Ice-T says that when he first got into the music industry, he was shocked to discover rap is “all fake.”
Rapper and Law & Order: SVU actor Ice-T recently chatted with Stephen Colbert about what surprised him when he first broke into the music industry in the 80s. To him, the biggest shock was that artists weren’t actually living the lives portrayed in their music videos.
“The biggest thing that surprised me about music is you could lie,” Ice-T says in his The Late Show appearance. “I mean, I was watching music videos, and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s their house. That’s their car. That’s their girl.'”
“Then when I got in there, like, oh, you can rent a car. MTV Cribs, ‘You don’t have to have this house, we’ll put you in a house that’s not yours.’ I’m like, this is all fake, you know. And I didn’t know that. And when I got in there, you know, I always had to use my own cars.”
Colbert held up Ice-T’s 1988 album, Power, to which the rapper pointed and said, “That’s my girl, that’s my son’s mom, Darlene. Those are my guns, and that was my life at that time, you know? And hey, I didn’t know you could lie. I was like, what?”
“They’ll come and put jewelry on you for the video, and then take it back,” Ice-T continued, discussing other ways in which musicians exaggerate and embellish their lifestyles in music videos. “Or you got all the girls in the jacuzzi, and their boyfriends are sitting right out of frame, waiting on them, like… So I was coming from a real world, Steve. I didn’t know about this. Show business is so fake.”
Ice-T has released eight solo studio albums and seven with his group Body Count throughout his rap career. Since 2000, he has portrayed NYPD Detective/Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola in the long-running NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.