Release Date: Jun 10, 2014
Record label: Sumerian Records
Genre(s): Rap-Metal, Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Speed/Thrash Metal
It's not big, it's not clever, but we listen to the new Body Count album WAY more than we should. It’s been nigh-on 24 years of mosh for rap legend Ice-T and his band, but are we any closer to taking them 100 per cent seriously? Their fifth album, ‘Manslaughter’ is definitely smattered with its own very special variety of stand-out moments, including lyrics like “Eat a dick” and other masterful, mothereffin’ hip-hop blasts. Diversifying the mix even further is a decidedly 21st century take on Suicidal Tendencies’ classic, ‘Institutionalized’ that will evoke as many chuckles as headbangs, while a cover of Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems’ makes Linkin Park’s mash-up sound like a nursery rhyme.
The general public wasn’t ready for Body Count. Or at least the media framed it that way. The release of “Cop Killer” in 1992 incited a controversy that engulfed the band. Campy violence was mistaken for statements of intent, with police forces around the country petitioning for the withdrawal of Body Count’s debut album because they thought people would actually start killing cops.
Although the world has become a kinder, more politically correct place since the band released its controversial self-titled debut in 1992, Body Count's fifth album, Manslaughter, makes it clear that the band has skipped the sensitivity classes. Whether Body Count are dealing with issues like gender, welfare, or addiction, things are always, for better or worse, dealt with as bluntly as possible. On "Get a Job," Ice-T laments about dealing with poor people with a rousing chorus of "I got a problem too/I keep feeding you," a sentiment made all the more confusing by "Enter the Dark Side," a punishing slow burner about living in the ghetto where the rapper bellows, "Don't ever judge a man 'til you've lived his life.
Twenty-two years after their debut, rapper-turned-actor/author/philosopher-king Ice-T’s thrashcore band, Body Count, are back…with their fifth album. Some history, for younger readers: In 1991, Ice-T devoted a track on his O.G. Original Gangster album to introducing Body Count, an all-black metal band he’d formed with friends from high school.