While Ice-T is undoubtedly a gangsta rap pioneer, the seasoned MC will always give credit to Schoolly D for laying the foundation. Upon hearing Schoolly’s “PSK (What Does It Mean?)” single in 1985, Ice was inspired to write his 1987 classic “6 ‘N The Morning” and it was on from there.
Needless to say, Ice has witnessed Hip Hop’s continuing evolution over the course of his 30-year plus career, specifically when it comes to gangsta rap. In a 2009 interview with ThisIs50, he confidently stated, “I opened the door for gangsta rap and 50 Cent closed it.”
It doesn't look as if he's changed his mind in the last 11 years because when Ice-T caught up with Unique Access Ent, he doubled down on his sentiments. The rap legend has nearly four decades in the game and has seen its shifts of transitions and trends, and according to Ice-T, rappers are no longer as threatening or scary as they used to be, thus making the gangsta rap scene almost invisible.
“To me, the last real gangsta rapper was 50 Cent because to me, he embodied that image,” he said. “You know, that ‘I don’t give a fuck.’ 50 Cent had you really believe you didn’t wanna fuck with him. I heard 50 Cent when he was beefing with Fat Joe and he was like, ‘Fat Joe, I’m right down the street.’ It’s real hard to find a nigga when you know he got a gun, ain’t it.’ I think 50 was the last one who did it that I believed."
“I think now, the new trap rappers, you know, they’ve convinced me they can get high, they’ve convinced me maybe that they can sell a little drugs, but they don’t scare me. I think if you a gangsta rapper, you have to scare me a little bit. I don’t think there’s no new people that do it."
He mentioned Kendrick Lamar "who keeps a nice little hood edge" and added that he would include The Game with his 50 Cent mention. "Game is apart of G-Unit, but once that movement happened, I don't know," he continued. "They do the Drill rap out of Chicago and stuff like that, youngsters and stuff, but I don't know. That's just from me."
"We scared the world so quickly, but then when Eminem did it they were like, 'Okay,' he said. "Now, people are kind of conditioned. It's not like when [Ice] Cube came out and said, 'Crazy motherf*cker named—,' what the f*ck?! Who are these motherf*ckers, like yo! Now, everybody's like, 'Okay, you're gonna Crip walk and dance and sh*t.' It's not as threatening now."
The conversation sparked another name for Ice-T. "You know who the last gangsta rapper was? Bobby Shmurda," he said of the incarcerated rapper. "But that's when keeping it real goes wrong... They were bar for bar snitching on themselves."
This interview is full of gems from Ice-T, so make sure to watch this one from beginning to end to hear what else he had to say about the rap game.
Watch the full interview down below.