These days, most know Ice-T from the hit TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but between his days as a world-famous rapper and the show, he and his pal, Ernie Cunnigan (better known as Ernie C.), who he met while they both attended Crenshaw High School in Compton, California, started a punk-metal band called Body Count. I was in high school when the band released its debut album in 1992, featuring the controversial song “Cop Killer.”
What many deemed a side project at the time now has lasted 25 years. It’s been a long ride but not an easy one. Three band members have passed, but Ice and Ernie C. have remained. Despite never really going away during Ice’s 16 years playing detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on SVU, Body Count had somewhat of a resurgence in 2014, with the release of its album, Manslaughter (featuring “Talk Shit, Get Shot”), and touring on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. But was this just a novelty act reliving the glory days? We probably wouldn’t hear from back the band for a while after this, right? Wrong.
With the current unrest and political state of the world, Body Count once again has a lot to get off its chest and its back with what is sure to be another controversial new album called Bloodlust, due March 31, 2017 (pre-order the album here). Now a “full-on” metal band (as Ernie C. told me), the new release features guest spots from Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and Sepultura/Soulfly legend Max Cavalera, along with a Slayer cover medley. And there’s already been some feathers ruffled with the first single, “No Lives Matter.” Yeah, Body Count never has been a band to shy away from the cold, hard truth and tell things from its perspective.
Prior to the album’s release, Ernie C. called in to Live Metal’s Jeff Maki to discuss Body Count’s career, the prejudice the band faced in its early days and the new album. (more…)