I am in the night
I am every part of it
The consumption of its beast 
The deck that it deals
The veins that bleed
The caress of its serpent

I am the night
As it writhes and undulates toward dawn
It moans and cries a symphony of anger
I am its agony as it struggles against the light
And dies with the strike of the Sun God.






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The following is a complete, unexpurgated transcript of the interview used in the Axcess article "No Sell Out" (Volume 3, No. 4). This conversation took place at the Virgin Records offices in L.A. in May 1995. The participants are Ice-T, Henry Rollins, Axcess music editors Leah Lin Jones and J.R. Griffin, and photographer Kevin Estrada.
ICE-T: You got to start your child off separate, away from the system.

ROLLINS: I got a Social Security Card when I was, I don't know, ten. Before I knew what it was: "Don't lose this." "Okay." And [snapping his fingers] I was in. I only realized this last night watching this that it was all voluntary.

LEAH: You can't get a job without a social security card.

ROLLINS: You can't get paid if you do a gig. Let's say you speak on Leno or do the Grammies or whatever... you can't get paid without that social security number. They cannot pay you a penny.

ICE-T: So it's a lot of games. It's like America's a country, right? And to live here they cut crap, so to speak. So you have to give them a certain amount of your money to be in the system, but to beat that you have to be totally away from all systems. You have to make illegal money, you just can't play the game. That's why the problem is with drug dealers and hustlers and people who don't pay. That's why in Nevada you can gamble... they've figured a way they can tax it. Prostitution's legal because they can tax it. They got to make it legal so they can get paid. This country has to make it so it can get paid in some kind of way. The I.R.S. is a private collection agency, they're not the government.

ROLLINS: Woodrow Wilson signed the bill that gave the Federal Reserve Bank their juice, and in this quote that is in this documentary, he said "I've unwittingly destroyed my own country." He totally regretted it. Then they have all of these Thomas Jefferson quotes before that, saying that when all the money's in the hands of the few, that's when you're fucked. It's over with. America is all about everyone having an equal say in it, but if the money gets all tied up-- big amounts to a small amount of people-- then it's over with. And that's exactly what happened.

ICE-T: You don't really feel them [the I.R.S.] until you are making real money. Because I remember when I was little I used to hear people screaming about taxes. You know, you got a job, they take some taxes out, it's not really effecting you. But if you ever got into a movie or something, then that's when you feel it. It's like "damn!" Like "whomp!" they just hit you for like 45 percent-- so much money.

LEAH: The middle class gets the biggest chunk of money taken out of their paychecks.

ICE-T: It's incredible.

LEAH: It's not fair. You can't live, you can't buy a house. You can't afford to send your kids to private school. They have to go to public school.

ICE-T: No, not a private school. See, that private school... you'll need a social security number to get in. You have to home teach your children. You have to not use anything.

KEVIN: Little House On The Prairie special.

ICE-T: Yeah.

ROLLINS: Yeah, but they'll find a way. It's like the whole David Koresh thing and what happened to him. You're not playing the game, so we'll save your kids and burn them up.

ICE-T: Here comes the ATF.

ROLLINS: This is what I feel about the whole Koresh thing, I don't have all the facts but, the vibe I got was that "Oh, you're not gonna come out and talk to us, we'll smoke you out." "You're on our property, this is our shit." "Fuck you, man, you're gonna come talk to us one way or the other. Oh, you won't, fine." Snap, crackle, pop.

GRIFFIN: It just came down to the guys with the most guns.

ROLLINS: They played the Koresh guys like cops in L.A. play you. You look at them and they go, "Did you call me a motherfucker?" And you say, "No, sir, no I didn't." Then they beat your ass up, take you away and you say, "Your honor, the cop beat me up and dragged me in." And the cop goes "He took a swing at me." They want it so bad, you even go like that [jerks forward] and it's like, "He was moving at me in an aggressive manner" when all you were doing is getting your keys out of the ignition. They do what they want, basically.

LEAH: Just yesterday, I found out that you can deny them the right to search your car.

ICE-T: But they can hold you.

LEAH: This is totally ridiculous.

ICE-T: What, are you looking for rights someplace? [laughs]

LEAH: Then why even grow up here in L.A.?

ICE-T: They just enforce the law different here. I'll give you an example. My boy Shawny Shawn, he was on parole and they were raiding a spot in an apartment building. They're not even at his place, and he's looking out the window and they're going through his truck outside. Stupid, he says, "Hey, what are you doing?" And they ask, "This your car? Come here asshole!" "Well, um...what are you going through my truck for?" "Where you live?" And they had a legal search because he had driven into an apartment building and they were rushing somebody who was selling weed in one of the buildings, they got a warrant for the whole building. So they go into his girl's house and go in her closet, go up in the top and find a small pistol. He's on parole and he's not supposed to be in a room with a gun. Didn't even know it was there, it wasn't his gun-- I'd tell you if it was his gun-- but he gets a year for that.

ROLLINS: Shawny Shawn's gone?

ICE-T: No, this happened before. But a parole violation. This is the kind of stuff.... And I told him, "You know why you're in trouble? Because you though you had rights, man." When they're fucking with your truck you just let them fuck with your truck, because you don't have any rights. You step up on them, "Hey, what are you doing?" "What am I doing? How dare you ask me what I'm doing, let me put you in jail. Nobody tells me who the fuck I am." I always fuck with 'em, though.

GRIFFIN: Well, when you got money to defend yourself in court it's a different story.

ICE-T: It's not money with me, they know I have a big mouth and they know I can get media attention. They know I'm outspoken. They know that right now I can call CNN and get a press conference right now, because of that last shit. At this moment right now I can say, "Yo, CNN, I want to talk." And then fucking satellites will pop up here. And I'll just be kidding and say, "Yo, Henry just won in Techno-Bowl" or some shit like that, we just playing. Or he just beat me in Mortal Kombat. But I can get everybody waiting, because you know, you gotta go live! It's gotta be live, I wanna go live!. Live! Live! Live! Coming in, you know, they'll be pre-empting the O.J. Simpson Trial, because they think I'll be saying something. So when you get to that kind of position of power, it just gets crazy. You know once, we were doing a photo shoot over in the hood and we had a bunch of guns, right. And we looked and there was this car down the street and they were watching us. So my buddies, they were waving these pistols around and we were like on a side street and there were no cops. And then the next thing you know, like ten units just rolled up out of nowhere. We were like "Oh, shit" so we stuffed all the guns in the car. One cop gets out and says, "Hold up, I know who this is." He knows we weren't doing anything wrong. The guns were all legit. He knows we weren't gang-bangers, we were just taking photos. And this one asshole lady cop, she was just going by the book. Once the other cops determined that we weren't just some gang members high signin' they were like, it's okay. So they went into my trunk and I had one pistol and I was like "It's mine, it's legit. It's not loaded, it's legit." And they said, you know you can't be doing this. And I said, "I know, I know, I know, I'm sorry." And it was cool. But she was like, "Hey, you can't have this, you didn't check those guys' car." And the sergeant was like, "Look, it's over." And he took me over to the side and he was like, "Homegirl's a prick, just let me handle this shit." And he went to her and said, "Look, if you want to be the officer that took Ice-T in for some fucking bullshit gun charge, you do it, we're leaving." It was basically like, "If we're going to take him in we have to take him in for something. Don't make a fool out of yourself." So, they like stay the fuck away from me until they find a body in my trunk or I do something real, they just don't fuck with me. At this point, a lot of police are coming up to me trying to be cool. They like come to me and they're like "You know, we're cool." They do, I mean I got to give them that. Some of them do, they want to identify themselves as not being the evil ones.

ROLLINS: Some cops really try and want to do the right thing. You find that outside of California, in New York or in East Coast cities. There are bad cops everywhere-- just the vibe is really different from here to New York. If you're not like murdering someone, if you have a joint, they'll just look out of the window of the car and say, "Hey, go home with that." It's a joint! It's not a hatchet you're putting through some woman's head. They know the difference between crime and some guy sitting on the corner with a roach. They know the difference.

KEVIN: If you're drinking on the street in New York, it's cool. But if you're doing it out here, then you get totally hassled.

ROLLINS: Well, in New York and other places, they have real crime. In L.A. they don't try and stop the crime, they just try to contain it. If blacks are killing blacks, great. If they do it on Barbara Streisand's front lawn, we have problems. If they're doing down near the airport, whe was like "It's mine, it's legitre all of those little animals live, fine. It's like a self-cleaning oven. Fine. Do our job for us, we only have to do the paperwork. But if you do it in Westwood or on the pier near Venice, that's it.

ICE-T: In New York, and different places, the cops have to co-exist with human beings, they walk the streets. They're in there, so they just can't be wild. They stand there and talk to you. L.A.P.D., you never see them until they are in motion, because they live in those cars. Whenever you see them moving at you, you know it's not to say "Hi." So people here become defensive. It's like when you see a cop in your rear-view mirror, you're not happy at all, you're fucking paranoid. You don't know what the fuck is going to happen. But the way it's written, you're supposed to be "Oh, it's a cop, I'm safe." But it's not like that. But there are different types. In Atlanta, it's so cold, because after I did "Cop Killer" Atlanta wrote me a letter. And I was like, you know, I dedicate that shit to L.A., Atlanta gave me a key to the city. The fucking police chief picked me up, I went to the school with him. The whole force was real cool. They were like, "That ain't us, Ice, I thought we were cool." I'm like, "No, no... I was talking about these fools out here. These fools out here lost their minds." They've been watching too much T.V. cop shows.

ROLLINS: To keep a community happy you do need some reference point, as in laws. Like, "Okay when you hi-jack a plane, we don't like that," you know? When you abduct my daughter we have problems. But out here it's Hollywood, the whole California thing. It really is a police state. And they really run it differently. Me and Ice, we travel America for a living, we see it a lot, and in our line of work there are always police close by.

ICE-T: It's kind of like they register what you know they can do. And if you say okay, search my car....

LEAH: If they ask to search my car, I'm like okay.

ICE-T: But you said no.

LEAH: The person that we were with knew and said, "No." And they let us go. And he said, "Well, all right."

GRIFFIN: But then you're guilty.

ICE-T: What they do, they let you go.

LEAH: We had a driver with long hair [and] sun glasses. We were tired from snowboarding all day. So they pulled us over for seatbelts. And he's all, "Get out of the car" and Mark's all, "Why?" And he said, "You look lethargic. What are you on?" Lethargic! We've been snowbaording all day. And he put him through the drunk test and asked to search the car and Mark said, "You can't do that without my permission." And I thought, "Oh my god, he's arguing with a cop." I'd get out of the car and do whatever. So he asked again if he was giving him permission. And Mark said no, so he wrote us a ticket for seatbelts and let us go. We got lucky. He should have kept his mouth shut, at least that what I think. And he's all, "No. Why should I? I'm driving home."

ICE-T: Try that at three o'clock in the morning, four black dudes. [laughs]

ROLLINS: Yeah. [laughs]

ICE-T: It's a different game.

ROLLINS: If you look more intense.

ICE-T: They do all kinds of stuff... like one time we were getting ready to go to a show and the whole crew showed up at my house. We had like fifteen people and it got wild. Somebody called the cops, so they come and they knock on the door and they said there were complaints, blah, blah, blah. They told everybody to come out of the house, lined them out in the hallway and searched everybody in the hallway. Then they told everybody to leave. And I just wouldn't leave, "Where we going to go?" Know what I'm saying? I live here too. Leave? Like that. And then they just left. So they're going to try to do what they can until you stop them. If they say lay on the ground and you lay, then you'll be laying there. If they say, you know, kiss my ass, you'll be doing it. You have to stop 'em. It's like Moslems. They won't sit on the curb. They won't. Period. When they get out, they get in their little position and they look you straight in the eye. And you know, I'm under arrest, ... I'm not going to put my hands on that hood. And they know it, and they just go "Okay, these are some Moslems." And they know that these brothers have these suits on and they're not going to sit on no curb. They'll do me and Henry and they'll go "Sit on the curb!" You know, you're so scared you just go to the pavement, like bam!

ROLLINS: I'll never stand up to another cop. They've called me so many names, it's like "Yes sir." It's like "Hello, faggot." "Yes sir, whatever you say." You should have seen when the Cop Killer thing was happening on Lollapalooza. Dallas, Texas, I'll never forget that. Lines of cops just walking through the backstage complex, just these little militia lines seeing anybody they could find from the Body Count crew, and just vibing them. Moose Man, bass player, big dude, knocks on our door and asks [whispers] "Can I come in and stay in here?" We're like "Yeah, of course. What's the matter?" Me and our guitar player looked out and these guys were around Ice's bus, everywhere. They were just vibing the shit out of anyone with the Syndicate jacket on. It's like wow, they really want you guys out of here. We sat in there for I think two bands' sets. It think we all snuck out of there to see Jane's Addiction. But it's... wow, they're real fuckers.

ICE-T: I'm used to them now. In Chicago they were on the roof, the whole shit, the S.W.A.T. team. We were making jokes after a while. We were like, "What do you call a cop in Chicago out at 2 a.m., picketing a Ice-T show?" "A Cop-cicle." [Rollins laughs] You know, because they were freezing their asses off. It just got so stupid and stuff. One night they gave me this thing that said not to play the ["Cop Killer"] song. I read it and I took my pants down and I wiped my ass with it. And what happens is, once they found out I was just totally disobedient, they just say, "Well, fuck him. Just fuck him." Because I'm not going to break the law--I'll break one of those little bullshit laws, but I'm not doing nothing serious.

But I had one really good incident with a policeman in San Diego. We're riding, we're coming out of this spot and we're coming out of this club and, you know-- the worst thing they hate is for people to love you-- so I'm coming out and I'm kissing babies and shit and girls are like screaming, people are like "Hey, Ice-T." And the cops are watching and I got this Rolls [Royce], right, so we jump in. And one of the reasons I bought it is because I went in to see how dope they were and the dude was like, "You got to get this car." And I was like, "Why?" And he said "Because they can't have one. You've got to buy one. Put your boys in it with hats and play rap music, and just fuck with them." And I'm like, "Yeah, fuck that, this might be the only chance my buddies get to ride in one of these." So this cop is standing on the corner and he's looking at us. So I rolled the window down and I said, "Yo, man you got a problem or something?" And he's like, "Yeah I got a problem with you." And I asked "Are you cop?" And he said "Yeah, I'm a cop."

ROLLINS: Were they out of uniform?

ICE-T: Yeah, like two plain clothes guys. So I'm like, "Fuck you, you piece of shit pig. You ain't shit" And I just cursed him out. I told him I was fucking his wife and I said, "Doesn't this kill you, four black kids in a fucking Rolls? You'll never, ever have anything, you underpaid piece of shit." I called him everything. And he's like, "Eeehh, asshole." We drove off and his buddy looks at him like "You told them, right?." And my buddies were all sitting in the car like totally frozen, like "Ice, it's the police outside!" It's like, fuck you. It's like fuck it. I used to watch all of those James Cagney movies. Henry is more like, 'be cool.' I'm more like 'fuck it.' I remember when I was watching James Cagney and the cops came up to him and he's like, "Look, you ain't got nothing on me, get the fuck out of my face, pig." And just roll off on them. The fact that I'm not doing anything illegal, it's like "What the fuck." They ask "You know why I stopped you?" "Yeah I know why you stopped me, because you see me rolling in a nice car that you can't afford. Now can we move on to the next question?"

ROLLINS: I would never say that, boy. Just because the idea of jail just blows me away.

LEAH: Have you ever been to jail?

ROLLINS: Nope. Not arrested, I've been taken in places , you know, they've kept me ove night and stuff, but not in jail. I don't really break laws. To get me in jail it would have to be a cop that was trying to fuck with me. And that I don't have a weapon, I just don't really do anything that could get me all that busted, unless a cop had a real attitude.

ICE-T: But the scary thing is that you really don't have to do anything.

ROLLINS: See, that's what scares me. That's scary. I had one cop put his gun in my eye socket.


ROLLINS: Yeah, it was a young cop and I was looking up and I'm like "Wow, it's silver..." I was just checking it out, his hand was shaking. It was pretty scary, you know. It was a while ago and he came into this tiny little tool shed I was living in-- I was living on the floor-- and all of the sudden I heard this "freeze!" And I was typing at this little typewriter and I was like "Okay," I turn around and I see this guy and I thought I was hallucinating. I was like, "That's funny, because I thought I just saw a cop." And I go back to typing and the guy goes "Hey!" And I went "It really is a cop!" Because I did think I was hallucinating. You really think a cop's going to be in your tiny tool shed in the back yard at two in the morning? And he comes right over and he's like "You live here?" And I'm like "Yeah. Unfortunately, yeah I do." And he's like "Okay." Then he walked out. And this girl I was going out with lived in the main house and I said "Did that happen? Did a cop just come out here?" And she said "Yeah, that happened." Because I did think I imagined it. But it was kind of scary in that I didn't do dick. I didn't do anything and this cop has his gun in my face. Cops know who I am, because I'll go on T.V. and use any chance I get to talk about police. Especially when I do an L.A. talk show. Dennis Miller or Jay Leno, or whatever, I'll always mention names-- Stacy Coon, whatever I can. And I'll talk about cops and say the word pig. I've been doing this in the media for many years. Black Flag-- a band I was in many years ago-- we were dedicated to fucking with Darryl Gates' life via radio commercials on KROQ, big interviews, Rhona Barret, any media we could get. We were talking about Darryl Gates before I heard anybody ripping on him.

ICE-T: True.

ROLLINS: They knew who Black Flag was and they would bust me every other day on the way back from band practice. I'd be walking and the same car pulls over: "Hey, faggot." "Good afternoon officer." It was our normal thing. They would frisk me and they would put the finger way back on me like this and they would go, "Okay, what's in your gym bag?" And I had like a sweaty pair of shorts, and I would go "Here, I'll show ya." "Don't move!" And I'm like okay. They'd say "Open the bag slowly." I'd laugh because if this cop knew how lightweight I am, this starving vegetarian guy who can't even afford to get laid. I can't even afford to have a date, I'm so poor at this point. I'm like, "Okay, here's the contraband." And it's like this really rancid piece of clothing and this sandwich with like sprouts and tofu. "There it is," you know, and they would have to let me go. Anyway, what else did you want to ask us?

GRIFFIN: But you do have to find some sort of common ground with the law, you do have to work with them at some point.

ROLLINS: A guy like Ice can never depend on the law. He has to bring his own.

ICE-T: Yeah, I bring my friends. I don't really have problem with people. I never really had no fear of nothing happening.

ROLLINS: You don't have any real enemies.

ICE-T: You know, I don't have no real enemies. I'm more afraid of making the people an enemy. Even when I had the drama, it wasn't so much a fear of the police, but a fear of the police sympathizers that would say "Oh you think you're so tough" blah, blah, blah, like that. Not the fact that he would hurt me, but that he would cause me to hurt him. Because if somebody made a move on me and I acted-- whether he hurt me or I hurt him-- then I'm in jail. So I just like, you know, I try to avoid heavy confrontations. And I'm a cool person, really, I'm not out looking for it. And I don't have bodyguards or nothing, I just have a lot of good friends. Which is much better than anybody you could pay, because they are more concerned with you because they love you, you know. I keep little guys with me, you don't need no big monsters. They're never there when the shit goes down, they're looking the other way trying to get something to eat. So, you know, just keep your friends. I feel safer sometimes with a girl, just somebody who gives a fuck about you when something's getting ready to go down. Me knowing people... there could be any situation. Something could come totally out of the blue, then at that point what could protect you? If somebody's really going to move on you in that capacity? Nothing. It's going to come right out of the sky, right between the eyes. It's over. So it's not an issue .It's like I become numb to situations after awhile. It's like they're there, go about your business. I have other things to do. I'm just trying to stay employed at this point. That's all I'm trying to do. I look at my life, okay, at the age I am if I fucking tomorrow stop making money, I'd be broke real quick. I have to keep working, I got a kid, I got people who count on me, so I try to stay employed, that's it.

GRIFFIN: And lately, both of you have been reinventing yourselves to do just that. Stay employed.

ROLLINS: If you're stage oriented, performance oriented, say with music, acting is not the same thing, but accustomed to it. As in if you got a guy who can play guitar, you hand him a banjo and in two minutes he can crank out a tune, because it's strings and notes. Acting is a different level of performance and discipline and concentration that music takes.... Two days into a movie, you're like "Oh, acting, it's what I usually do, only it's in little tinier bites and there's tape on the floor. I can hang with this." It's delivering. If you have to be mad, get there and go with it. You're using someone else's words a lot of the time, sometimes you get to write your own stuff. I don't see why more people in bands don't do more stuff. I always wondered why a guy would be in a band and just do that and then just sit around and smoke dope all day when they could be doing all this cool stuff. And writing, for me, I figured went along with being a singer in a band. You are a thinking person, therefore you must process your thoughts on paper otherwise how good are your lyrics going to be? Me favorite lyricists were people like Dylan, someone who had something to say, and wouldn't just keep repeating the same chorus. They'd take the chorus opportunity to flex more ideas. Like those early Dylan records are loaded. There's a lot of good lyricists out there, but to me the written word was always, like, right there. You should write books, you should be thinking. I don't know, I do a lot of different stuff. Ice does books, he does movies, he does all that stuff, too. None of it was ever a real huge leap for me. I was like "Oh movies, yeah." And I started doing films here and there and I hang with it fine, like no problem.

ICE-T: It's all like entertainment, you know. And, to me, a life of entertaining is like a dream. You make records and make money and perform, that's dream shit. So people keep adding to your dreams and you're like, fuck yeah. Everybody looks at T.V. and you're like "yeah man, that's cool." You know rock bands, you look at videos, you want to do that shit. Than all of the sudden you're doing it. Rap was something I didn't know I could really do. You know, I just talked. And I did it. I was like, "shit." I had a group of guys around me who could play instruments and I was like "damn, guys, we need a place to play, let's try this, fuck it" And we did it! Somebody said you want to be in a movie? "Fuck yeah, I want to try to be in a movie!" I'm not turning down any opportunities. I'll keep that up. You give me something that I want to do, and I'll try it. I'll try to interview people, I'll try to shoot that goddamn camera. It's not a thing with me, and it's fun. It's like "Well, why would you want to act?" What? Are you an idiot? Everybody wants to act, you know what I'm saying. And you're offered an opportunity, you bust your ass. And you come out and you do it, and when people like it, it's like super shit. It's super shit. When I was in London, they were asking "Are you thinking about getting into the Guinness Book of World's Records for having the most show business occupations? You have a management company, record label, acting, rock, rap, movies, books." I'm like, "I don't know-- is there a category? Tell me what else I have to do to get in there. Do I got to stand on my head and gargle peanut butter?" I'm down. I'm down, and I'm always looking for new collaborations, like now I'm creating another group. Just for the fuck of it. It's going to be another rap group, but it's going to be called 0-Positive, which is going to be a totally negative rap group. We are going to be a satirical hard-core group that just says nothing positive. That's what it's called: 0-Positive. Like we're doing one like "Flipping Like O.J." The wildest, the worst shit you could imagine. And we are using all professional rappers, but they're all rapping under aliases. Like one kid called Kool Keith, his name is Shit. "Take the mike, Shit!" And Shit just takes the mike and, it's the worst... it's fun.

ROLLINS: I hate it when every once in awhile I'll do something, I'll branch off into some shit and I'll get letters, [in a whining voice] "you're selling out, how could you do this?" It's like man, don't be so jealous. Don't you get it? I worked for a living and then some guy wants me to be in a movie? In three weeks-- I have one more day on this movie I'm doing. I have a fight scene with Al Pacino coming up. Scarface. Me and Scarface are going at it. For sixteen hours we are going to like fight each other. If anyone gives me a drop of shit about that, I just go fuck you, first off.

ICE-T: Right!

ROLLINS: Second off, you are so full of shit, because if you could, you would. And you probably can't, so instead of giving me shit, get up earlier than you do, stop smoking the dope, and go for it. But don't fuck with me since I at least have the balls to go for it. And if I don't cut it, they'll fire me. If I go up and audition for the part and I don't get it, I don't get it. But don't fuck with me for going for it. I really hate that.

GRIFFIN: You both come from a judgmental fan base, punk rock and rap music.

ICE-T: First off, they're fans, right? So, they're watching us, right? So that means one thing, that we're leading. What I'm doing with my people is, I'm redefining what hardcore is. Okay, if they're looking at me as hardcore, then they're not necessarily hardcore. They're looking at me. So I'm going to define what hardcore is. Hardcore, to me, is doing what the fuck you want to do. That's what it is. If I fucking want to play a fucking kangaroo, I can do that! Because fuck you, I can be hardcore enough to tell them, fuck you! I didn't let them send me down their lane. And at this point, that is where Ice-T is. People have to come to the conclusion that Ice is going to do whatever the fuck he wants to do. That motherfucker don't give a fuck about us, he's that hardcore. So you have to redefine it. Henry redefined it. Also the word "sell-out," people confuse sell-out with aspiring to be something. That's not selling out. That's treating yourself right because you're a human being you deserve every-fucking thing. You know, what makes us different from anybody. Selling is when you lose contact with your own agendas, it's when you give in your real true feelings for a job. Henry ain't every gonna do that, and I ain't every gonna do that. I still talk about "fuck the police." I still care about my community. And that's why I'm doing everything, so I can get some money so I can help my friends! When I give that up...Just let me elaborate real quick on this sell-out shit because I got story and this is it. When I was at Warner Brothers, okay, I was in the position to make like $20 million a year. Right now Quincy Jones is the man over there. What has Quincy Jones done lately? Nothing. So why is Quincy Jones over there in a position of power? It's because he's black. They need a black person in a company like that to be in a power position so whenever somebody says something, they can say, "we got Quincy..." So they were looking at me. "Ice-T does rap, rock, he does all of this stuff, he can pretty make a phone call to anyone in the industry and get things done, we'll prime him for this position. Give him a multilateral game where he has movies, TV, everything, does all that shit. Let's try, let's give him a Maverick [Madonna's record label], give him some shit." I'm sitting on all of this shit, I had a comic book, I had "New Jack City II," I had a TV show, Ice-TV, I had my record and a Body Count record. I had all that shit. They told me, "could you just tone it down?" And I said no. I left all that shit. Started my own label from scratch and people said I sold out. Do you understand? A sell out was right there! It was right there, and I didn't, but I still get called a sell out because people are so fucking confused. So at this point, I just go "fuck all of y'all. You're not even qualified to comment on this shit, because you're not even fighting the battles we fight." Ain't in no position. You're just a fucking kid sitting in your room saying, "Rollins sold out, he did a movie." Suck a dick, you know.

ROLLINS: They don't know what it take to even make a record. They don't know and they don't care. Because it's mommy's condo politics, they sit around with their baggy clothes and there're living off of mommy's refrigerator, and they can say these things. But when they go out in the real world-- when an 18-year-old boy goes out and meets 1995 America-- that person better be smart because it's rough. For me, the whole sell out thing--let's say I got offered to do a movie I really wanted to do. If I didn't do it, that would be selling out-- selling out to your fear. Selling out to the powers of weakness that jump up in your life. You know, you just have to go "God damn it, life is so short. I've got to go for it." You feel you've got to go for it. What these people don't understand is-- and please don't take this the wrong way-- if there weren't people like me and Ice, really taking a lot of chances, their world would be smaller and their opportunities coming out would be smaller. A guy like me, able to make the rent on what I do, which is a zero compromise, single-minded vision. I have record labels, I sign who I want. I put out the writers I want. I write the books I want. I compromise not one iota on anybody's anything. We make the writers on the label approve the typeset, so it's just what the artist envisioned, sound wise, reading wise, whatever. And the fact that I'm living in a building I own because of all of this-- instead of calling me sell out, get the lesson, kids. You can do this. Because I come from middle class. I am not exceptionally smart. I have sense. I have business sense. But learned it from working $3.25 an hour retail jobs. And I learned how to fight by getting my ass kicked and going, "Okay, that's never going to happen again, how can I scheme my way out of this?" You're lucky enough to get some hard knocks that teach you some lessons. And the fact that Ice has even survived his fucking youth and is not like some guy-- like many of his friends who are away for many years-- the fact that he is not like that, because he's an American Black, he comes from a whole other politic than I do. I'm a white guy, my role is way different. And the fact that either of us came through at all, should be a cool lesson to other people. Like kids give me shit. It's like, "Don't you get it, kid? I'm on your side. Don't you see, I'm your boy in the trenches. I'm your point man, don't you get it? I like you more than you will ever know and I don't even know your name. Don't you see it? There are other people who are selling you out, not us. So call the dogs off."

ICE-T: I learned by watching other people in the business. You can do it and not compromise your integrity, you just have to work that much harder. They'll come up and say, "Ice-T is mainstream." But I'm not mainstream, I just peaked the underground out. I'm not mainstream. If I was mainstream, I would be doing Nike commercials, I'd be doing Coke commercials. I'd be out there on the top of that fucking shit riding on that, but I'm not. I've just figured a way to push the limit, to get the underground heard. Mainstream is a whole other realm, another zone.

LEAH: Say Nike came to you and offered you $150,000 to do something. How do you know when to take it?

ICE-T: They do. I don't have anything against Nike, personally. If I had something against Nike, then it would be an issue. What I'm trying to say is that, at this point, if I was mainstream, you'd see us in a whole other realm of things.

ROLLINS: And the lyrics wouldn't be the same, the approach, the look. the style. The way you see it, the public would not be the same. Because if you work for MCA, and they're grooming you to be Michael Bolton-- you never see that guy cuss in public. Have you ever seen all of these people who are really big, big and you happen to see them on Jay Leno and they're like "oh, yes" and nice. Then you run into them in a restaurant and they're like "motherfucker!" These people are like night and day. Because they have to play the game. Barbara Streisand hanging out with the President is one thing. Barbara Streisand bitching out some guy in the parking lot is another thing. She's probably one hellacious woman to deal with. These people have to do a lot of tying their little dicks in knots for the fact that they are rewarded by kudos from higher political offices, obscene amounts of money which they will never spend in their lifetime and a double life: the public life and the dirty shit they get into with their friends. Look at them: drug addicts, suicidal, millionaires blowing their brains out on their $3,000 teak desk. Why? Because they know they sold out. There are so many overpaid, under talented actors who just look at their castles going, "Jesus, what a scam." Fuck. And that's why they're so self-abusive. That's the mainstream evil. Like with Black Flag, that band I came up with, our idea was to take the underground overground. Like all the people who were mainstream, we were like "get the fuck out of here. It's right here motherfucker!" We used to advertise our gigs by spray painting the date and times on the buildings. We used to totally destroy the shit. Like oh yeah we're playing a gig [pretending to spray paint] "we are playing here." And you could read it on the side of the Arby's. We would just ruin. And we wanted in, but our way. And a guy like Ice, he has a real movie profile. And me, I have profiles here and there, but there's no compromise. A woman like Sheryl Crow is doing it their way. She's having the song writers come in, they give her the music. You ever hear that song "All I Want To Do Is Have Some Fun"? Four people wrote that music. Big leap: "All I want to do is have some fun/I can't believe I'm the only one." Four people to do that. How many people does it take to screw in a light bulb? How many people does it take to write a Sheryl Crow song? Four. What an idiot. And she goes staggering out with her Grammies. When I was at the Grammies I saw her get all of that and heard the song, watched her kick it live-- which was putrid-- heard the record-- brainless-- and saw the kudos, I went, "Now I got it: play the game, get that." You do it our way, you take all the knocks, you get all the glory, you come out with the charisma, the cool scars, the great stories and no weird bitterness at age 55.

ICE-T: Somebody like Nike, unless I had something personally against them and they did it my way, but what they do it is they say, "oh, we have to delve into this particular realm of hardcore individual, let's let Ice do it." But I know why they're coming at me, because they want to get a certain market. I did a Japanese Nike commercial, which was cool. I played with some of the Clippers and we had these Japanese kids out there and we were talking shit. The shit came off kinda phat. But I didn't get no money for it, I got a few thousand dollars, I didn't get paid. But it's like if I got something personally against you I won't do it. I got a good example: they want me to do beer commercials. A lot of rappers do beer commercials. I don't drink beer. So St. Ides came to me and said, "Ice, would you do a beer commercial?" I'm like, "I don't drink beer. My boys drink beer. Could you do a commercial where I don't drink, but my boys are drinking?" I'm not going to drink it to make people think I drink.

ROLLINS: You get offered a lot of money for alcohol ads.

ICE-T: But that ain't what I do. We could do it another way. But they just like...I passed it. So that's where your integrity is. I'll give you another example: K Swiss. You know K Swiss. And I was on Arsenio, so I had them on. I walked on the stage, blah, blah, blah. The fucking next day, like boom, kids just went for it. So K Swiss were like "could you do a poster? We'll do this, we'll do that." I was like, "okay, cool, I've been wearin' this shit since high school, I'll wear it." So I was like, cool. A week later, they called me back and said they didn't want to do it. So they sent me a pair of shoes.

LEAH: What did you do with those shoes?

ICE-T: I wear them. I'm not mad at them. I like the shoe. You know, fuck their politics, but it ain't the shoes fault. But it's like Henry says, "You take the knots. You make a bed, you lay in it."

ROLLINS: Yeah, and Sheryl's gonna lay in hers too. When she's up in the castle next year she'll know what it's about. No one can escape themselves.

GRIFFIN: You've been in a lot of movies-- are you as serious about those or do you just have fun with it?

ICE-T: Yeah, but it's selective. My prerequisite is "Would I go see it?"

ROLLINS: Same here. Would I tell my friends to go see me in that movie? If I can't I don't take the part. I'm blowing off a part today that I was offered near half a mil to do the film. And I'm blowing if off because of who's in it and what it's about.

ICE-T: What is it, man, give me some.

ROLLINS: I'll tell you later.

LEAH: Come on, we won't print it.

ROLLINS: Yeah, right. But all I could say it that it doesn't matter who or what. All I know is that I couldn't call my friend Ian MacKaye and tell to go check me out in this film. That's why I won't do it.

KEVIN: Would he laugh about it?

ROLLINS: No, he would just go, "That's not the guy I grew up with." And if I can't be the guy he met when he was eleven years old, then I don't want the part. And I wouldn't want it anyway, but I sure did give it some thought, the money, I could sure do a lot with that dough. But my luxury in life is that I get to look at myself in the mirror and go "You're all right."

ICE-T: Yeah. Yeah, that's the cool thing when you get shit and you had achieved some shit and you know you did it the right way. You know you bust your ass, that's why I'm like not apologizing for shit. Fuck you. I'm not apologizing for this is shit. The only movie I've done that might be out there is the movie that's coming out, Tank Girl. But I wanted to wear make-up. See, I grew up reading Fangoria and when they called me up to play the movie they said they wanted me to play a Ripper in Arizona. For a minute I though they said stripper. Immediately in my mind was pictures of people putting shit in my G-string and that's kind of phat. I'm like damn, man. Because I got my own reasons too, but I got to be real. I said "fuck yeah!" And then they said, "No, a Ripper." And I said "A Ripper? A Kangaroo?" So what's the name of the movie? Tank Girl ? I thought it was a joke. I was like, "This is bullshit. Is my career going that down?" And they said, "No, it's cool. It's a comic book." And they said that the Rippers are cool and Stan Winston is doing the make-up. And I know Stan Winston, I'm like yeah, "Jurassic Park." I'm like okay, "get me some of those comic books out to L.A." And I read some of those comic books and I was like, yeah these comic books are cool, this shit is cool. So I was like yeah, I'll do it, I want to wear make-up. Little ICE could get to see me in that outfit. Later on in life-- movies are forever--y ou can look back at them. And this is a chance for him to go, "look that's my daddy." I kinda did it for my kid, I did it so I could wear the make-up. I don't know if I could really tell the homies to go see that particular movie. But my homies are going to go see it just because they're down, just to bug off. They're the kind that'll come out there, "the movie was whack, but you was dope." That's how they go. I had this one guy last night in Las Vegas. We did a show in Vegas. And this one dude walked up to me at a McDonald's and said, "yeah I seen that commercial for your Tank Girl and that's not you."

ROLLINS: Of course not, it's a kangaroo.

ICE-T: I know. I said, "naw, man, I mean, it's a movie--

ROLLINS: It's called acting, fuckface.

ICE-T: Right. I got more pissed off because I was like "your kid will probably like it." And he was like, "naw, man, no way." So then I was like, [whispers] "You know, got paid a million dollars." And he was like "You go paid that much?" And I was like "yeah." And I just walked off. And he's standing there waiting on his large fries. And I didn't even get a million dollars, I just said it just to fuck with him. You know, I didn't get that. And his kid was just looking at him like "what about my Bigwheel you can't afford, you fuck-ass. Leave Ice alone, he's rich." And I just walked off. People get in your ass, and you know, I'll just take a screwdriver to the side of their head. I knew that is what was going to get him, somebody else I might have said something different. But I have fun. I hated making that movie. It was the worst shit, too. One day in the make-up, it's like, "Hey, look at me." Second day, third day, fourth day, I was like suicidal. I was like "God damn, I got to get a way out of this." And then they would say, "Ice, you're our strongest Ripper, if you break down, everybody will break down. You have to maintain."

ROLLINS: How many days was it?

ICE-T: Twenty-eight days.

ROLLINS: How many pounds was all of that gear?

ICE-T: Six pieces of application on my face, with a helmet with moving ears, and a rubber suit. We shot in Arizona: one-hundred and ten at night. And everybody else was like, "Break for lunch!" And you're still in a rubber suit walking around, and you got a tail sticking out your ass, you had to sit on.

ROLLINS: Don't step on my tail.

ICE-T: And the cold thing about it is that usually, you're on the set, you can get on the phone, you know, talk to people or shit. Usually on the set, you know, they got all kinds of groupies running around. It was like no groupies. And I was like in my room, like, "Nobody can see me like this." You couldn't run off the set there the middle. You couldn't do nothing. People would call and say, "Wo, whatssup, whatssup?" It was like, "Don't come, just chill. I'll be finished in a little while. I'm in a warp zone." You've seen the movie--[Lori] Petty goes off, though. She's cool. Whatever. Johnny Mnemonic is going to be phat.

ROLLINS: I saw a version of It a few weeks ago, it was cool. I read it, I loved the script. Then I went, "so, who's in it?" And they said, "Well, Ice-T's in it." And I said, "Oh, great! That's so cool, man."

ICE-T: We get to do a movie.

ROLLINS: Yeah, to do a movie together, great. No scenes with him. I never saw him once on the set. And I only saw him the other day in the movie. It was such a drag.

ICE-T: Yeah, and in the movie I talk about him and he talks about me. And it's like we never see each other.

ROLLINS: It's weird. It's like working on a fraction. A fraction of a big picture. This thing I'm doing now, the director makes you, you know, you do six hours of walking thorough a door, four hours sitting down-- a very demanding director. I can't wait to see this movie.

ICE-T: What's it called?

ROLLINS: Heat. It's DeNiro, Pacino, Val Kilmer. It's amazing.

KEVIN: Did you get to work with DeNiro?

ROLLINS: No, me and Pacino have a scene coming up. And I met him the other day, sitting next to him. On the outside, I'm like, "How do you do sir? Good to meet you." And on the inside I'm like, "This is Scarface!" Because I grew up loving that guy's work so much. And it's like I'm a fan, I'm a fan. Outside I'm cool. Like, "I meet guys like you everyday." But on the inside I'm like, "Boy, this is so cool!"

ICE-T: You got to realize that this shit is fun. It's like a dream.

ROLLINS: It is fun.

ICE-T: It's dream world. And don't front and act like it's not. Because then you're a sucker. I'm a fan of music, I'm a fan of the whole shit. Henry, when we go on tour, we watch everybody. You got to realize that. Because if you lose that and start acting like your shit is something else, you're fucking bullshit. Because then, you're losing half of the fun. Half of the fun is you're there. So if you can learn to enjoy it and do it at the same time, then you're really getting the full charge of the show business life.

ROLLINS: And hopefully it inspires, I always try to inspire. Anyone who buys a record of mine or goes to a gig, I hope to be somehow inspiring and if they get anything from it, they should get, "I can do this. Look at that guy, he can't hit a note to save his life. I can be in a fucking band." I thought that's what the whole thing was about. And with all of this if you're not having any fun, well, you're screwing up. And hopefully people will go, "Wow, I'll go for that, instead of going for that McDonald's job that my dad's intimidating me to go into. Or like go into the army like my dad keep saying." That's what my dad told me, "You're going to go into the Navy!" You know when I was young, he used to scare me. I used to go, "Wow, I guess I'm going to go into the Navy." And then my stepmother, who's never nice to me, and this one time she was nice to me, she pulled me over to the curb and said, "You're not going into the fucking Navy, okay. You're going to go do whatever you want. Don't listen to him." And I said, "Oh, thanks." I never occurred to me. I thought I was going into the Navy. And maybe these kids can see someone going for it, that's the whole thing. I've always been inspired by Madonna.

ICE-T: Me too.

ROLLINS: Because she just came from the Midwest, went out to New York and said fuck it. And went for it. And any dollar she has in her bank, she deserves.

ICE-T: And there ain't nobody calling the shots for Madonna. You know every move she's fucking making, I don't see anybody behind her saying, "try this." She's definitely calling the shots.

ROLLINS: She does it her way.

ICE-T: I met Madonna back in the day when she first had her record and she came in a club. She was just the shit, just to watch her blow up. And she's also somebody who supposedly has no talent, you know, that people say. She's making such cold moves and shit. I like her, and I like Don King. Because Don King is an ex-con, comes out of the penitentiary, everybody hates him, but none of the boxers are going to say nothing bad about him, because he's getting 'em paid. He wraps himself in America so, like, being so like, I don't know the word, telling America where to kiss his ass and wraps himself in the flag. Only in America, only in America! If they hated him he'd be in jail right now. They do, but he fucking does it all with his hair combed up in the air. And that right there says to me, and says to everybody, that you do not have to adapt to the format, just be the fucking man-- to have a $20 million kingdom. And you have to understand Don King's personality, he's just rubbing it in the face of everybody, just saying "fuck you" in his own way. "Oh, yeah I love America!" Everything. Whenever he goes on a television shows, it's always about whatever the fuck he wants, you know. I've seen him take Arsenio from a question about his mother to the fight. It's like, "What about your mother?" "My mom's going to be at the fight!" The fight! He's out of control. He can promote anything! He's the best at what he does and he taught me that excellence is the best weapon against racism. If you're excellent, nothing can stop you. If you're a mediocre cameraman, you're going to get a mediocre job. If you're the best, they don't give fuck if you walk in this room in diapers, they'll deal with you. But you have to be the best. Once you're the best, you start writing your own shit. Everything else is a cop-out. "Well, I want to get a computer job." That's because you're not the best in computers.

ROLLINS: Yeah, get up earlier, go to bed later.

ICE-T: I seen some interview you did where you told some fucking dude to do some push ups and try to be Henry Rollins in my movie. [laughing] You told some dude to get up, do some push ups, get a life, learn to sing and get a, what did you say, a harder jawbone or some shit and try to play Henry Rollins in my movie. This motherfucker went off.

ROLLINS: Well, I hate these guys that are like, "You know what you need to do..."

ICE-T: You know what you need to do?

ROLLINS: Why don't you come work out with me? You can't! Why don't you do what I do for five days? You can't! Because your DNA would fucking break down on you. The truth is you can't even hang at my altitude, so fuck you.

GRIFFIN: So when is the Rollins movie coming out? Jim Carrol's got one.

ICE-T: Nobody wants a movie about them. I don't want some narcissistic bullshit like that. I don't even put my pictures on the records anymore.

ROLLINS: Yeah, I'm over that. Ice is right on. See, everyone thinks that you really go for all of this stuff, that you're some egotistic maniac, when you're just a go-for-it-aholic. Well I can do that. I'm in a position where I can give that a shot. Man, if I don't go for it, I'm going against everything I think I stand for. So you see all of these people who are really trying to go for it. Every once in awhile, you meet a movie star or some rock star who's some big shit and some of them are fucked up in the head. And then you meet someone who's pretty major and they're like so straight up. And you're like, "wow, that person reminds me of me." That person is really approachable. They just get up at six in the morning and they apply themselves. Like, "what did you do Saturday?" "I worked." "What did you do Sunday?" "Oh, I read for two hours and then I worked." That's why you are where you are.

ICE-T: Exactly. Exactly. What really motivates me is that chance at the opportunity. When I first got a chance to rap and make real money and records and shit, they said, "Ice, you need to try this, man. You got a chance." And the word chance is what pushed my in every sense. They said, "you have a chance to get on the other side, you can do it." And now that I can do it, I got to take care of them. I've got friends on Death Row. And when you get a call from Death Row and as soon as you hang that fucking phone up, you're busting your ass to work. I know what my other alternative was, so I'm working. And things I wanted when I was young, I still want those things. I want the chains, I want the gold chains. I want 'em man. Fuck that. That's me. I bust my ass, I've worked for them, and I also take care of my friends. And I get up early, just like Henry. I get up a 7 a.m., I work out, I go to the gym. I go from there back to the crib, because I got a couple of businesses, I check on them. Then it's rehearsal in the afternoon, and into the recording studio until like one or two in the morning with a group or something, every fucking day. And I can't meet people who can't catch on. If you want to hook up with me, you'll usually be coming to me, moving with me. Because I got things to do. And my girl's like, "damn, you're overworked." But I can't stay still. I'm more uncomfortable when I'm not working, because I feel like I'm missing something. I go out on vacation, I'm sitting up there thinking about this shit that's not getting done.

ROLLINS: I couldn't do it. Vacation, I'd go nuts. Why don't you take a week off. Are you out of your mind? You're fired! Get the fuck out of here. Don't even think like that around here. You can't do it. Also, doing what he does and what I do, is so much fucking fun. It's like what are you going to do, go on vacation or get to go record this band? What do you think I'm going to do? You know, I just finished editing an Iggy Pop book, which was hours every day, editing every word, being very careful. It's editing Iggy Pop, which to me is a really big figure in my musical upbringing. I get to edit this guy. Editing is about as fun as watching paint dry. But it's hard, like taking an exam. It's really hard. You've got to be careful. But every day, there's nothing I'd rather be doing. I get to edit Iggy Pop, get out of here, I'm the first in line. It was an honor. It was a little scary, because you don't want to fuck it up, because you don't want to have the guy go, "hey, what about that." It's like, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." But I get to do all this stuff. I wake up at five to do it. I do it Sunday. It's these people I get to work with.

ICE-T: The key is cutting your fun in with the work

ROLLINS: Exactly. To me the work's the funniest. Practicing, you want to write good songs, so you got to go to band practice. Playing one song for eight hours isn't the greatest thing, but... like my sound man says, "you gotta love it." Anyone in the band every starts complaining and he says, "you gotta love it." And you're like, "yeah, you're right, I do love this shit."

ICE-T: You gotta love it.

GRIFFIN: The working person's mentality who doesn't like his job is to work, hate it, then wait for the weekend.

ROLLINS: For me the work is fun, you know.

ICE-T: We don't have weekends. It's like three in the morning is like three in the afternoon. I, at this point, am trying to get on a regular schedule. When I come to L.A., I push myself. I wasn't going to the gym recently because I was working too late and night and I was trying to get up early and I was really killing myself doing it. So I just try to keep working a little bit at home and stay in shape. I'm not trying to become the Incredible Hulk, I just don't like the feeling of walking out on stage and not wanting to take my shirt off. I'm sweating, get a little gut buster. But I'm just chilling. But you know, touring is the ultimate work out. You walk on stage and you burn calories. I went out on a tour and lost twenty five pounds. You rip up all of the sudden and start seein' new shit. Then when you're at home recording, it gets to be a different story. This guy, he's like, the first time when I'd ever seen him, I said "he's crazy, look at this motherfucker. That's Henry Rollins." Then I saw that other thing you had on T.V. where you were like, "this is my..." What was that thing you have in your house?

ROLLINS: The Battle Cage.

ICE-T: [imitating Rollins] "This is the Battle Cage! This is where it all begins!"

ROLLINS: It's for power lifting, so you can just load on the heavy weight. Now I work out at my place four days a week.

ICE-T: I work out with Shawny and them, they got that penitentiary workout.

ROLLINS: That shit's intense.

ICE-T: They're like, "No, you don't need that machine, take this dumbbell over your head." You know in the jail they work out, it's like murder and shit. You're like okay, "I'll do my back". And they're like, "no, you'll do your eyeballs!" That's some shit that'll kill you.

ROLLINS: It's because they don't have any time. You got twenty five minutes to work out. All of these guys in jail know how to work out, and are ripped because they know how to work out. It's really intense when you try their workout, because you got like half an hour a day, "there's your weights, kid, go!" They have to get the most amount of destruction done in this little amount of time. And these guys are into some really intense shit.

ICE-T: You've got nothing else to do all day. Now they're taking the weights away.

ROLLINS: Yeah, I hate that shit.

ICE-T: Now I got to get this magazine, this inmate magazine. They got all the different workouts you can do in a cell.

GRIFFIN: Why are they're taking the weights away?

ROLLINS: Because when the guys come out they're better criminals. Well, you know, physically, they're more intimidating. In my old neighborhood in Venice, you'd see the Venice Shoreline Crips. You'd see some guy come out, he's on the street in his tank top and you're like, "Oh shit." You know to totally avoid contact with them. They're so huge. Then you like see the same guy like six weeks later and it's just going away. And you're like, "Oh, he must have just come out." Then you talk to some people and it's like yeah, that's the County Body. You come out of L.A. County just like looking like gigantic.

ICE-T: You got to also remember, it's survival. You want to get big immediately. In jail you want to have size. If you go in there little, you start looking around, saying, "I better start taking care of myself." Then there's a point where you don't want to become too big, because then you become what they call a target. It's like you want to get enough size to protect yourself if somebody moves on you. But, you know, they go after the big guy first. So... some of this shit. How did we get way over to penitentiary workout?

GRIFFIN: Okay, let's talk about Johnny Mnemonic.

ICE-T: Do you know what mnemonic means?

ROLLINS: A mnemonic device. It's like, when you say, how do you spell friend? F-R-I-E-N-D. If you fri your friend, your friendship will end. F-R-I-E-N-D. So stationery, paper as opposed to a stationary object. Stationery, paper, e-r-y, that's a mnemonic device.

ICE-T: It's used to enhance memory. Every good boy deserves fudge. Little things, little tricks.

ROLLINS: I don't know exactly what that has to do with the title. I don't know where the mnemonic device is in the story. I tried to figure that out.

ICE-T: It has to do with memory, though.

ROLLINS: I guess so. That's it, because the guy has artificial memory. He has a chip that holds some gigabytes of information. He's uploaded with information then his mission is to go from A to B, download, he gets paid. And Johnny Mnemonic, Johnny is the messenger. And he is uploaded with information, he has to fly to Tokyo to download it. This is how he makes his money. This time he gets uploaded with way more gigabytes of information than his hard drive can hold. He starts getting seepage, which makes him see stuff, and it's going to kill him. So at the same time the stuff that he's holding in his head, it happens to be a cure for a very intense virus with is like taking out the world. And all of these pharmaceutical companies are trying to kill him, take his head off, take it back to Saigon and download it so they can have the cure. And basically there's all of these hitmen coming after him. And he comes to me through this girl who becomes his love interest, who was my love interest. And I'm a good guy, I am to be trusted. Meanwhile, one of the bad guys who is after him, I throw myself in the way of the bad guys so he can get himself to Ice, who runs an operation called Heaven. And Ice basically saves the day with his porpoise, like Jonas.

ICE-T: Yeah, we're rebels. We're rebels and we're coming in on T.V. channels, calling confusion, letting people know. Kind of like what rap records do, we use their circuit to yell back at the people. We're like, "look at what they're doing to you." Because television is one dimensional. It's like, "buy Coke." It doesn't let you yell back at it. But we come in and say, "Coke sucks!" Then we're off.

ROLLINS: They're like pirates, like pirate T.V. They break in on main channels. And all through the movie, Ice is breaking in on these guys' video screen-- they're talking to each other-- all of the sudden Ice is like, "allright motherfuckers, it's time for you to get your shit together! We're coming after you motherfuckers!" Then he's out of there.

ICE-T: Then Spider [played by Rollins], he does his part, but then he ends up coming to me. And we have like the porpoise who was made by the army intelligence. He's like a genius porpoise. It's some ill shit. Anyhow, we end up downloading the information out of his head with some other tricks and stuff. But it's some dope shit. What was the writer's name?

ROLLINS: William Gibson.

ICE-T: It's an interesting movie.

ROLLINS: It was fun to do.

GRIFFIN: Do you see technology empowering people in the future or widening the gap between the haves and the have nots?

ICE-T: I'll tell you the reality. Right now I'm working with a computer company on some CDs and trying to make the computer world more available to the lower classes, make it hip, and let kids know about the Internet and stuff like that. It's the kind of thing I have to be involved with early, because it will bypass. Like right now, the Internet is wide open.

ROLLINS: For now.

ICE-T: Kids in the 'hood have no idea what's going on. And this is a kind of a thing, there's like this ten-year gap that moves down for the kids on the bottom to know about the super highway and all this shit. So they want to make software that makes it attractive and hip to do. Com'n, man don't ask us about the future. Gee, the future.

ROLLINS: My company, right now we are building our own Web site. It will be up in about two weeks. We've been building it since November. And I'm on AOL [American On-Line], because I have to get information to people, upload, download information. And we are working on our World Wide Web site. And the thing, I've noticed, every time technology takes a leap, The Man gets in on it. As in Compact Disc is a logo, someone owns the technology. And now there petitions going on in AOL, because the government wants control, they want to be able to sensor and read people's e-mail. So here's another great idea for freedom-- you can e-mail anyone-- and now they want a piece of the action. They want to be able to read your mail. And with the Internet the potential to be able to get and send out information... put it this way, I have a mailing list of like 35,000 people on my label. If all of those people were all e-mailable, they could access into my Web site for like eight cents, they could download my band's touring schedule, catalog, a price list, a newsletter I could write that morning. They could download it from Cairo, Egypt from dialing an 800 number. You think The Man is going to let people have that much power? What if black kids could access information that easily, that is exactly what The Man has been fighting for four hundred years. Soon as Black Male America gets a hold of the Internet, you watch, the powers that be will just go, "Oh, I don't think so."

ICE-T: We're doing it right now. Right now myself and Public Enemy put our fan mail together. Exactly what he's trying to do, we're trying to do the same thing. We're taking our fan club and we're hooking them up with other kids, Guru from Gang Starr, we have a big base, right. Then what we're doing, we're going to go up, just like him and we're telling the kids get on-line. Get on-line. Through the mail first, but get on-line. This is what we're going to do. So we could put bulletins out, so we could talk, we could talk to them all night. And I'm going to turn it even deeper, where I envision having an interactive fanclub where not only I'm on it, I have other artists available. What happens is you say, "tonight such-and-such is going to be on-line." You can talk to your artists. Then the point as far as making money from it, you could just start charging the artists. You could say, "yo, we have half a million people here. Do you want to be down? Do you want to get on this live? We'll put you on." Stuff like that. But we're going to start it out the same way. Because, mailing 30,000 letters, that's a lot of money, man. And it's a lot of work, filling envelopes and stuff. Basically you could have your own shopping network, it's going down.

ROLLINS: Nobody knows everything that's going on. And it's amazing that there's that much freedom. I just don't see it lasting, because every time there's been a major jump in technology, a technological advance that helps out the home user, don't you notice that all of the sudden it's governed. DAT players-- if you buy a home DAT player at The Whiz, or whatever, it's copy controlled. You can't dub from DAT. Because those people who own the logo, D-A-T, don't want you to have that. You need to get a professional, a Pro-Deck, which you can barely find if you are a home consumer, and you have to pay out the nose. I have nothing but Pro Decks. I have two. Because I need the copy code switch to go off. People take control. And the Internet is so juicy. Put it this way, the Beastie Boys are up on the 'net, they have a great site. They get 80,000 inquiries a week. American Records has their own site and they get 10,000 inquiries a day. Kids from Arkansas, where you don't have any say-- Bruce Springstein had trouble getting "Born In the U.S.A." out because they thought he was disrespecting the flag in Arkansas. You can't get any information down there. A kid can now dial a local server and in seconds, say, if you get into the Ice Web site you can hear thirty seconds of the new single. You will be able to see the video. You will get ordering information, any currency. You can even have it so when the rates go up, the prices go up and down. You could order, you could add to the order. You could unsend it. You have total freedom of communication. You could even ask the guy in the band a question. And he can answer you, if he wants. He can tell you the tour dates. He can give you directions to the gig. He can give you the set time the tickets go on sale.

ICE-T: You can tell all the kids on the United States at one time to flush their toilets. You can make things happen.

LEAH: If someone like Afrika got hold of that, it could be a very powerful medium for his message.

ICE-T: What he's saying the problem is, is that all of the underclass and the black kids, when it's all hooked in, it's not really a problem until it starts getting to the people who aren't supposed to be informed. When you start getting it out now and computers start dropping down in price over the next few years, kids can hook up and bam, bam, bam all of the sudden you're talking to thousands of people. Man it gets heavy. And then the Feds step in and say, "Naw, naw, naw."

ROLLINS: Imagine if Chuck D. could talk to like half a million kids in a minute. See you later, this country would change. He's as deep as it gets. Ice is deep. The shit these guys could tell these kids, the stuff that I would have to say, man it's all a very loaded gun. Because this government works on the divide and conquer theory. You make blacks and whites scared of each other, it works great. I can't go in his neighborhood because they're going to hurt me. They won't go into my neighborhood because the cops will beat their ass. If you break that down and all of the sudden I could go to South Central and some guy could go to Beverly Hills and we all get together, The Man is dead. And the real America goes into effect, which is the voice of the people. The bank no longer gets to dominate your ass, and with the computer thing it's so bloody quick. Something's going to happen within the next three years.

ICE-T: And then the neighborhoods can connect real quick. Henry got his Web set up and I have mine set up, like blam, we can connect them.

ROLLINS: You can have a something on my site that says, "you want to get to Ice-T?" Boom, it goes right in. What if the Crips went nation wide with a Web site? It's do-able. They just need somebody who can make a Web site. My guy can make them a Web site. The potential, what if the Mafia...

ICE-T: The mob's already on there.

ROLLINS: What if the drug cartels got on there. The government needs to find a way to regulate this, because real freedom is something they can't handle. It's too good to last. When this guy explained how the Internet worked, I was like, "Oh, we got about twenty minutes until this is over." This is too good.

ICE-T: I know some people on the inside that were going to help up set up a lot of stuff, too. I don't want to even talk about it. When I say the inside, I mean the other side, the people who want to regulate. For you, I might be able to hook it up where we are able to take it to another channel, where they can't get to that part. Like 32 chambers of entry to go to... If you really want to get into the heavy shit.

LEAH: They're called firewalls.

ICE-T: Encryptions.

ROLLINS: Or you can do stuff where as you read it, it dissolves. Like as soon as you advance a page, you can't download it, it's gone.

ICE-T: What's it called?

LEAH: They're firewalls. Like firewall doors, so when you go through one and it closes, nothing can get back through.

ICE-T: That's deep, deep. I'm on it right now, we're trying to hook ours up. We are going to start out basic and what I'm going to do is expand our regular Internet soon. And then I've got a kid who's like a computer genius and I'm going to sit in front of it 24 hours a day, just feeding him food, just learn the shit. Learn everything there is to it to know. Just get in, get it going, because with me it's like take my music. My music is like me yelling out and I don't hear nothing back. When I read the letters, when I start getting the e-mail-- it's so quick and cheap and fresh-- and the theory of getting it to where everybody can have one, that's going to happen really quick.

GRIFFIN: It's going to give you the power to speak directly to tens of thousands of your fans at any given time.

ROLLINS: For eight cents. I used to fax in my articles to magazines I write for, I've been e-mailing them. Now some guy doesn't have to type it, I just e-mailed my thing I did for Raygun the other day. It's like, wow, it just cost me about three cents. And they can download it as a Microsoft Word file on their computer. Dowonload and edit, they don't have to hire the guy to retype the 3300 words, we all get the profit. I got to send you this interview I did with Isaac Hayes a couple weeks ago. It's great. I sent a copy of it to Chuck [D.] the other day. Ike was so cool, so articulate, so sharp, so on top of the shit he says. I got him talking about politics, drugs, how it's destroyed America. He was all over it, like all of the pages of stuff I've transcribed.

GRIFFIN: The power of the Internet goes back to what we were talking about before, getting information to people at large.

ROLLINS: This country basically runs on the fact that they keep the walls of fear up. Crime is good business for the government. It lets them take the worst guy, like Darryl Gates, and makes somebody, somewhere think that we really need a person like that. And the way he ran the police force is like, "We really need to contain these animals." How do you do that? By making a situation where a kid either has to work at McDonald's or sling crack. He cannot aspire to be an astronaut, the president doesn't speak to him. He can't aspire to have an intellect or have any hope or be anything that's awesome. He just better be like fucking Jesse James with the guns. And the cops go, "See, they're animals. You need us." Just pump the fear and they keep the crime business going. Now the cops are smart enough to get a rake off on the drug revenue. So the more people that get to communicate... you know, so many kids would love to meet Ice-T, but they don't know, maybe because they're white kids. And he was going to Lollapalooza and he was trying to break this shit down. I really thought that was a really big part of the whole Lollapalooza thing, was when Ice was explaining to kids, "You don't have to worry, we're black, we're in a rock band. You're white and you can be into rap. It doesn't matter. Get over it." He started getting people in that mindset. I come from Washington, D.C. which is a tiny little diamond of a town. You have the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, most of D.C., I've lived there for 20 years, I've never seen it. I've never seen most of Washington D.C., because I'm white. When I used to hang out with the guys in Bad Brains in the Southeast, I'd have to have an escort. I'd have to be walking with or driving with one of the Bad Brains, or a negro, so no one would take me out of my car, beat my ass and take my car. When all of that is over, like I said, when the neighborhoods can cross in and out, and you can get hardcore kids from Compton into the Rollins Band, all of the sudden, you're not going to be able to pump people so full of fear. "All of those blacks..." No! No, not all of those blacks. I know some black guys, you can't scare me with that stereotype anymore. Fuck you. And when that shit goes away, a lot of questions are going to come up that have never come up before and all of you parent's shit will be wrong. And all of the post-Kennedy shit will be wrong. And then there will be some pretty intense governmental force making you scared again. And it's all of these means of incredible communication that break down all of this stuff and break down the fear. Fear is how this country is run. So much money is made out of fear. Life insurance. Crime, everybody in every neighborhood outside of Compton has an alarm system. There are signs on every lawn, there's a Club on every steering wheel. God, think of the money people are making off of your fear.

ICE-T: There's this movie from back in the day, right. There's this church and this guy and this other guy running a strip club. And they worked together. It was like the church said we are going to go fight against you. You create the sin and we'll be rich. They create the sin, the people fall for it and they both just roll. That stuff goes on. There's more money spent on the war on drugs then is made by drugs. Trip on that. It's like they have a hundred billions dollar crime law bill. I mean I could take that and stop crime. Just give everybody $100,000, motherfuckers would quit. "I'm rich. I'm out!" "Hey, you thinkin' of stealing something? Here's a hundred G's." "Wow, I'm rich." They'd quit and go to school. I mean, it's stupid to take all of that money and there's still crime. But they take it and put it into the business of crime which is the penitentiaries and things like that. I always tell people even the theory of it is ridiculous when you realize that they spend $70,000 per inmate a year.

ROLLINS: It's incredible. It's more money then I live on.

ICE-T: Live! You could send three kids to Harvard. So why not send them to college? Why are we spending it there instead of prevention. It's money. It's all money, fear, keep everybody separate. This country has taught racism so much, it bleeds into outside. If you go to Japan, and you're black, they kiss you ass. They love you. But you see, most black kids never travel the world. You're Michael Jordan, they fucking kiss your ass! I mean, I went to Australia... that's a weird place. White people were treating us cool. I'm like, "Wow man, this is different." What I didn't understand is that I couldn't move there. They were like studying me. Then I'm riding with this dude and I say, "Oh, man I want to go outback." And he says, "You can't go out there, you might run into a bunk." I'm like, "What's a bunk?"

LEAH: An Aborigine.

ICE-T: Yeah, that's what they sound like when you hit them with you jeep... I say that if they want to set off a war, let's at least figure out who's on whose side. Let's side up, let's find out. And mostly, like Henry says, it's the people who are being oppressed, whether it's white, black, whatever. And people say, the System. And to me The System in not a group of ten men sitting in a hotel or in a big office in Washington. It's the people who say, you don't need welfare ,and look at those savages. And anybody who falls into this mindset or everything's great, the President's right on, these people, that's The System. It could be your best friend, they are The System. The System needs them to operate. And there are people who use words like "tradition," "the good old days." You ain't going to say good old days to me. The good old days to me is when you used to own me, right? The good old days? That's when you could whip our ass. Traditional? And for me being black, like I'll go and play Louisiana or in The South, and go into hotels and they have maps with points of interests. You know, like you go to Hawaii and they have points like Hawaiian villages and gardens. But you go down South-- check it out next time you go down there-- and open up the book, and the points of interest are like slave quarters and whipping posts. And this is where people go. They go on a bus and they go, "I want to go to this plantation." This is the fucking points of interest down here? And I'm looking at this and there are people standing in the lobby ready to go. "Where we going?" "Oh, we're going to go to this other plantation and see the good old days." And they are going to tell you how many slaves they owned. The thing about America is that, I know that when I travel they treat me different, but the shit happened here. So it's different here. The bruise is here. This country where it went down. When you go to Britain, they're different. They might not like me, but it didn't happen there. And the closer you go to The South, the shit is different. You got people down there that really used to own black people. You got to remember that 30 years ago we were still on the back of the bus. Thirty years, it's not that long ago. And they run this big thing like it's over. But it's not. And when you get the white kids, like Henry said, when the music went into the white kids, and the white kids became in tune with the injustices-- whether it's black or white-- that's where the shit started. The shit got scared, they had to shut it down. Because it's one thing for me to be bad, that's no problem. Americans are used to that. But when they sit in their house and the parents say, "Oh, they're rioting in L.A., those niggers." And the kid says, "They're not niggers, mom." And they go, "What do you mean?" "They're not niggers, okay. You're a fucking asshole." This is bullshit. This is not supposed to happen. Because an enemy outside of the fort is no problem. An enemy within is a big problem. And the kids are shifting. And that's where I get my hope from. I don't believe people want to hate. It's like a baton passing. It's like we have the country club, we have this. He has tattoos, we don't want him in. Well, I don't have a problem with tattoos. And the power's starting to shift. There's a fear, at this point, there's going to be a kid sitting on the Supreme Court with a Too Short t-shirt on. You got it going down, because music is whipping through the shit. It's going to happen. And I also believe that there's going to be a convict state coming down. By the year 2000, 20 percent of America would have either been to prison or know somebody in prison. So people coming out of jail and somebody sitting down in front of you at a bank and try to get a loan and they might say, "I'm a convict." And say, "My brother's in jail." There will be a little bit of compassion. Because the shit is starting to shift because they're fucking over so many people that the oppressed will start becoming the majority. And a different kind of vibe is going on. Now add that to the information highway. You know, when rap first came out, you know the information we gave to people was that Elizabeth Taylor wasn't Cleopatra. Cleopatra was black. Do you understand that a black kid doesn't even know that he built the pyramids? He doesn't know that. Because you don't learn that. You open up a history book in the United States and those fucking Egyptians are white. And they're not. And until you give somebody something to be proud of, then they feel "I can't do anything so I have to do wrong. I have no chance." You've got a chance. And when you start getting knowledge of self. Mexico would have been a rich country if it hadn't been for the Alamo. The way they stole Texas with the oil. There's a lot of fucking shit that went down. What made John Wayne such a great guy? Didn't he kill the fucking indigenous people of this country? What happened to the fucking Indians? When we play in Canada that's some of the saddest shit. You just look at them... you know every treaty we made we broke. We broke every treaty. And then here's America and they have the nerve to have this thing called the law?

LEAH: They still do it.

ICE-T: But check this out. You being a white young lady in America, your mother could be in power. If we could inject you with the feeling, because you have a heart, you can work to change things. Because the Indians have no power. The Indians don't really have an information line to reach out to somebody who gives a fuck whose father might be a senator. I tell the black kids, "We ain't got no fucking juice." We have got to work with those who can be in power who want to help. It's going to be all right. Shit's going to be all right. There are good people. First off, you got to understand that this country is the most scandalous country every made. It's built on stolen land. It's ruthless. And then you walk around looking for rights and looking for justice, good luck. Good fucking luck. Henry knows that cop can pull him out of that car and shoot him dead. There will be a few people upset, but he will still be fucking dead. Now this kind of conversation, you can put it in your magazine, it's a great thing.

ROLLINS: Put it on the Internet.

GRIFFIN: It will be on the Interent. We plan to post the entire thing on our Web site.

ICE-T: It's deep. It's deep man. People always ask me, "Then, why you living here?" First off, it's a nice piece of real estate. It's nice, we got beaches. It's a great place. And we got some good people here. There's come real people here. It's like we live in this apartment, but the manager's a dick. The manager's a fucking dick. We live here, it's a nice apartment, but the manager's a fucking dick. It doesn't mean we have to like the manager, we just have to get rid of him. People ask me about the President. Don't ask me about politics. My theory is let them do what the fuck they want to do. We got to do what we want to do our way. It has nothing to do with votes.

LEAH: If people can start small, get involved in their local government, then they can move on. The president isn't going to do anything for you anyway. You have to vote for the people that can effect you. And make a change.

ICE-T: Try to make a change. I try to motivate young people into getting into politics. When I go out on my lectures now I say, "Yo, as much as it sucks, you can go into politics and do something good. Just keep your head on straight." I tell them to go be police, we have to get some out there.

ROLLINS: Yeah, I you could start getting real people who cared about community, who are community oriented. I could never leave this country, because in my mind-- this is really weird, probably sounds really dramatic-- I'm a warrior and the fucking struggle is here. The wrong has been done here. I grew up in it-- I am not responsible for it, I didn't do anything-- but it happened here. The wound is here. If I left this country I would be whimping out. I'd be walking away from the Civil Rights movement. I'd be saying it's okay to kill Martin Luther King, Jr. That's what I'd be saying if I moved to Belgium tomorrow. I'd be saying, "Yep, well, I guess it's cool. And I'm outta here. I can't do it." I'm staying here and I'm fighting it until I'm done. It's one of the things that gets me up in the morning. Those motherfuckers, let's kick 'em today. Let's not move to Australia, let's stay here and let's get it on. That's why I'm glad it's 1995. I wouldn't want to be in any other time. And the truth is, it's never been needed more than now, and there's no place I'd rather be living. I come from here. I know what the fucking problem is and I'm not fucking bailing on it.

ICE-T: Funny, I was in Maui, laying on the beach. And the shit is so fly. And I was sitting there drinking my drink and George Benson walked up and said I should just stay there and relax and drink and lay there. And I said, "I can't, man. What's going to happen? I can't leave L.A. man." I wanna, man. I want it. I want to be able to just live someplace just beautiful and mellow. And you're totally away from everything, you're still in the United States, but that's like tranquil and shit. You can run around buck naked there. But I was like, "I can't. I got to go back to the 'hood. I got to stay in touch." I got a nice crib-- everybody deserves something nice. But I'm still right there, I got a phone, I'm calling shots all over L.A. L.A., man, it's a crazy place. I just look at it like it's my job to indoctrinate these kids with some kind of responsibility to teach their kids the right way. I want these kids to tell their kids that-- if somebody tries to tell them some bullshit, I want them to say, "Naw, I grew up on Ice-T. He taught me this. And Henry Rollins taught me this." It's got to change. That part has got to be passed down. I got a little son now, he ain't going to be on no racial shit. He's Mexican, Black, he got a white girlfriend at school. He's cool, it's his shit. Ice. People say, "You're radical." Wait until my kid... My little kid was born an Ice. This little kid is going to be a motherfucker. Bustin' ass. We had no option. We tried to name him all of this other shit, Ice. His name is Ice, no shit. I don't know what he's going to do, but he's definitely a character at this point. And that's where it's got to go, the children. We're going to die. When me, Henry, all of us die, this place will still be here.

ROLLINS: I'll tell you though, before we die, this country will change more than it did for your parents. The next twenty five years are going to be incredible. Catastrophic, all of that, but there's going to be big changes.

ICE-T: The shit's going down. Even the Lollapalooza thing, that was such major shit, Perry Farrel should get some crazy props. I heard the last shit, he was going to kick Courtney [Love] off of the show, because she said some whack shit about rap. That's the whole vibe of that show, for everyone to get along. It ain't for her to approve of Snoop Dogg or approve of whoever the fuck he wants to put on the show. It's his show, bitch. If you don't like his show, you get the fuck off.

ROLLINS: And also if you're in the crowd and you don't like the bands and stuff, that's why they have the tents and stuff and the second stage? Stuff to do. You think the band sucks? Fine. Go do that other stuff, go listen to that spoken word gig over there. Perry Farrel, man, that guy's a fucking genius.

ICE-T: I was kicking it with Siouxsie and the Banshees, I don't know nothing about Siouxsieand the Banshees. I played with the Violent Femmes. I don't know nothing about them. But being there and being around them and kicking it with them, I was learning. The bands were learning along with the audience. We were learning. Next thing you know Polly Mack's on stage with the Butthole Surfers. There was some ill shit going on out there. And that's because Perry was dope enough to something together like that.

ROLLINS: You should have seen it when Perry and Ice were on stage together. In Atlanta, I thought that place was going to explode. Perry came on and said, "we're going to do 'Nigger, Whitey.'" And I said, "Oh, my God, we're in Atlanta, Georgia, this is going to be insane." And they walked out there because I had to see this. It blew my fucking mind.

ICE-T: See, I'm a game motherfucker. I'm like whoever wants to hook up. I'm just down. Unless I can determine if you're some kind of asshole or something and you're trying to use me.

ROLLINS: You got to keep the door open.

ICE-T: I'm just down. Ernie just produced Black Sabbath's new album, right. So I just sung on this record, a song called "Illusion of Power." I'm not really familiar with the new Black Sabbath.

ROLLINS: Who sings with them now?

ICE-T: They got some singer, man.

ROLLINS: Who plays bass? Geezer Butler?

ICE-T: Yeah, yeah, he's on there now. Tony's in there and they got some other drummer. But Ernie's got it sounding kind of dope. The were kind of sounding like Whitesnake, but he got them back. There's this song called "Illusion of Power" where I come on talking all crazy and shit. And I was meeting with Tony in Europe and it was like, "this is Black fucking Sabbath."

ROLLINS: It would kill me to meet that guy.

ICE-T: And he was so fucking dope! And I was tripping, and you know why he wanted me, is because we gave him credit. Everybody was saying Body Count sounded like Sabbath. It's supposed to sound like them, man, we like them. Everybody's influenced by shit. So just give up your influences and stop acting like you created everything.

ROLLINS: Black Sabbath was a huge influence on me, boy. Geezer Butler and Bill Ward were my favorite rhythm section. Geezer's the best bass player.

ICE-T: They got this bag of loops. They just had bags of tapes and riffs. "Oh, we got riffs, Ice, we got riffs here." And they were telling me how they just sit up and make those big riffs. It was like a gold mine. But then they were so cool, because they sat down with us and said, "we want Ernie to produce our album, our whole album." Us, black kids, cutting a record, producing for Black Sabbath. And the shit came out incredible, man.

ROLLINS: When does it come out?

ICE-T: I don't know. They're mixing it and stuff. It's big, it's fast. They got some feedback coming off the guitars, some crunching. The one I did was called "Illusion of Power." I come in and say some ill shit. "Hear the true power, hear me." I say some phat shit, like you're caught in a complex catacombs of your own insecurities. I say some other bullshit, "so therefore you live in the reflection side of the mirror." And then some bullshit that I just made up, "you're afraid, you're scared! True Power." And then it comes in like, "fear me." And they do this solo with some guy yelling. It's Black Sabbath, man, turn out the lights.

ROLLINS: That what they needed to do. They needed to connect with Ernie and you guys, that's a perfect idea. Because Sabbath has always been cool, I have always thought that they had been mismanaged. Tony probably has to listen to a lot of people who have no concept about what Sabbath is about. Sabbath should be on Lollapalooza and kicking everyone's ass. Talk about a band hitting one and just destroying everything in sight. Sabbath, to me, you put it on volume four, you're going to lift some heavy weight that day, boy.

ICE-T: The biggest, heaviest metal group to me. They're the biggest shit. And when you deal with a group like that, sometimes they don't know what they are. That's why when I work on my new rap album, I have to bring in the kids to tell me who I am. They say, "Ice, you do this." And I go, "is that what I do?"

ROLLINS: Like Iggy, he doesn't know how good he is. I started working on this book with him and he asked, "do you think anyone will be into it?" Don't you understand, you wrote the fucking blueprint for half of the fucking shit these guys are standing on right now? And he says "I guess." Man, you're one of those guys. Don't you get it? He doesn't. He's really humble. Man, you're really important. Get it.

ICE-T: We were telling Sabbath, "you don't know what you are." Because we know what Sabbath is. Like I say, Sabbath is dark lighting, crosses upside down and shit's scary. It's scary in a evil way, a big, large monstrous way.

ROLLINS: And it's a cool place to go. For the alienated youth, man, those places were home. Sanctuary. You put those records on and you go, "wow, someone knows what I'm feeling." Even as something as far out as "Iron Man," like some metallic man who's talking about alienation, he can't deal with these people, they scorn him. That's how you feel when you're fifteen. I'd see the rawest guys in my town. They're guys who couldn't get into the house party, they're outside in December, D.C. drinking Tall Boys outside because they couldn't get in. Sabbath was their soundtrack. I was like, "man, I got to listen to these guys." Sabbath and Robin Trower is what they'd listen to.

ICE-T: Robin Trower.

ROLLINS: That's some way out alienated shit too. You want to wrap this thing up?

ICE-T: Last question.

LEAH: What's something you two haven't done together that you want to do?

ICE-T: With him, more then a record, I'd like to do a movie. A real movie where we actually do some fly shit. Movies are cool. Records, they're over in four minutes.

ROLLINS: I was over at Columbia awhile ago and this guy who did a movie-- I forget the movie-- said, "well, we're interested in writing a movie around you and Ice." I said, "Well okay, so write it and call me."

ICE-T: Yeah, but the thing about it is that they don't understand how cool the movie would have to be. It would have to be so cool. It's easy to be in ohnny Mnemonic and be these characters. But if it's going to be the shit, it would have to be so God damn cool, it would have to be so violent and so scary and so wrong, they would never make it. They would never make it. It could only be released on home video only. Chainsaws and shit.

ROLLINS: Maybe. Maybe there's a whole different approach.

ICE-T: It would be wild. It would be definitely some real shit.

ROLLINS: It would be brilliant. If it was right. When you can act with an actor who is an intense guy or girl, you can go off. Like I did some acting with some people who are really good and some people who aren't so good. When they're not so good, you're like, "oh, well, this was going to be great." Because you can't give it to them because they don't know how to catch it and pass it back to you.

ICE-T: When I acted with Wesley, it was cool. Because Wesley can act. When he tells you he killed you mother you believe that shit and you react to it.

ROLLINS: Some of these guys are corny. Some are actors and some are deeper than that. I can't wait to do this thing with Pachino. Apparently, he's amazing.

ICE-T: Whoop his ass. Do you get to whoop his ass?

ROLLINS: No, he whoops mine. But he's going to have to work for it.