Ice-T is an American rapper, rock musician, author, and actor who was instrumental in creating gangsta rap and rapcore.
He is best known to television audiences as Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola in the police procedural television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which he has starred since 2000. He played the same role in a single guest appearance on sister show Law & Order.
Ice-T is the original embodiment of L.A. hip-hop. Through his music, his book ("The Ice Opinion," St. Martin's Press), and his lecture tours of America's prisons, high schools, libraries and colleges (including Harvard, Berkeley, and Stanford), Ice-T has become an influential spokesman for America's youth, regardless of colour.
Born in New Jersey, Ice-T learned the art of survival pretty fast. As an only child whose parents died when he was very young, Ice-T became involved in Los Angeles gangs before spending four years in the army.
His first break came when the producers of the film Breakin' asked him to rap in the movie. He went on to become rap music's original gangster, writing songs like Six in the Mornin' and New Jack Hustler.
Ice-T formed Rhyme Syndicate Records in 1989 and released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count with close high school friend and guitarist Ernie C.
Body Count's 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single Cop Killer. Body Count was the most critically acclaimed act on the highly successful 1991 Lollapalooza tour, and continued to tour worldwide.
Ice-T has received a Grammy Award and was voted Best Male Rapper in Rolling Stone's 1992 Readers Poll.
As his politics were grabbing headlines, Ice-T's film and television career was taking off. The controversial personality secured roles in New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass, and Johnny Mnemonic, all while building a flourishing television career. He has numerous independent and documentary film roles to his credit as well.
Ice-T currently stars in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Finn. This is his fourth project with executive producer Dick Wolf after the 1997-98 series Players, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie, and several memorable guest-starring appearances on Wolf's gritty cop series New York Undercover.
On VH1's Rap School, Ice-T taught prep school kids how to be rappers, and hosted the 2006 Hip Hop Honors.
As an artist, his reach has crossed from music into film and television, and interactive media. He is the voice of Griffen on one of the hottest-selling games, Gears of War 3, which was released April 2011.
He also directed a documentary called The Art of Rap, which features interviews with some of the greatest rappers of all time. He also produced a reality show for A&E centered on gang mediator Malik Spellman.
His book, The Ice Opinion, was published in 1994 and has been translated into Japanese, German, French and Italian.
Since 2011 he has starred with wife Coco Austin in the reality series Ice Loves Coco, which takes an inside look at the couple's relationship.