THE ICEMAN COMETH: Ice-T, the L.A. rap...

THE ICEMAN COMETH: Ice-T, the L.A. rap kingpin who earned accolades earlier this year with his brash title song from the “Colors” sound track, is back with a provocative new album called “Power.” The album’s standout track is “I’m Your Pusher,” which features a debate between Ice-T and a basehead (drug addict), framed by the eerie chorus from Curtis Mayfield’s early-'70s hit, “Pusher Man.” Cleverly utilizing rap slang (where dope now stands for cool, not drugs), Ice-T offers the pleasures of rap as a metaphorical substitute for the cheap thrills of drugs:

I know you’re lovin’ this drug as it’s comin’ out your speaker, bass through the bottoms, highs through the tweeters. But this base you don’t need a pipe, just a tempo to keep you hype. Groovin’ like I see you doin,’ some stupid crack would just ruin, your natural high, why? That ain’t fly! And anyone who says it lies!

Near the end of the song, Ice-T also takes a jab at rap rival LL Cool J., whose boastful antics have earned him the enmity of many rappers. Trying to get his addict pal to switch from drugs to rap, Ice-T offers him all of his favorite new records, by the likes of Public Enemy, Biz Markie and Kool Moe Dee. The dialogue (which is mysteriously absent from the album’s lyric sheet) continues:

Ice-T: I got some Doug E. Fresh.


Addict: Yeah, give me an ounce of that. I want that all night long!

Ice-T: Eric B. and Rakim.

Addict: Yeah, that is some real dope right there.

Ice-T: LL Cool J.


Addict: Nah, nah. I don’t want none of that. You can keep that, man!

Why is Ice-T so intent on dissing LL Cool J.? “Hey, I don’t like him,” Ice said. “I met him and he’s a total egomaniac. If you look at his history, he’s never made a record that’s about anything but himself. How many times can you say, ‘Man, I’m def!’ That’s real weak. They wanted me to go on his tour and I refused. He’s not real people. He believes all the hype. Here’s a guy who’s had two double-platinum albums and instead of using that success to talk about issues or something important, he just talks about how great he is.”