Rapper/actor Ice T came to the defense of an artist he considers a friend in a newly-published interview with Vlad TV. When asked how he felt about Lord Jamar’s comments about Hip Hop being a form of black music, Ice T first acknowledged the Brand Nubian emcee’s status in Hip Hop and then shared his belief that “Hip Hop is black music.”
The “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star then credited Puerto Ricans for embracing Hip Hop after African Americans.
“Lord Jamar is my friend,” Ice T said. “I mean, Lord Jamar was one of the first people in the art of rap. You know? Lord Jamar is a member of the Brand Nubian. So, Lord Jamar is gonna have always a pro-black way of going at things. Hip Hop is black music. It’s not like if I was white I could say ‘I invented reggae.’ We gotta keep it real. Where did it come from? It came from black, ghetto kids. I think probably the second people into Hip Hop would be the Puerto Ricans. B-boys. Rock Steady Crew, people like that. When it hit L.A.—It’s a ghetto music, the eses got a hold of it.”
Ice T went on to state that he has no problem with anyone participating in the genre of Hip Hop as long as they respect the culture. He added that as one of Hip Hop’s early entertainers, it’s a genre that’s dear to him.
“I put one of the first white kids in the game, Everlast,” he said. “Then you got Em. It’s definitely gonna cross racial lines because now it’s like everybody can rap. My UPS man came to my house. This nigga sounded like DMX. It’s like there was a time when I came out where only a few people could rap. And I was wack when I started. Everybody was wack when they started. And now the young kids are spittin’. Cause they got all these great rappers to listen to key off of. I don’t really have no problem with it. I think you should respect the culture…People hold cultures very close to them. So, you don’t want someone to get in it and then disrespect it. When we—It saved my life. It’s very dear to me.”
The comments Ice T was questioned about during his interview with Vlad TV stemmed from an interview Lord Jamar took part in in September of last year. In the interview, Lord Jamar criticized fellow artist Macklemore and shared his belief that white rappers “are guests in the house of Hip Hop.”
“Okay, white rappers, you’re coming to this almost as a guest,” Jamar said during an interview with Vlad TV. “Okay, matter of fact you are guests in the house of Hip Hop. Just because you have a hit record doesn’t give you the right as I feel to voice your opinion. White rappers, those of y’all who really studied the culture, that truly love Hip Hop and all that, keep it real with yourself, you know this is a black man’s thing. We started this. This is our shit. We’ve allowed you, those of you who’ve proved your skill and all that, we’ve allowed you to come in and kick your shit, make yourself known. You know what I mean? And if you have enough respect for the culture we fuck with you. But don’t push it too far.”