Hip-Hop mogul Ice-T has announced plans to launch a digital-based record label in hopes of re-igniting the sounds of late rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.
Along with detailing his motivation for the company, the rapper-turned-actor also revealed artists he’s already signed to the label.
“I’m starting a digital label through EMI,” he explained. “I’m trying to get back to more hip hop. To me, music right now is like disco. It’s very sing-songy, and nobody’s dealing with content. That’s what I miss. I miss Tupac and Big. You got Lupe Fiasco and T.I now, but in general, we’re swamped with bubblegum pop…We signed about five groups. We’ve got an artist from L.A., a group called Certified from Washington State, Born Twice from Houston and a Korean kid from New York. I’m playing the whole map.” (New York Daily News)
Ice-T previously accused Soulja Boy for damaging the state of hip-hop last summer.
“F*ck Soulja Boy,” he said in an interview. “Eat a d*ck. This n*gga single handedly killed hip-hop. Soulja Boy, let me talk about Soulja Boy, I know you’re young enough to be my kid but you single handedly killed hip-hop man. That sh*t is such garbage. You can’t do that man, we came all the way from Rakim, we came all the way from Das EFX, we came all the way from motherf*ckers flowing like Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube and you come with that ‘Superman’ sh*t? That sh*t is garbage.” (YouTube)
The teen rapper, in response, turned Ice-T’s words into a short-lived rap battle.
“I swear, I respect everybody who started this, who opened the doors for young artists like me to get in to the hip-hop and music industry,” Soulja Boy said in a video. “I know Ice-T is a legend in the game and he’s a veteran and all that, but n*gga once you tell me ‘Eat a d*ck’, and I hear that on the radio in my city–the reality behind it is that the game has changed. There’s new and young n*ggas out and eating and nobody wanna hear that old sh*t no more.” (Soulja Boy)
Along with starring in films and television shows, Ice-T has nearly two decades of history within the music industry.
Although he was one of the leading figures of Californian hip-hop in the ’80s, Ice-T was born in Newark, NJ. After he left high school, he recorded several undistinguished 12″ singles in the early ’80s. He also appeared in the low-budget hip-hop films Rappin’, Breakin’, and Breakin’ II: Electric Boogaloo as he was trying to establish a career. Ice-T finally landed a major-label record deal with Sire Records in 1987, releasing his debut album, Rhyme Pays. (All Music)