriated authoritative figures and rightfully so, but that was exactly the point.
Twenty-five years later, Ice is once again getting to the core of the issue with a new video for Body Count’s “No Lives Matter,” an alternative take on the debate between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter movements. It also serves as the first single from Body Count’s upcoming album, Bloodlust, which is scheduled for a March 17 release.
“It’s unfortunate that we even have to say ‘Black Lives Matter,”‘ Ice begins in the video’s monologue. “I mean if you go through history, nobody ever gave a fuck. I mean, you can kill black people in the street. Nobody goes to jail, nobody goes to prison, but when I say, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and you say, ‘All Lives Matter,’ that’s like if I was to say, ‘Gay Lives Matter’ and you say, ‘All Lives Matter’ or if I said, ‘Women’s Lives Matter’ and you say, ‘All Lives Matter,’ you’re diluting what I’m saying. You’re diluting the issue.
“But the truth of the matter is,” he continues, “they don’t really give a fuck about anybody if you break the shit all the way down to the low fucking dirty ass truth.”
“So far I’ve gotten nothing but good response,” Ice-T elaborates to HipHopDX. “I’m playing the honest angle on this. When it gets to the real bottom line, they don’t give a fuck about anybody. I start the record off by saying it’s unfortunate we have to say it and bring it up as a point. It’s a phrase of desperation. It’s not a phrase of power. It’s a phrase of despair. They’re diluting what you’re saying right now with ‘All Lives Matter.’ This is being sparked from a lot of black people being killed in a short period of time. I take it a step further. When you’re talking the base of government and power, we are all collateral damage at the end of the day.”
According to the Hip Hop vet, unity is the key to making things change. While people are distracted by Donald Trump’s accusatory tweets about Nordstrom, behind closed doors, much darker forces are at work.
“Their biggest fear is when we get on the same side of something,” he says. “They want to keep dividing us — black against the whites, woman against men. They don’t want people to line up and realize we’re all pretty much mad at the same shit. They keep trying to throw monkey wrenches in to make us fight each other so we’re not focused on what the problem is.
“And it’s bigger than the police,” he continues. “The song isn’t even about them. It’s just how the game is played. If they don’t feel you have money to fight, they’ll treat you like shit. That’s kind of how the world is. The world is based on, ‘If I can fuck over you, I will [laughs].’ What happened in the hood is really when regular kids started to get killed, we started to march, and a note went to police that people are going to make noise, and they can’t sweep it under the rug, so they decided, ‘Maybe we need to pull back on our behavior.’ Marching does help. When you don’t, they get away with it and no one is talking about it. It’s one of those things where I am glad people are least now raising some kind of response to anybody.”
The video for “No Lives Matter” is just the beginning. Body Count’s Bloodlust, the group’s sixth studio album and follow-up to 2014’s Manslaughter, comes with 10 more seething tracks that will presumably ignite a firestorm of comments, or has he puts it will “fuck your head up,” but at least people will be talking.