“Smokeout Festival Presents: Body Count featuring Ice-T” by Body Count

Artist: Body Count
Title: “Smokeout Festival Presents: Body Count featuring Ice-T”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 10/4/2005
Genre: Metal/Punk
Rating: 6/10

In 1992 Rapper Ice-T unleashed on the world his Rap Infused Metal band “Body Count”. The self-titled CD was largely ignored at the time because Rap and Metal were not really something that was easily accepted back then. When you add to this the fact that this was more of a Hard Core Punk than Metal act as well it really would have died a quiet death leaving Ice-T to move onto his next project very easily once he got this out of his system. That was until some politicians saw it as a platform to help their causes when they realized there was a track called “Cop Killer” on the record. From there it was lambasted on all sides and this record that was selling worse than anyone envisioned was suddenly impossible to find and very expensive if you did find it. Eventually the original record was banned and the sensitive track removed from it in order for the album to be able to return to retail shelves. I owned that original album and never felt that Ice-T was telling people to kill police officers; instead I remember his press release on it as he stressed he was positioning himself in the shoes of a typical L.A. street gang member. South Central L.A. was a war zone at the time as Ice-T referenced and this mental state was always a factor in that type of individual. Maybe this was not a smart move or perhaps it was a work of genius. It certainly is on the record books based on the firestorm that surrounded it that’s for sure.

Twelve years later we find Ice-T fronting the band once again for the famous “Smokeout Festival”. From the original lineup only Ernie C, D-Roc and Ice-T remain to perform a set of their most well-known material. Members Beatmaster V and Mooseman have passed on as result of illness and gang violence. The recording is surprisingly good for a live show of this nature and music that is played this fast. Body Count’s tunes were not all that complex and it was more about Ice-T and his delivery during them than the aspect of technical acumen in the songs. Truly something more for the die hard Ice-T or Body Count fan, this is a straight concert performance with little fluff. There is lots of adult language so those who find offense to that might wish to steer away. Among the interesting portions of the film is the band getting told their set is done and them continuing just the same. All of the songs that one would expect to see in a live show of the group are present here for you to enjoy. “KKK Bitch” is a brutally funny tune and “There Goes The Neighborhood” has a nice heavy riff to it that I always liked. Of course the signature Body Count tune of “Cop Killer” is the closer and Ice even brings out his son “Little Ice” to help the band sing it. The bonus features are not all that spectacular and are limited to a “Making Of” the festival as well as a Skateboard segment. I think an interview with Ice-T would have been a good addition for him to talk about the group’s tumultuous history but that is not present.

As I stressed briefly this is more for the hard core fan of Ice-T’s scope of work or the Body Count die-hard. It was a controversial band led by a controversial figure. This is not for the politically correct at all. Filmed in 2003, the time of this DVD’s release also finds guitarist D-Roc dead after a battle with lymphoma.

Song Listing:
1. Body Count In The House
2. Body MF Count
3. Masters Of Revenge
4. Killing Floor
5. Bowels Of The Devil
6. KKK Bitch
7. Drive By
8. The End Game
9. There Goes The Neighborhood
10. Cop Killer

Official Web site: http://www.icet.com

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