[Darlene Ortiz, best-known for being half of hip-hop’s first power couple with Ice-T during his rise to the top of the rap world in the 1980s (as well as his cover model for the ‘Rhyme Pays’ and ‘Power’ albums), recently sat down with hip-hop personality and SOHH Correspondent Shawn Setaro on his popular “The Cipher”podcast. Listen to the full interview and check out five gems Darlene dropped during the Q&A.]

On how she learned hip-hop dance styles growing up:

“I would look at it and mimic it. I was already a dancer with my family. We would turn music on in the evening and just dance and go crazy. So I would see Rock Steady Crew do all of these dance shows, and I would catch whatever I could on American Bandstand or Soul Train. I just ate up anything dance. I would see it and practice it and mimic it.”

On the famous LA club Radiotron, where she was a regular as a teenager:

“It was awesome. It gave me that feel of being in New York. I hadn’t been to New York yet, of course. But I would see these visuals of New York [in the club], and I said, this is as close as it gets. I feel like I’m in that city.”

On first meeting Ice-T:

“[He said] ‘Look, I’m feeling you. Can I get your number? Let’s communicate.’ And he gave me so many compliments – a grown man’s version, as opposed to anybody before that. And I was done.”

On why she didn’t care if Ice became a rap star:

“Here is this guy telling me that this is what he’s trying to do. ‘Whatever. Just knock your socks off, honey. I’m going to keep going to work, keep trying to support us while you do that.’ I didn’t care if anything unfolded from any of that stuff. I just was excited to be in this relationship with this man. He could have just said, ‘I changed my mind. I’m going to be a pavement layer.’ Wonderful. That’s how deep I was into this guy. It didn’t matter if he was going to be a success at it or not.”