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Friday, November 24, 2006

Body Count - Cop Killer

BODY005Body Count is a North American heavy metal and crossover thrash band headed by rapper Ice-T, who always refers to it as being a metal band. The band was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1990. They are believed to be a predecessor of many rapcore and nu metal bands, although Ice-T never rapped in any of their songs up until their latest album. In 1992 they caused a nation-wide controversy with the song "Cop Killer".

Besides Ice-T (on vocals and production), the original line-up consisted of Ernie C (lead guitar and co-production), Mooseman (bass), Beatmaster V (drums) and D-Roc (rhythm guitar). The band's first appearance was the song Body Count on Ice-T's solo album OG: Original Gangster (1991). Body Count's debut album Body Count (1992) attacked, in graphic terms, various aspects of racism and criminality in South Central Los Angeles (now South Los Angeles), including corrupt police officers. A few months after its release, police groups, parent groups and other advocates began protesting the song Cop Killer. BODY002Weeks later, according to his own words in his book The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a Fuck? (1994), Ice-T decided to remove the song from the album; it was re-issued under the band's name and included a rock-flavored remix of an older Ice-T solo song Freedom Of Speech with Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys providing some vocals from a spoken word performance. However, after this incident the band was released from the contract with their record label Warner Brothers.

BODY001The band's sophomore release, Born Dead (1994), was released on Virgin Records/Rhyme Syndicate Records and included a cover of Jimi Hendrix' Hey Joe as well as a moderate hit single with the song Born Dead. But overall, the album wasn't very well received by critics and fans and so the album couldn't hold up to the debuts' success.

Prior to the recording of Body Count's third album Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997), bassist Mooseman left the group and was replaced by Griz. The album received better reviews than their previous effort, but the sales remained low.

BODY003Drummer Beatmaster V died of Leukemia soon after the album was completed and a new drummer named O.T. filled in the position. Bassist Griz left the band later on, and in the meanwhile, former bassist Mooseman was shot in a drive-by shooting in winter 2000 while working for Iggy Pop. In late 2004, rhythm guitarist D-Roc died due to complications from lymphoma, leaving only Ice-T and Ernie C from the original line-up. They launched a tour with O.T. and unknown new band members on bass and rhythm guitar.

BODY004Despite all the trouble, the band toured constantly throughout the 90s in the USA as well as Europe, including festivals such as Lollapalooza. That resulted in the release of several bootleg live recordings and eventually led to the release of official concert DVDs.

Live in Baton Rouge 15–03–92

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