BODY COUNT — Body Count

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BODY COUNT - Body Count cover
4.17 | 14 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1992

Tracklist

1. Smoked Pork (0:46)
2. Body Count's in the House (3:24)
3. Now Sports (0:04)
4. Body Count (5:17)
5. A Statistic (0:06)
6. Bowels of the Devil (3:43)
7. The Real Problem (0:11)
8. KKK Bitch (2:52)
9. C Note (1:35)
10. Voodoo (5:00)
11. The Winner Loses (6:32)
12. There Goes the Neighborhood (5:50)
13. Oprah (0:06)
14. Evil Dick (3:58)
15. Body Count Anthem (2:46)
16. Momma's Gotta Die Tonight (6:10)
17. Out in the Parking Lot (0:30)
18. Cop Killer (4:09)

Total Time 52:59

Line-up/Musicians


- Ice-T / lead vocals
- Ernie C. / lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars
- Mooseman / bass
- D-Roc / rhythm guitar
- Beatmaster "V" / drums

About this release

Sire/Warner Bros. Records, March 10, 1992

Recorded: September–December 1991 One-on-One Recorders, Syndicate Studio West

censored version cuts the following tracks:

17. Out in the Parking Lot (0:30)
18. Cop Killer (4:09)

and features this track instead:

17. Freedom of Speech (4:41)

Censored version total time: 53:03

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and UMUR, theheavymetalcat for the updates

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siLLy puPPy
Ice-T had already shown his appreciation for metal and punk on his hip hop classic “The Iceberg / Freedom Of Speech… Just Watch What You Say” with the music of Black Sabbath introducing the album alongside Jello Biafra giving a speech about the impending police state. On his followup “O.G. Original Gangster” he cleverly advertised a new track called “BODY COUNT” which introduced the band of the same name where along with Ernie C (lead guitar, acoustic guitar), D-Rock the Executioner (rhythm guitar), Beatmaster V (drums), Mooseman (bass) and the two Seans: E Sean (sampler, backing vocals) and E. Mac (hype man, backing vocals), he and his posse were determined to jump back into the rock universe that most black musicians had abandoned for the safer ground of soul, funk and hip hop.

On the debut album BODY COUNT, Ice-T and gang followed in the footsteps of T’s solo album’s stylistically and lyrically only they left behind the funky beats and rapped lyrics (mostly) and traded them in for a metal and punk infused musical outburst that took elements of thrash, punk and trad metal and incorporated the hard hitting hip hop subject matter of inner city life. BODY COUNT took everyone by surprise. It shocked the hip hop community which mostly eschewed the world of rock music and strived to separate itself (despite Run-DMC bringing hip hop to the masses with tasty guitar riffing tunes). Of course accusations of selling out plagued Ice-T at this time but he politely reminded his fans that rock WAS black music with its origins stemming from Chuck Berry, Little Richard and of course the great Jimi Hendrix.

With a brash bravado ever present on all his albums, BODY COUNT unapologetically tapped into the world of heavy metal where the band was also condemned for trampling on sacred cows. Metal purists hated this album and when the band played an impromptu appearance opening for Metallica and Guns N Roses in 1993, the band was plodded with dirt clods. Hard to believe but in a genre that is all about shock and awe, many were not open minded enough to allow an all black band to express themselves in the context of heavy distorted guitar oriented music that whites had come to dominate throughout the 80s. Despite the haters, the album still generated a lot of interest following in the footsteps of another black band, Living Colour who had put African-American oriented heavy rock back on the map with their phenomenal debut “Vivid.”

Ice-T generated controversy wherever he went and flipped the middle finger with glee and on BODY COUNT he only continued his “fuck the world” stance and in the process created one of the ugliest albums of his career in a good way of course. The album is bookended by two slams of cops. The introductory skit of “Smoked Pork” finds a cop unwilling to help a downtrodden black man and ends up dead whereas the original version ended with the anthemic “Cop Killer” that triggered the wrath of the entire American police force. All the controversy generated enough pressure for the band to remove the song off future releases that was subsequently replaced by “Freedom Of Speech” which sampled a Jimi Hendrix groove and once again featured Jello Biafra along with Ice-T delivering biting criticism over the state of true freedoms in a country that claims to protect them.

This album is really awesome! Despite the lack of technical musicianship or extraordinary metal talent, this is a lot of fun and displays a lost spirit of music delivering a message. The album is divided up amongst extremely serious topics such as the saddening plight of the African-American communities being left to rot in ghettos, left to battle each other to the death with gang shootings and drug escapism running rampant. This theme is most evident on the title track, “Bowels Of The Devil” and “There Goes The Neighborhood,” but Ice-T has no problem injected a lot of humor into an otherwise bleak outlook on the American culture. “KKK Bitch” is a hilarious sequel to Ice-T’s “The Girl Tried To Kill Me” which narrated an unbelievable tale of a near fatal experience with a dominatrix, however in this case it’s about having nasty sexual relations with the daughter of the KKK! Likewise, one fo the funniest tracks in music history, “Evil Dick” demonstrates how men in general are mere slaves to their master slaves, their saluting members of the priapic libido army.

Ice-T originally rejected the idea of joining his friends’ metal band because his singing voice isn’t exactly the best and that perhaps is the weakest aspect of the album but i couldn’t think of a better rapper to have been involved in this project than Ice-T. His lyrical biting critiques and adept play on words adds a whole other dimension to this music that is missing from most metal bands which more than makes up for the lack of technical prowess. Despite not being the best singer, Ice-T does the job with an interesting mix of singing, semi-rapping and spoken narrations. The rest of the band ain’t bad either. The music mixes thrash metal, punk rock and more classic 80s metal. Ice-T spends the majority of the album critiquing the fucked up American scene but also pontificates against drug use on the melodic well-sung “The Winner Loses” and preaches against racism against whites on “Momma’s Gotta Die Tonight.”

While the controversy behind the track “Cop Killer” may have gotten this album more attention than it would’ve otherwise, the fact is that BODY COUNT is an infectiously well executed album that delivers hard hammering thrash riffs, epic trad metal melodies and brilliantly composed lyrical content. Subjects like voodoo, black ghetto life and African-American subject matter that are completely absent in most metal albums of the era are strewn all about BODY COUNT and make this a fascinating listening experience without sacrificing the true authentic metal experience. Metal purists who don’t like this can go fuck themselves. This album is brilliant on many levels. While the band would continue on and release not so brilliant albums, on this one they shine like no others of the other. A true alternative metal experience that doesn’t get enough love.
martindavey87
When renowned gangster rapper Ice-T wanted to form a metal band, he hooked up with guitarist Ernie C, and thus, Body Count was born. Blending metal guitar riffs with rapping vocals, the band's music takes a huge inspiration from hardcore, thrash and punk music.

Spewing hatred and anger with lyrics touching upon subjects such as racism, corrupt politicians and gang warfare, Body Count made an immediate splash with the song 'Cop Killer' (sadly not included on my copy of the album), which was highly controversial upon its release. However, all it really did was serve to give the band even more publicity.

Foul-mouthed, and brimming with hardcore metal riffs, 'Body Count' is not for the weak hearted. It's dark and menacing, a huge contrast to the whiny, angst-ridden grunge bands of the early 90's, with Ice-T and company making no effort to hide their displeasure at the mistreatment of coloured people in America. And the music itself packs one hell of a punch. It's heavy and it's ballsy, oozing with attitude but never taking itself too seriously that the band can't afford to be slightly tongue-in-cheek from time to time.

With anthems such as 'Evil Dick', 'Body Count's in the House', 'KKK Bitch', 'There Goes the Neighbourhood', 'Momma's Gotta Die Tonight' and 'The Winner Loses', it's apparent that Ice-T is onto something special here. And his solo track, 'Freedom of Speech', which takes the place of 'Cop Killer' on censored versions of the album, fits in perfectly, both stylistically and lyrically. And there's plenty of skits thrown in between songs to keep the record flowing effortlessly.

This could easily be dismissed as rap metal, and in fairness that's an easy assumption to make, but coming out at the right place and at the right time, Ice-T and Body Count struck gold with this release, and if you're willing to look past the gangster rap stigma of the group, you'll find a pivotal album of early 90's metal.
UMUR
"Body Count" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US, Los Angeles, California based hardcore/heavy metal act Body Count. The album was released through Sire Records (a subsidary to Warner Bros. Records in March 1992. Body Count was founded in 1990 by lead guitarist Ernie C. and lead vocalist Ice-T along with three old friends (Mooseman on bass, D-Roc on rhythm guitar, and Beatmaster "V" on drums). Ice-T was a very prolific name in rap music circles in those days, but he also had a love for rock and heavy metal music, and wanted to expand his means of expression and found a songwriting partner in Ernie C., who could help him do that.

The album was both a commercial and artistic success, but it was also a very controversial release as the song "Cop Killer" was deemed as a call to kill cops. Despite the heavy criticism from authorities, the label initially defended the band´s right to include the track on the album, but Body Count eventually opted to remove the track (and the short intro track "Out in the Parking Lot") from the album, and replace it with "Freedom of Speech", which is a song from Ice-T's 1989 solo album "The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say". The track was re-edited and remixed for the occasion.

Despite Ice-T's background as a rapper, the music on "Body Count" isn´t rap metal, although there are vocal parts featured on the album, which resemble rap type vocals. Ice-T predominantly sings in a more rock/hardcore type raw/shouting vocal style. The instrumental part of the music features elements from both thrash, heavy metal, punk, hardcore, rock´n´roll, and blues. Ernie C. is obviously a very skilled guitarist, and he plays quite a few impressive solos on the album, but the rest of the band are well playing too. The rhythm section is a bit unconventional sounding for heavy metal music, and I´d be surprised if Mooseman and Beatmaster "V" had ever played metal music before recording this album. But despite (or maybe because) of the unconventional rhythmic playing on the album, that part of Body Count´s sound is actually pretty original.

"Body Count" is an album with a good flow, although there is good variation between tracks too. There´s not a dull moment or anything sub par on the album, and it´s through and through a quality release, seen from a compositional point of view. Some tracks can be a bit formulaic and repetitive, but the band always successfully incorporate bridges, a guitar solo, a drum solo, or some other detail to make sure the tracks are entertaining throughout. The lyrics deserve a mention too, as they are quite entertaining, dealing with race conflicts, sex, violence, drug abuse, police brutality, and political issues. Some are delivered with fierce conviction, and some are delivered with a more warm humourous gleam in the eye, but you are never in doubt about the passion behind the delivery. I can mention quite a few highlights from the album, like "KKK Bitch", "Cop Killer", "Body Count", "The Winner Loses" (which always reminds me of Jimi Hendrix), and "There Goes the Neighborhood", but again there´s not a single track here that´s not equal in quality to those mentioned.

The album features a pretty well sounding production too, and all in all this is a great quality debut album by Body Count. The eclectic nature of the tracks is one of the album´s greatest strengths, but the high compositional quality (instantly catchy and memorable tracks), and the skills of the musicians involved, are also assets that combined make this a great listening experience. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.
Vim Fuego
Anyone with a metal background would not dream of doing what Ice-T did here. What did he do? Well, it's basically gangsta rap themes and lyrics stuck over a metal backing band.

Many remember 1992 as the year Grunge hit the headlines. By far the biggest musical controversy of the year though, was Body Count. Ice-T and his homies hit all the right buttons to upset the self-appointed moral protectors of the world. Gang warfare, murder, racism, voodoo, promiscuity, drug addiction, the self-righteous morality police missed Ice's opinions on the whole lot. What they got up in arms about was the infamous "Cop Killer".

Yes, a black man singing a song about killing police, how wicked, how evil, he must be stopped! Conveniently, it was forgotten that Ice and other gangsta rappers had been rapping about the same thing for at least a decade. Outrage turned to threats. Threats of legal action, threats against Ice-T, threats against Warner Brothers. When the threats turned to death and bomb threats, allegedly from police officers, Warner had no choice but to pull the plug on 'Cop Killer'. I'm glad these protectors of the community are looking after MY moral well-being...

Anyway, back to Ice and his posse... Controversy aside, if Ice-T hadn't already been an established artist, this album probably would not have seen the light of day. The themes already mentioned here had hardly ever been mentioned anywhere in metal prior to this release. Major labels don't generally like gambling on such things as originality. Right from the first track, a little spoken interlude where Ice and bass player Mooseman ambush and murder a police officer, you can tell this is going to be far from your standard metal fare.



Some of the lyrics are just downright idiotic. "Voodoo" is just dumb, a filler track in every sense. "Evil Dick", "KKK Bitch" and "Momma's Gotta Die Tonight" are also somewhat lame when you read the lyrics, but are trying to convey a serious message. While most of the lyrics are fictional, they are written from the first person point of view, making it easy for the ignorant or vindictive to miss the irony. Anyone who thinks Ice-T really had anal sex with Tipper Gore's niece at a KKK rally, or that he dismembered his mother with a bread knife needs serious help.

There's also the rap penchant for self-promotion. Two tracks are basically the name Body Count chanted repeatedly.

The band does get it right from time to time though. "Cop Killer" and "There Goes The Neighbourhood" manage to combine biting irony, a touch of comedy and deliver their message with a real punch. The best of the whole album is "The Winner Loses", the only song Ice-T didn't write (lead guitar maestro Ernie C penned it). It is a heartfelt story of drug addiction and death. It also shows a little subtlety can go a long way.

Most importantly to metal fans though, what does Body Count actually sound like? Well, it sounds like Body Count. Ice-T managed to gather an impressive bunch of musicians around him. The guitar duo of Ernie C and D-Roc are not out and out speed freaks, but can thrash out when required. The rhythm section is solid, while not impressive. Beatmaster V does break into a drum solo at one stage, which is kept mercifully short.

For those who spell rap with a silent "c", even you could stomach this. There is not a single record scratched anywhere on the album, the rhythms are straight metal, rather than anything funky, and while there are breakdowns on most tracks, Ice-T talks rather than raps the lyrics. And he likes to say bad words starting with the letters F, MF, P and N. A lot.

Messy in places, and overrated due to the "Cop Killer" controversy, Body Count's debut is still an entertaining listen, if you can look past a few well-meaning but amateurish mistakes.
Warthur
The debut album by Body Count is like a litmus test for ignorant music snobs: if you hear someone dismissing it as rap-metal, chances are they haven't even heard the thing. True, the group is fronted by gangsta rap innovator Ice-T, but his vocal approach this time owes little to his usual hip-hop derived flow and more to hardcore punk vocalists like Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra (the latter of whom contributed a spoken word track to the censored version of the album by way of a broadside against those who objected to Cop Killer).

The musical backing is genuinely interesting, being as it is a mixture of traditional metal, hardcore punk, and thrash, but what makes the album stand out is the aura of menace it conjures from beginning to end. By taking the raw aggression of metal and hardcore and applying it to the subject matter of gangsta rap - as opposed to the wizards and demons and abstract philosophising metal bands have a habit of doing - Ice-T crafts the album into a devastating punch to the gut, creating a listening experience far more powerful and disturbing than many groups were able to achieve.

But then a whole swathe of the metal scene shunned them because they were black and their frontman also had a rap career. (Seriously, I am aware of sites - not naming any names here - who point-blank refuse to consider Body Count metal because they assume without listening to the album that it's like Limp Bizkit or some other rap-metal hybrid. I am very glad Metal Music Archives has proved to be more open-minded than that.)

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