|Net Worth||$60 million|
|Source of income||Rapper, Hip-hop artist, Film producer, Actor, Author, Entrepreneur|
|Full Name||Tracy Lauren Marrow|
|Also known as||Ice-T|
|DOB||February 16, 1958|
|Birthplace||Newark, New Jersey, USA|
|Years Active||1982 to present|
|Recent Update||September, 2019|
Tracy Lauren Marrow, better known by his stage name ‘Ice-T’, is an American rapper, hip-hop artist and an accomplished actor. Famed for his music career and his acting on hit television shows like ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’, Marrow is considered a star in his own right and has influenced a whole generation of entertainment stars like Dave Chappelle.
Born in 1958 in Newark, New Jersey, Marrow had a stint in the US Army before dropping out to pursue music full-time. He is also an established actor, with one of his major roles being that of NYPD Detective Odafin Tutuola on the hit show ‘Law & Order: SVU’. His many entertainment ventures, music labels and acting stints have contributed to a hefty net worth; according to Forbes, Ice-T net worth is a whopping $60 million, with the major contributor being his music pay-outs and rap royalties.
Born on February 16, 1958, Marrow recounts his early life as that of ‘being a well-off family’, unlike many of his contemporaries, who experienced a rougher upbringing. His father, Solomon, worked as a conveyor belt mechanic at a well-reputed company for decades, which was a factor in the family’s decision to move to the more upscale Summit in New Jersey. Because of his mixed heritage, Marrow was not at the receiving end of the racism problem America had been dealing with at the time.
Marrow eventually lost both his parents to heart attacks and was sent to South Los Angeles, where he lived with his cousin Earl. His roommate was a fan of rock music, which sparked young Marrow’s interest in the music genre.
High school, military service and delinquency
Marrow got his infamous nickname Ice-T from the Crenshaw High School, wherein he would avidly read passages from Iceberg Slim’s novels. His colleagues would ask him “Yo, kick some more of that by Ice, T”, which led to him adopting the moniker Ice-T. While still in high school, Marrow gravitated towards the Crips gang (at the height of tensions between the Crips and the Bloods) and as a precursor to his music career, started a singing group with his high school fellows and Crips members. The singing group was called ‘The Precious Few of Crenshaw High School’, with which he wrote and performed ‘Crip Rhymes’.
Military service and honourable discharge
In October 1977, Marrow enlisted with the United States Army as a way to boost his income and to support his pregnant girlfriend. He was put in the 25th Infantry Division; however, his stint, which would include him going AWOL for a month, was highlighted by his involvement with a group of soldiers charged with the theft of a rug. While awaiting trial, Marrow received a cheque for $2500, upon which he went AWOL for a month and was given a non-judicial punishment after his return to the military. It was in Hawaii (where he was stationed) where he realised his music acumen and bought gear to support his fledging interest; this is also where he learnt he could have an honourable discharge as a single father. He was prompt in taking the chance and left the military after two years of service in December 1979.
Marrow claimed in a 2012 podcast that once he was out of the military, he began his career as a bank robber, but at a bigger scale. To give an idea, he was quoted as saying, “Only punks go for the drawer, we gotta go for the safe”. Marrow also expressed his contentment with the fact that for a vast majority of Class 1 Felonies that he committed in the 1980s, the statute of limitations had passed and that there was no legal repercussion he could face for claiming that. However, in July of 2010, Marrow was arrested. In his court proceedings, it was later determined that he’d been mistakenly arrested owing to a clerical error. He was then quoted as saying, “Street credibility has nothing to do with going to jail, everything to do with staying out”.
Career: 1982-to date
Ice-T started his music career back in 1982, when he met Willie Strong from Saturn Records and a year later, T had recorded his first single with Strong titled ‘Cold Wind Madness’, also known as ‘The Coldest Rap’. The same year, he released yet another single ‘Body Rock’, which enjoyed the same coverage as his first song.
In the following years with Saturn Records, Ice-T recorded and released a number of songs, all of which performed well with the audiences and the predominantly black populaces. His song ‘Reckless Rivalry (Combat)’ was featured in the film Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. He also released the songs ‘Ya Don’t Quit’ and ‘Dog’n the Wax’ (Ya Don’t Quit Part 2) alongside a number of other artists including Unknown DJ. In his first towards gangsta rap music, Ice-T penned the lyrics to the song ‘6 in the Mornin’, which became a hit in the clubs and led him to first signing with a major label.
In 1986, he landed a deal with Sire Records and soon after, in 1987, released his first full album titled ‘Rhyme Pays’, which featured tracks made in conjunction with artists DJ Evil E, DJ Aladdin and producer Afrika Islam. It was certified Gold by the RIAA. His next album, ‘Power’ was released in 1988, further cementing his legacy as a prolific rap artist and getting him his second Gold record certified by the RIAA. Ice-T followed again in 1989 with his third album with a long name. Called ‘The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech… Just Watch What You Say’ was a particularly impressive project of his; establishing his dominance in the emerging gangsta rap scene and his really commentative lyrics. 1991 saw the release of what is known as the ‘definitive albums of gangsta rap’. Titled ‘O.G. Original Gangster’, Ice-T launched his heavy metal band ‘Body Count’ in the album through the titular song. One particular song, called ‘Cop Killer’ did not sit lightly with government officials and law-enforcement agencies owing to the material used in the video and the lyrics, which resulted in Sire Records refusing to release his upcoming album ‘Home Invasion’.
Ice-T split with Sire Records and reactivated his old project Rhyme Syndicate which was then picked up as a label by Priority Records. In 1993, through the latter, Ice-T released the album to much critical acclaim. In particularly, it contained the tracks ‘Gotta Lotta Love’, ‘I Ain’t New To This’ and ‘99 Problems’ (which was subsequently reworked by fellow rapper Jay-Z). Following the success of the album, 1996 saw the release of yet another Ice-T album ‘VI- Return of the Real’ and in 1999, ‘The Seventh Deadly Sin’ saw the release of a new album.
In addition to a successful music career, Ice-T began his acting career in 1984, with the film ‘Breakin’ and its sequel, ‘Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo’ the same year. These movies came out before he released his first LP (but he does appear on the soundtrack to ‘Breakin’.) In 1991, he portrayed a police detective in ‘New Jack City’. He starred alongside Denzel Washington and John Lithgow in 1991’s ‘Ricochet’ and went on to take other supporting roles throughout the ’90s. He won his first NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for playing drug dealer Danny Cort on the TV series ‘New York Undercover’. Ice-T starred in HBO film ‘Stealth Fighter’ in 1999, and that same year he acted in ‘Sonic Impact’. In 2000, he made his debut as detective Odafin ‘Fin’ Tutuola on the successful series ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’. He won his second NAACP Image Award for this role. He appeared in 2007 on MTV sketch comedy show ‘Short Circuitz’. Ice-T has also done some voice acting for video games, including the highly successful Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where he imitated his real-life profession through the voice acting for rapper Madd Dogg.
Ice-T net worth
Ice-T’s net worth is around $60 million. This incredible number comes courtesy of his sales figure for his numerous records and royalties he’s earned over the years from his various songs. This was further complemented by the fact that Ice-T has had major roles in big-shot series over the years, with his role as Detective Tutuola on ‘Law & Order: SVU’ raking in a reported $250,000 per episode, which works out to a whopping $6 million per season before syndication royalties hit his bank account.
Business ventures outside music
Ice-T is also an author and a podcaster, which also has contributed to his net worth. He has also hosted and presented a host of shows on various channels. Some of his such ventures are listed as,
- Ice-T’s Rap School on VH1
- Ice Loves Coco on E!
- The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a F_? published in 1994.
- Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption- From South Central to Hollywood published in 2011.
- Kings of Vice published in 2011.
- Mirror Image published in 2013.
- Ice-T: Final Level Podcast- started December 2013.
Ice-T had a daughter in 1976 with then-girlfriend Adrienne. They attended high school while raising her. Ice-T dated and had a son with Darlene Ortiz in 1992. He and swimsuit model Nicole “Coco Marie” Austin married in January 2002. In 2006, they bought a penthouse apartment in New Jersey, and in 2012 they built a five-bedroom house in Edgewater, New Jersey. The couple welcomed their first child in November 2015.
While Ice-T has stayed out of major disputes and legal matters, he did have an infamous feud with two rappers; LL Cool J and Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em. In the late 80’s, he sparred with LL, after the latter claimed to be ‘the baddest rapper in the history of rap itself’. Ice-T recorded disses against him and publicly mocked his songs. By 2012 the rivalry was put to rest. He’s also sparred with Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, accusing him of “killing hip hop” and calling his song “Crank That” garbage. The two rappers traded numerous videos back and forth dissing each other.
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