Ice-T

The Iceberg: Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say

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Ice-T threw listeners quite a curve ball with his riveting third album, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say -- arguably the closest hip-hop has come to George Orwell's 1984. Instead of focusing heavily on gangsta rap, Ice-T made First Amendment issues the CD's dominant theme. Setting the album's tone is the opener, "Shut Up, Be Happy," which finds guest Jello Biafra (former leader of punk band Dead Kennedys) envisioning an Orwellian America in which the government controls and dominates every aspect of its citizens' lives. Though there are a few examples of first-rate gangsta rap here -- including "The Hunted Child" and the chilling "Peel Their Caps Back" -- Ice's main concern this time is censorship and what he views as a widespread attack on free speech in the U.S. As angry and lyrically intense as most of The Iceberg is, Ice enjoys fun for its own sake on "My Word Is Bond" and "The Girl Tried to Kill Me" -- an insanely funny rap-rock account of an encounter with a dominatrix.

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