Friday, August 07, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 153: Body Count - Body Count

By: March

Album - Body Count
Artist - Body Count
Key Players - Victor Ray Wilson (aka Beatmaster V) - drums. Dennis Miles (aka D-Roc) - rhythm guitar. Moosman - bass
Ernie Cunnigan (aka Ernie C) - guitar. Ice T - vocals.
Produced By - Ice T/ Ernie C.

Release Date - March 31, 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? - This is a record that I haven't listened to in a dogs age. I remember grabbing the cd just before it got pulled with the controversial song, and listening to that song, and the whole thing more than once and laughing my head off..and singing along at times. The cd is not for the easily offended that is for sure.

Overview - Crossing hip hop and heavy metal rap artist Ice T formed a band that would break down the musical landscape. Singing about stories from their lives, the band would be thrust into the national spotlight when the final track on the record raised eyebrows of law enforcement and politicians alike. In the late Spring of 1992 politicians raised concern over the song "Cop Killer" and the song was pulled from future pressings. It would suffer backlashes from police forces across the country as well. (see the links section for a Wiki entry or click here.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - This was a controversial record, but reviewed here is the initial run of the record including the most controversial song "Cop Killer" which was removed from future pressings.

"Smoked Pork" is a spoken "skit" that opens the record. Ice-T is a driver, broken down on the side of the road asking the police for some help. It sets the tone for the record with the cops hating Ice-T. The guitar chugs along with police sirens and Ice-T chants "Body Count" and "Body Count's in the House" kicks off. Guns fire in the background as the bass, drums and guitar chug along. The band is not all that flashy and T just keeps saying "Body Count". There is a quick guitar solo and Ice T gives the band "roll call" and chants more before returning to the main riff of the guitar and drums. It all ends with a single gunshot A second short "skit" is "Now Sports" and that just talks about how gang members had died and now it was time for sports. A solo guitar opens "Body Count" and Ice-T wonders what it would be like to live somewhere other than South Central. As the band kicks the bass rolls and the guitar keeps a very simple punk feel. The drums are simple but T rocks more than raps on this. Ice- T tells the story of the street for sure, and the lyrics are hard hitting and he uses words of the street and is not afraid to curse. The is a quick drum break down more than once and a guitar solo as well to fill out its rock feel. There is a longer instrumental break down with the band changing gears and the guitar solo is flashier than one would think. We follow the track with another skit in "Statistic" where Ice T speaks of the prisons vs. colleges. The guitar grinds at the opening of "Bowels of the Devil" and plays off some guitar before launching into a very "motorhead" like feel. The guitar line repeats over a basic, but speedy drum line. The band is playing very quickly on this, and Ice T sings faster than he has up to this point on the record. "Real Problem" is another spoken word blurb about how the problem was not the lyrics on the record, but that white kids might like what they hear. The classic "KKK Bitch" follows. Its just a funny tune about the band on tour in the south. The bass, drums and guitar keep it simple until the chorus when they explode. For the most part the lyrics are pretty hardcore. Talking about taking advantage of the women and they run the gamut of curse and slangs. Still it makes me chuckle and for some reason I recall most of the lyrics. A much mellower "C Note" follows with the two guitars and is an instrumental track just thrown in here. Its okay, and feels like a bit of a reprieve from what you have been hit with to this point. Wasting no time "Voodoo" blasts out with a full band assault. Guitars bass and drums come right up and Ice T gives it a big howl to start it off. The vocals are little more gruff this time and the song has a break neck speed both lyrically and musically. "The Winner Loses" starts out with a solo acoustic guitar and then T comes in and gives it the old college trying singing vs. rapping. Its sort of silly sounding at the start and when the band finally gets a little more rocking he sounds a little more comfortable. There are backing vocals and harmonies on the song. There is a "bigger message" on this track and although one can appreciate the band trying something different it really feels out of place. We lock back into the vibe of the record on "There Goes the Neighborhood". The music has that punk rock feel and the band chips away and T is really firing off. The song is about how people can't seem to accept the band as "rockers" and how they have fancy things. We get two guitar solos and an extended drum solo as well. There is a short skit "Oprah" and then another barn burner in "Evil Dick". We chant the song title over big guitar riffs. Its another silly song, but catchy, and even more fun if you have a few beers in you. "Body Count Anthem" is a track that just chants "BC" or "Body Count" over and over. Ice T drops a few F bombs but the song just really repeats as noted. The guitar riffs continue on "Momma's Gotta Die Tonight". The band falls into more a steady groove with a flashy guitar over the top intro. Ice T is more laid back on this track, telling a very complex story of a racist mother he wants to murder. Its scary when you really listen to the lyrics. We get one final "skit" in "Out in the Parking Lot" in which T dedicates his final song to the cops for mistreating him and or his friends. The record wraps up with the controversial "Cop Killer" a punk feeling track with quick and choppy guitars over the drums. Ice-T means business on this track, talking how he'd get the cops if need be. Most fans realized he was just telling a story and probably has the smarts to not take a shot a the cops, but that fell on deaf ears and this track was later removed from the record.

Where are they now? - Body Count are still making records although three members from this record have passed on. Victor Ray Wilson aka Beatmaster V died of leukemia in 1996. Moosman has also passed (date/cause unknown) and Dennis Miles died from lymphoma August 17th 2004. Ernie C works as a producer and has worked on demos for Rage Against the Machine and Stone Temple Pilots. Ice T has continued to release solo records and star in film and TV with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- The only time I saw the band was part of the first Lollapalooza tour. Ice-T was the "rap artist" on that years tour and he blew the doors of the place (well if they had any doors) it was August 9, 1991 at what is now the Comcast Center. Ice-T wanted to have left handed guitar players on stage in homage to Jimi Hendrix

FDF Overall Take - Sort of odd where Ice T was making money slagging cops now plays a cop on TV. Still this record is looked at as one of the records that establish "rapcore" for better or worse to some fans. Sure its controversial, it's over the top, it is silly but its fun. If you take it for what it is, you'll be like Micheal Bolton in Office Space singing along in your car. Track it down, its not that bad.

Body Count on myspace.
Ice T official and myspace pages. Also, Ernie C on myspace

To read more on "Cop Killer" and the controversy, check out this Wiki entry.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

****Language and content warning****

the mp3s have been removed...

KKK Bitch
There Goes the Neighborhood

Tracks taken from "Body Count" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Ice Blog said...

Mooseman I believe was shot in a drive by shooting. Rumour has it BC will be releasing a new album before the end of the year!!!


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