We recently caught up with the legendary West Coast ambassador to share his recollection of building with the two New York giants.
"It's funny," Ice-T began to tell us last week at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in the city he was born, Newark. Ice had just hosted the latest "The Art of Rap Presents: The History of Hip-Hop" show featuring Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, Bone Thugs-In-Harmony, N.O.R.E. and more.
"When people see me in whatever hood, I'm like 'I'm from the hood. It's the same players, different board,'' Ice continued. "As long as you know how to talk to the right people... the hood is based on respect. If you respect the right people, you good. If you act like a sucka, they gonna bring the gravity. That's just exactly what happens. I can go in any hood. I say 'I play it from the pineapple to the Big Apple, snowflakes or earthquakes.' Play the whole bubble. When I touch down, it's my town because I find out who runs shit. I hook up with them... I was in Queensbridge. You might catch me in anybody's hood. I'm from Earth, ya dig. I rep LA, I was born in Newark. Real niggas don't have problems."
Ice also noted that real Gs have to know their street etiquette. Last month, Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine sparked debate throughout social media when he was urged to "check in" with OGs from LA when he visited the city during NBA All-Star Weekend. 6ix declined and said he doesn't have to "check in" in any city.
"There's been a conversation about checking in," Ice began to analyze. "I check in. There's nothing wrong with checking in. Just check in. If you go to the Bronx, call your niggas that live in the Bronx and let them know you're coming through. If you're going to Newark, call some Newark niggas. Let them know you coming through. There's certain things you can't do if you from the outside, you don't know. If you come to LA, check in with me. I'mma say 'Don't go to that neighborhood. Don't go over there.' I might save you a bad decision. If you're fortunate enough to have people, call 'em and let 'em know you're coming through. They'd love to show you their town. Every one of these rappers, when they'd come to LA, they'd come to my crib and I'd try to show 'em a good time. When I came out here, Zulu Nation held me down. You supposed to have people. It's why we claim to look out for each other. It's not that you're scared or nothing, it's just smart."