BODY COUNT

Crossover Thrash / Rap Metal • United States
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Body Count is rapper and actor Ice-T's heavy metal side project. Their style combines traditional metal with crossover thrash.
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BODY COUNT Discography

BODY COUNT albums / top albums

BODY COUNT Body Count album cover 4.17 | 14 ratings
Body Count
Crossover Thrash 1992
BODY COUNT Born Dead album cover 2.69 | 5 ratings
Born Dead
Rap Metal 1994
BODY COUNT Violent Demise: The Last Days album cover 3.67 | 4 ratings
Violent Demise: The Last Days
Rap Metal 1997
BODY COUNT Murder 4 Hire album cover 2.58 | 4 ratings
Murder 4 Hire
Crossover Thrash 2006
BODY COUNT Manslaughter album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Manslaughter
Rap Metal 2014
BODY COUNT Bloodlust album cover 3.94 | 5 ratings
Bloodlust
Crossover Thrash 2017
BODY COUNT Carnivore album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Carnivore
Crossover Thrash 2020

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BODY COUNT Reviews

BODY COUNT Manslaughter

Album · 2014 · Rap Metal
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martindavey87
Body Count’s discography has always been a story of up’s and down’s, a great album followed by a disappointing one, followed by a... you get the idea. And after 2006’s uninspired ‘Murder 4 Hire’, the band went on hiatus. With frontman rapper Ice-T keeping busy with his solo music and acting career, it would be eight years until the crossover thrash, rap rock pioneers would return, and the trend continues, because 2014’s ‘Manslaughter’ is a fantastic return to form for the band.

Featuring some of their most polished and well-written tracks, ‘Manslaughter’ shows that age hasn’t slowed these guys down, and in fact, they sound more energetic and enraged than ever before. The production is amazing, really emphasizing the bands precision playing and incredibly tight guitar riffs, making this by far the heaviest Body Count have ever sounded, and the lyrics and rapping are probably more consistent than they’ve ever been, fitting wonderfully with the music, and still rapping about themes that are as relevant and relatable today as they’ve ever been.

With the likes of ‘Talk Shit, Get Shot’, ‘Pray for Death’, ‘Pop Bubble’, ‘Back to Rehab’, ’99 Problems BC’, ‘Bitch in the Pit’ and an updated cover of Suicidal Tendencies ‘Institutionalized’, this is some of the strongest material Body Count have put out. And while they’ve often been considered a band that courts controversy and is hard to take seriously, the truth is that ‘Manslaughter’ is a very coherent and well put together album.

BODY COUNT Murder 4 Hire

Album · 2006 · Crossover Thrash
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martindavey87
After 1997’s ‘Violent Demise’ redeemed the band for 1994’s disappointing ‘Born Dead’, they go and once again follow up a great album with a lacklustre one, with this, 2006’s ‘Murder 4 Hire’. Oh Body Count... I see a trend forming here.

Granted, it was the bands first release in nine years, and besides having some new members, the recording was halted for a while after the death of original guitarist D-Roc, which no doubt probably made it a difficult album to finish. In fact, since its release, rapper frontman Ice-T has gone on to say that he “phoned it in” and didn’t really work as closely on this album as he should have done. Fair point, that.

But excuses aside, a shoddy release is still a shoddy release, and ‘Murder 4 Hire’ is a very generic and uninspired album. There’s just not really much that stands out, with the guitar riffs and vocals all seemingly copy and pasted from ‘Born Dead’, and a rather weak production that doesn’t give any of the music the beefy crunch it deserves. Plus, the band have opted to leave out skits between tracks again, which gave their albums a much needed, over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour on past releases, but here, it just sucks the fun out of it all.

Leaving us with an uninspired band, taking themselves too seriously for their own good.

However, there are one or two decent tracks that are undeniably Body Count, and that’s ‘Down in the Bayou’ and ‘Relationships’. While these are far from the bands finest moments, they do prevent ‘Murder 4 Hire’ from being a complete disaster. But overall, this album is another disappointment from a band that can’t seem to release two good albums in a row. Hopefully the trend will continue and their next release will make up for this one...

BODY COUNT Body Count

Album · 1992 · Crossover Thrash
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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.

BODY COUNT Violent Demise: The Last Days

Album · 1997 · Rap Metal
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martindavey87
Rapper Ice-T and his merry men are back with Body Count’s third studio album, ‘Violent Demise: The Last Days’. Released in 1997, it follows the disappointing ‘Born Dead’, which failed to capitalize on the unexpected and surprising success of the bands self-titled debut. However, with ‘Violent Demise’, the Californian gangsters return to the more brutal, cynical, yet tongue-in-cheek approach that made their first outing so unique for its time.

Starting off with a radio interview skit which sees the host attacking Ice-T over the poor reception of ‘Born Dead’, it’s evident that the group recognizes this and are setting out to rectify any issues. And they do it with a vengeance. With opening track, ‘My Way’, the band are instantly back to their aggressive and violent roots, with guitar riffs heavier than a tonne of concrete slabs and profanity-laden lyrics that will make your mother blush. Covering a host of traditional gangster rap subjects such as gang violence, racism and sex, the band are lashing out at society with both humour and pure hatred.

The musicianship itself is pretty good, and while this style of music isn’t typically known for virtuoso performances, the band members are tight, and the production gives the album a thick, punching sound that really re-establishes Body Count as a solid metal outfit. Ice-T’s vocals are a blend of rapping and generally shouting, but overall it works fantastically with the hardcore-inspired guitar riffs.

With the likes of ‘My Way’, ‘Violent Demise’, ‘Strippers’, ‘You’re Fuckin’ With BC’, ‘I Used to Love Her’ and ‘Dead Man Walking’, Body Count may not be able to recapture the mainstream success they had with their debut album, but it’s clear with ‘Violent Demise: The Last Days’ that this is a band who are more than just a side project, with well-written music of a high standard, this is a solid release that more than makes up for its predecessor.

BODY COUNT Born Dead

Album · 1994 · Rap Metal
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martindavey87
Body Count’s 1992 self-titled debut album was a pretty big success for the band. Granted, that success came about due to the infamy and controversy surrounding the song ‘Cop Killer’, but the record itself was a solid effort. When renowned rapper and actor Ice-T put together a metal band, not many people thought it’d last, seeing it as a one-off endeavour. So it was no-doubt intriguing to see a follow-up released, and how did they capitalize on the success of ‘Body Count’?

They didn’t.

Released in 1994, ‘Born Dead’ takes everything that made its predecessor so good, and does away with it completely. The rapping has mostly been replaced by Ice-T constantly repeating the same phrase over and over, with very, very occasional bits of talking. The Lyrics, which once had meaning and were incredibly angry, satirical and lashing out at everything, are now dull, juvenile and pointless. The music seems pretty bland, and hell, even the skits between the tracks are gone. What previously gave the album a loose narrative and plot, is now just one uninspired song after another.

There are a couple of brief instances where the production and sound of the album suffers from dips in quality. I’d guess that this was thrown together in between Ice-T’s rapping and acting careers, as some parts sound rushed and disjointed. And a cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic ‘Hey Joe’ seems so out of place here.

However, it’s not all gloom and doom. There’s a couple of moments which take me back to Body Count’s first outing, and reminds me why this band are so good. ‘Necessary Evil’ and ‘Born Dead’ are both decent enough tracks that prevent this album from getting a one-star rating, but overall, considering all the publicity the group had garnered with their debut, this is a disappointing follow-up.

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