This month in 1992 Ice-T decided to remove the controversial song “Cop Killer” from his heavy metal band self-titled debut album, Body Count, of his own volition. Eventually, Body Count album was re-issued with “Cop Killer” removed. Alongside the album’s reissue, Warner Bros. issued “Cop Killer” as a free single.
Written by Body Count’s guitarist, Ernie C, with lyrics by Ice-T, and partially influenced by Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”, “Cop Killer” had been the target of protest by law enforcement groups who said it encouraged the killing of police. Others defended the song on the basis of the band’s First Amendment rights.
Ice-T has referred to it as a “protest” record, he stated of the song, “I’m singing in the first person as a character who is fed up with police brutality. I ain’t never killed no cop. I felt like it a lot of times. But I never did. If you believe that I’m a cop killer, you believe David Bowie is an astronaut”, in reference to Bowie’s song “Space Oddity”.
In an ironic twist, some kind of love/hate thing, I guess, Ice-T would later play as a cop—Det. Fin Tutuola—on the NBC police drama, Law and Order.
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Featured image via The New York Times.
Sources: Billboard, Louder, Wikipedia.