In 2009, Ice-T sat down for an interview and said, “I opened the door for gangsta rap and 50 Cent closed it.” It doesn’t look as if he’s changed his mind in the last 11 years because when he caught up with Unique Access Ent, he doubled down on his sentiments. The rap legend has nearly four decades in the game and has seen its shifts of transitions and trends, and according to Ice-T, rappers are no longer as threatening or scary as they used to be, thus making the gangsta rap scene almost invisible.
“To me, the last gangster rapper was 50 Cent, because to me, he embodied that image. You know, that ‘I don’t give a f*ck,'” said Ice-T. “50 Cent had you really believe you didn’t wanna f*ck with him. I heard 50 Cent when he was beefing with Fat Joe and he was like, ‘Fat Joe, I’m right down the street. It’s real hard to find a n*gga when you know he got a gun, ain’t it.'” The rapper laughed at the remark. “I’m like, ‘Okay!'”
Ice-T clarified that he named Fif as the last real gangsta rapper because 50 Cent is the last one he believed. “I think now, the new trap rappers, you know, they convince me they can get high, they convinced me maybe that they can sell a little drugs, but they don’t scare me,” said the rap icon. “I think if you a gangsta rapper, you scare me a little bit. I don’t think there’s no new people that do it.”
He mentioned Kendrick Lamar “who keeps a nice little hood edge” and added that he would include The Game with his 50 Cent mention. “Game is apart of G-Unit, but once that movement happened, I don’t know,” he continued. “They do the Drill rap out of Chicago and stuff like that, youngsters and stuff, but I don’t know. That’s just from me.”
“We scared the world so quickly, but then when Eminem did it they were like, ‘Okay,'” he said. “Now, people are kind of conditioned. It’s not like when [Ice] Cube came out and said, ‘Crazy motherf*cker named—,’ what the f*ck?! Who are these motherf*ckers, like yo! Now, everybody’s like, ‘Okay, you’re gonna Crip walk and dance and sh*t.’ It’s not as threatening now.”
The conversation sparked another name for Ice-T. “You know who the last gangsta rapper was? Bobby Shmurda,” he said of the incarcerated rapper. “But that’s when keeping it real goes wrong… They were bar for bar snitching on themselves.”
This interview is full of gems from Ice-T, so make sure to watch this one from beginning to end to hear what else he had to say about the rap game.