*Every Thursday from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*
This week’s artist is Body Count.
Body Count is an Los Angeles based metal band formed in 1990. The group is fronted by Ice-T, who co-founded the group with lead guitarist Ernie C . Ice-T first made his stamp on the music industry as a rapper and moved on to metal when he formed Body Count. If you think Ice-T looks familiar you may have seen him on Law & Order from the year 2000 and forward. Ice-T took his talents to cable tv and has since become even more of a household name. Body Count released its self-titled debut album in 1992. The band encountered controversy over their track “Cop Killer”, which was thought to glamorize killing police officers. Because of this song Body Count was banned from playing anywhere in L.A. The band was already star studded but this news made them even more popular. In a recent interview with Cathouse owner and former Headbanger’s Ball host Riki Rachtman he mentioned how the band was banned and he had them play in Hollywood anyway. “Cop Killer” also cause a disturbance once in Italy when they began to play the song live and an audience member spit at Ice-T. The show was cancelled and their tour bus was vandalized by audience members and the band barely escaped unharmed. The song had got the attention of the label, several police organizations and both the president and vice president at the time. (H.W. Bush, Quayle). Ice-T decided to drop the song from the album. In an interview, Ice-T stated that “I didn’t want my band to get pigeon-holed as that’s the only reason that record sold. It just got outta hand and I was just tired of hearing it. I said, ‘fuck it,’ I mean they’re saying we did it for money, and we didn’t. I’d gave the record away, ya know, let’s move on, let’s get back to real issues, not a record but the cops that are out there killing people.”
Ernie C the man responsible for writing the bands music had an integral part of kick starting the careers of both Stone Temple Pilots and Rage Against The Machine as he helped produce their demos. Three out of the band’s original six members are deceased: D-Roc died from lymphoma, Beatmaster V from leukemia and Mooseman in a drive-by shooting. The band released 3 more albums before going on hiatus. ‘Born Dead’ (1994), Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997), and then 9 years later released ‘Murder 4 Hire’ in 2006. In 2012 the band advised they were working on a new album and were quickly signed to Sumerian Records. The band released the album ‘Manslaughter’ in 2014 and also unveiled the single and video for ‘Institutionalized’. The single cemented Body Count’s rightful place in the metal world. The way away accumulated no rust, and they were back in business. In March of this year Body Count released their sixth studio album ‘Bloodlust’ via Century Media. The album has star studded guest appearances by appear on the album are Max Cavalera, Randy Blythe and Dave Mustaine. The bands newest video/single is “No Lives Matter” and it certainly has something to say just like the single released before it “Black Hoodie”. Ice-T’s rapping background and the killer metal riffs by Ernie C create something special. This isn’t rap metal, it’s not nu-metal…. it’s Body Count so you better get ready. Let’s hope two things happen during their set at Chicago Open Air. 1. They play “Cop Killer”. 2. Neither Megadeth or Lamb Of God play on the same day as Body Count, but let’s hope we see some guest appear with them on stage. Their set is something you will not want to miss, they shake things up and are vastly different than anyone on the festival lineup and in metal as a whole.
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