If any band in the world could be labelled the personification of rap-metal, it has to be the LA-based collective Body Count, which was founded some decades ago by the rap madman, Ice T, and his companions. Having replaced the majority of its members by now (some have passed away due to illness, others in
If any band in the world could be labelled the personification of rap-metal, it has to be the LA-based collective Body Count, which was founded some decades ago by the rap madman, Ice T, and his companions.
Having replaced the majority of its members by now (some have passed away due to illness, others in gang battles – and no, this is neither a joke nor a pathetic attempt to attract the listeners’ attention), Body Count recorded the infamous EP Copkiller in the early 1990’s, when the standards of taste and true feelings were still set quite high. The band was singing praise to taking revenge on cops in the cruellest ways imaginable, and there were also other tracks (one of them, Body Count, having also appeared on Ice-T’s album O. G. Original Gangster) that were no less bitter, brutal and, indeed, bold. The band served fast rhythms, heavy riffs and lyrics that fully reflected the fact that the band originated in one of the worst parts of LA, South Central.
Body Count have won the world over with albums Body Count and Born Dead. When LA was burning with racial unrest, when it seemed that the post-cold-war US have finally found their authentic ugly face, Body Count were singing of repression, of minorities being incapable to develop, they were singing of the death of those closest to you, of deception and illusion. Substantiated with the groove, excellent riffs, and, not least, incomparable lyrics, they were winning likeminded hearts across the globe. With the album Violent Demise: The Last Days they possibly showed a more mundane, calmer face, but they preserved just the right level of Body Count to leave you speechless before you got slapped hard.
The band has remained a cult – never making compromises, never letting themselves be dictated by somebody else about what to do, how to play, what to sing about. They have accumulated followers and enemies alike, having also accumulated enormous respect from both sides. In any case, the world would have been a very different place were it not for Body Count. And if you believe that the collaboration of Anthrax and Public Enemy has set the aural foundations for the merge of rap and metal, Body Count took a step forward with a more honest expression and with their unsurpassable lyrics.
This year they are back with the album Manslaughter in a renewed line-up that was joined by guitarist, Juan Of The Dead, i.e. the cult thrash metal warrior Juan Garcia, known to metal audiences as an important player in bands Agent Steel and Evil Dead. So if the 1997 gig in Tivoli, Ljubljana was your first and last live encounter with the band, or if you have never seen them at all, mark your calendars with a black skull on 7 June 2015, because Veseli Dihurčki and ŠKUC Ropot in cooperation with Kino Šiška are bringing the cult band to Križanke.
You have been warned! /Ivan Cepanec/
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