Ice-T Drops ‘The Iceberg/Freedom Of Speech’ Album: Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Oct. 10, in hip-hop history...
1989: After encountering censorship problems while on tour, Ice-T was inspired to create his grittiest album to date. The result was 1989's The Iceberg/Freedom Of Speech...Just Watch What You Say!, an album dedicated to the frustrations Ice was feeling against the backlash of gangster rap's would-be censors in the 1980s.
Produced primarily by Bronx producer/DJ Afrika Islam, the album features Ice lashing out at the critics of gangster rap music of the time. "Shut Up, Be Happy" sets the tone of the record with punk rock icon Jello Biafra delivering a spoken word intro mocking authoritarian zealots while songs like "Freedom of Speech" and "Black & Decker" find Ice denouncing would-be gangster rap censors for attempting to scrub the music clean without attempting to understand the culture.
Meanwhile, Ice-T is lyrically at his sharpest on the album, writing some of the finest music of his career. "You Played Yourself" tells the story of a would-be rapper who mistakenly believes his own gangster hype. Meanwhile, "My Word Is My Bond," "The Iceberg," "The Girl Tried To Kill Me" and "The Hunted Child" find Ice at his storytelling finest, orating tales of shady women, corrupt cops and outlandish sexual boasts.
With dope storytelling and raw bars, the project helped Ice-T leave his mark on the world of hip-hop and the world abroad. 29 years after its release, The Iceberg/Freedom Of Speech is one of the best emblems of the early days of gangsta rap and a testament to Ice-T's place in hip-hop history.
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