Ice-T promoting ice cream. The notion just begs for some joking. But the West Coast rap legend says his latest endeavor, as spokesperson for Posse Pops, is a serious undertaking — he wants to teach the youth.
"You gotta remember, I don't make music for kids," Ice said Wednesday after a press conference in New York's Clinton Park to announce his collaboration with Planet Ice Cream Inc., the pops' creators. "My sh-- is for adults. How do I talk to a kid, really? What's the one thing kids universally run to? That damn [ice cream] truck.
"All of us, although we may talk rowdy on records, we all got kids," he continued. "It's a chance for us to say, 'No matter how rowdy we get, when we're with our crew, we know what's right and wrong,' and give it back. A lot of people may be like, 'Yo, you're challenging your image.' Nah, real n---as know what's real."
Posse Pops founder Richard Brown recognized T's authentic persona and enlisted the multimedia hustler to align himself with the company. The ice cream pops have messages outside and inside the wrapper, and T says they are soon going to include cards of different artists, similar to baseball trading cards, with personal words of wisdom for the youngsters.
"He said, 'Nah, I want Ice-T,' " Ice began to explain of what led him to work with Brown. " 'I want somebody that will go in and talk to the hard head kids, 'cause that's who needs the messages.' I was excited because people like myself — gangsta rappers, hardcore rappers — we don't get approached with things like that. People don't invite us to the kids' events. I was like, 'Yeah! Hell yeah!' It's taking off."
Two of the Posse Pops' three flavors are "Wild Thang" and "Knock You Out," which are vanilla ice cream with milk chocolate coating, and which promote safe sex and warn against drug use, respectively. Meanwhile, "Blowin' Up" is peanut butter with dark chocolate coating, and includes messages about staying in school.
The desserts, which range from $1.49 to $1.99, are currently being sold in mom-and-pop stores and delis and should soon pop up in major retail food stores. Ice says plans are being made to give one-third of the profits to programs for urban youth.
Ice is also getting his face seen through a television program for adults. He's in his third year of playing a detective on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
"That's fun to do," he said. "I'm happy over there."
He'll be even more joyous if he gets an untitled movie into production. He wrote the script and wants to direct it. Until then, Ice is staying all smiles working with Smoothe Da Hustler and Trigger Tha Gambler, who are most known for making their classic underground duet "Broken Language" in 1996. The three have formed a group called SMG (Sex, Money and Guns) and are working on a debut to drop early next year. N.O.R.E. and Gang Starr's Guru and are among the guests on the album.
"The way we bringing it, East and West coast n---as together is real gangsta," Ice said of working with the brother combination from Brooklyn, New York. "Both of us bring out the best in each other. They got my style ... I'm flowing real radical and crazy. I got their game up to par."