Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood

I saw Ice-T on a recent Colbert Report and thought I’d check out his autobiography.

Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood
Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood

I’m not really a fan of rap music. I liked the first two Beastie Boys albums, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Ice Cube and of course Ice-T. I’ve since lost interest in rap, but I was interested in reading how Ice-T went from being a criminal to an actor and businessman.

Ice-T was a successful thief, pimp, DJ, rapper, rock artist, movie actor and TV star. He also helped broker the peace between the LA gangs in 1992. Ice-T was also involved in numerous other projects, including making a documentary on the history of rap music. His success in multiple disciplines is what makes for a good book. And I had no idea that Ice-T served in the Army. He even did the same infantry training at Ft. Benning, Georgia that I did.

Although I liked the story, I felt this book lacked something. At several points where Ice-T was earning a new level of success, he seemed to be light on details and not forth coming. Although he went into detail on how he was a hustler in his criminal past, his legit success was written as if he was lucky or just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Ice-T states that he landed his role in New Jack City because Marion Van Peebles heard him talking in the men’s room of a nightclub, liked what he said so much that he offered him a role in the film.

Other acting successes seemed to come too easy in the story. Maybe it happened that way, but I doubt it. My guess is that because Ice-T is still in the entertainment industry, he is keeping his work ethic secrets close to the vest. When I read the 2nd half of the book, I was reminded of Law #30 from the stellar The 48 Laws of PowerMake your accomplishments seem effortless.

…When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

I really wish Ice-T would have opened up more in the second half of the book on how he infuses his hustler ethic in the legit world. That would have made it a great book.


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  1. Everything one needs to be learned about hustling can be learned by watching CB4, starring Chris Rock with an appearance by Iced Tea.

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