Ice-T has made a name for himself in rap, metal, breakdance movies, video games, and, most recently, on Law and Order: SVU. We're hoping to pitch him on our new idea for a TV show: Law and Order: NPR, in which we solve crimes and then encourage the still traumatized but grateful victims to pledge at any level.
Ice-T appeared in the documentary Pimps Up, Ho's Down, so we've invited him to play a game called "Pimps Up, Pantyhose Down." Three questions about a different kind of hos(e.)
Originally broadcast on May 15, 2010
CARL KASELL: Moving on, we've had a lot of celebrities on to play Not My Job in the past year, but Ice-T brought in the most requests for an encore.
The rapper and actor joined us in May of 2010, along with panelists Amy Dickinson, Paula Poundstone and Roy Blount, Jr.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
We've got to ask, you've done so many things in your career for so long. Do you ever find that people, like, don't know that you've done other things?
ICE-T: Oh, absolutely. I mean, right now, I've been on "Law and Order" ten years, so like you talk to an 18-year-old kid, he was 8-years-old when I started "Law and Order."
So a lot of them don't have any, you know, connection to my music career or any of the, you know, madness we did back in the 80s and 90s. So, you know, it's cool.
SAGAL: Are they shocked when you tell them?
ICE-T: Their mothers usually tell them.
ICE-T: Or either, you know what else, I meet, like their grandma or somebody, you know, in the airport and they're grandmother loves me from "SVU" and she's like, oh, that's Ice-T. And their daughter's like, do you really know who that is, you know?
SAGAL: So let's talk a little bit about the madness. What do you mean by that exactly?
ICE-T: I started rapping in 1982. You know, it scared the hell out of America. I mean, we went on to do a lot of different other things that really shook up America. I mean I was - how many people in your audience will ever have the honor of having the president of the United States say their name in anger?
SAGAL: Can you imagine like back in 1986 when, like you say, you were being condemned by everybody, including the president, of like looking in the camera and saying, "someday America, I'm going to star in your favorite primetime drama?"
ICE-T: It's only in America, baby.
SAGAL: I know.
ROY BLOUNT JR: A little hand for America.
SAGAL: Well let's go back to the beginning and let's talk about the beginning of your musical career. You grew up in Southern California. Where did you start performing? How did you get into that?
ICE-T: Well, I went to Crenshaw High School. After that, I went in the Army. And when I came out of the military, I got right into trouble.
ICE-T: You know I was out on the streets doing everything. I mean, I robbed banks; I did all kinds of things. And, the rap music business was just starting. And I would go to clubs and I would rhyme just to get attention. And I started to kind of mix in some of the facts of the life that I was living with the music and we created a genre which they called gangster rap.
SAGAL: I'm sorry, I mean maybe it's just me, but I'm just kind of amazed at the idea. Well I was robbing banks and that didn't get me enough attention, so I decided to make up rhymes. And it worked.
SAGAL: You know?
ICE-T: Well you know what, I got news for you, you don't want to get attention when you're robbing a bank.
SAGAL: Yeah, I guess not.
SAGAL: You want to sneak around. I'm sorry; this is why I'd be really bad at living your life.
ICE-T: No, no, no.
SAGAL: You don't want to do that.
ICE-T: Two different lifestyles. Two different lives.
SAGAL: So it's amazing though, I mean, you were a bank robber. Now you're a television star. You're about to direct your first movie. Would you suggest that to young kids instead of saying...
SAGAL: ...going to drama school? Go rob a bank or two, get some life experience.
ICE-T: No, no. I mean I would say, you know, what they think is square is really the correct way. You know, go to school, get an education. I mean, those things that, you know, lots of cats like myself tried to do, those were what we thought were considered shortcuts.
ICE-T: But you usually make a detour through the penitentiary.
ICE-T: And then you come out, you know, 20 years later and now your shortcut has turned into the longest route you ever thought.
SAGAL: Now, you're working on a documentary about hip hop, about rap music.
ICE-T: Yeah, my first film that I've ever going to direct is called, "The Art of Rap". It's not about the cars. It's not about the girls. It's not about the lifestyle. It's about the actual craft of how rappers do it.
SAGAL: Do you think that - I mean I don't know if you've ever done this before, but have you ever considered having like an Ice rap summit, you, Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice?
ICE-T: Yeah, Vanilla Ice, he's a funny guy.
SAGAL: Do you know Vanilla Ice?
ICE-T: Yeah, I met Vanilla Ice. I met Vanilla Ice later on in his career, once now that he doesn't want to be called Vanilla Ice. And he was actually a really cool dude.
ICE-T: You know? So I think back in the day we didn't really dig it because...
ICE-T: ...one of his mistakes was he came into the rap business saying he was from the street. And we were like, what street, Sesame Street?
ICE-T: You know? But that was a mistake. He didn't have to say that. All he had to do was say hey, I'm a white kid, I'm trying to rap, and I want to be accepted. You don't have to lie and say you're from someplace you're not, you know?
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Well wait a minute, when you say "the street," everybody's from a street.
ICE-T: Everybody's from a street.
ICE-T: But when we say "the street" that means you probably had to live off of being in the street. You might have had to survive on the street.
SAGAL: Yeah, I mean I grew up on a street called Cinnamon Tree Lane. I don't think that gets me - true fact.
SAGAL: I don't think - next to Vanilla Ice in fact, he was my neighbor. He was very nice at the time.
ICE-T: Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
SAGAL: I know. I don't think I'm going to try to get any rap cred based on that.
SAGAL: Ice-T, we're delighted to have you with us. We have invited you here to play a game we're calling?
KASELL: Pimps up, pantyhose down.
ICE-T: Oh. That sounds good.
SAGAL: I'm sorry, I just...
AMY DICKINSON: Carl.
SAGAL: I just have to take a moment to get over the fact we made Carl say that.
SAGAL: All right, we're going to go on now.
ICE-T: Pimps up, pantyhose down.
SAGAL: Of course, you appeared in the documentary, "Pimps Up, Hos Down." We thought we'd ask you about another kind of hose, pantyhose.
ICE-T: Oh lord.
SAGAL: Well, I know. Answer two out of three questions correctly; you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl's voice on their home answering machine or voicemail. Carl, who is Ice-T playing for?
KASELL: Ice is playing for Captain John Frederick from Lakenheath, England.
ICE-T: Can I apologize to the Captain now?
SAGAL: Go right ahead.
SAGAL: All right, here we go. This is your first question. Allen Gant Sr. Was inspired by his wife to invent a garment which attached stockings to underwear, but he didn't originally call it pantyhose. The first commercial pair went on sale in 1959, and was called what? A: Gant's Miraculous and Amazing Toning Textile? B: Pantilegs? Or C: Footed britches?
ICE-T: I'll say footed britches.
SAGAL: Footed britches sounds good. It does. But they were pantilegs. Pantilegs is what they were called.
SAGAL: All right, two more chances. Here we go. Pantyhose, it turns out, are not just for wearing anymore. In fact, according to the blog Lifehacker, people are using them how? A: to build massive slingshots for monthly panty fights? B: to stuff with crepe paper, tying them on and attending four-legged parties? Or C: to keep their onions fresh?
JR: Is that a euphemism?
SAGAL: No, it is not a euphemism.
ICE-T: How about the onion one?
SAGAL: How about the onion one? You're right, sir, the onions. Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Put them in pantyhose, you hang them up, they stay fresh.
ICE-T: What the hell is a four-legged party? What the hell?
SAGAL: Oh man.
SAGAL: You talk about the madness in my youth that's what we're talking about. All right, this is great. You got one right with one to go. You get this right, you win it all. According to MSNBC anyway, more and more men are wearing pantyhose. On men, though, they're most commonly called what? A: Mantyhose?
SAGAL: B: Smoothers? Or C: Boxerhose?
ICE-T: Why would a man wear pantyhose?
SAGAL: Don't ask me, ask MSNBC. Just for that smooth feeling.
POUNDSTONE: Or to hide his onions.
ICE-T: OK, what's the last one?
SAGAL: The last one is Boxerhose.
ICE-T: I'll say mantyhose.
SAGAL: Mantyhose. I don't know what this is going to do for your cred, man, but you're right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It's called mantyhose.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Ice-T do on our quiz?
KASELL: He had two correct answers, Peter, so Ice wins it for Captain John Frederick.
SAGAL: Yes. You won.
SAGAL: Ice-T is a rapper and an actor. He stars in "Law and Order: SVU". Ice-T, thank you so much for being with us today. Great pleasure to talk to you.
ICE-T: Thank you.
SAGAL: Take care.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.