Ice T Net Worth
Ice T is a wealthy rapper with a name like a popular American drink. But he is also a businessman, producer, and screenwriter. He was signed by Sire Records in 1987 and released a hit song called, “Rhyme Pays,” shortly after that. His determination and musical talent have led to his $35 million net worth.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1958, Ice-T lost his parents at a young age. After moving to south central Los Angeles to live with an aunt, he became involved with inner city crime and hustling. His talent for rhyme saved him from a life on the streets, and in 1987 he released his debut album, Rhyme Pays. In the 1990s, Ice-T became famous for his controversial political songs like “Cop Killer.” The rapper also has a career as an actor, most notably playing a detective on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 2000.
The man who would become famous as Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow in Newark, New Jersey, on February 16, 1958. He grew up in Summit, New Jersey, with his parents. In his book Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—From South Central to Hollywood, Ice-T says of his dad, “He was a working man, a quiet, blue-collar dude … Despite the fact that Summit is predominantly white, I can’t say there was overt prejudice in the town, at least not within the adult world as I observed it. All my father’s friends, all the guys he worked with, were white working-class dudes. Lunch-bucket dudes. Black and white, they were all cool with one another.”
When Ice-T was in third grade, his mother suddenly died of a heart attack. He says, “My mother was a very supportive and smart woman, and I know she cared about me, although she wasn’t very affectionate toward me. I only have a few specific memories of her, vague and distant, like some grainy home movie, someplace in the back of my mind.”
Just four years later, his dad also suffered a fatal heart attack. “I was still so young that the experiences of both of my parents’ deaths are kind of blurred together in my mind. And being an only child, I was going through all of it in my own little bubble,” says Ice-T.
After the death of his dad, Ice-T moved to South Central Los Angeles to live with his aunt. It was there that the sixth grader became involved in inner-city life that would define his career as a rapper and later give him the credibility to become a spokesman against gang violence. Despite disapproval from his friends, Ice-T managed to graduate from high school with good grades. Turning normal teenage delinquency on its head, he later admitted to “acting like I was ditching class when I was really ditching my friends so I could slip back to school.”
Before beginning his rap career in the early 1980s, Ice-T spent four years in the United States Army, after which he returned to Los Angeles and took up a life as a self-styled hustler. Crime paid for a time, allowing Ice-T to take impromptu trips to the Bahamas and collect over 350 pairs of sneakers, but soon his addiction to the high life began to fade. In an interview, Ice-T recalled his breaking point: “I had a friend who I looked up to, ’cause he made more money than me. And he said, ‘Yo, Ice, you got a chance. Do that rap thing.’ And that word ‘chance’ messed up my mind. And I just gave up hustling completely.”
Because every hip-hop artist needs a nom de guerre, “Ice-T” came into being with help from author Robert Maupin Beck III, whose pen name “Iceberg Slim” became Tracy Marrow’s inspiration. After spending a few years honing his craft by creating music for videos and releasing various recordings, Ice-T signed with Sire Records in 1987. Later that year, he released Rhyme Pays, his debut album, which eventually went gold. His recording of the theme song for Dennis Hopper’s gang-themed movie Colors (1987) also garnered the new artist plenty of attention. The movie explored life in the Los Angeles projects and marked the beginning of Ice-T’s controversial depictions of South Central in his artistic work. When the black community pushed back against Colors’ cultural critique, Ice-T said, “People should give Dennis Hopper credit—he deglamorized the situation. He just showed the street gangsters. He didn’t show the kids wearing their diamonds and cruising in their Ferraris.”
Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1980s, confirming his status as one of West Coast rap’s most promising stars. His album O.G. Original Gangster (1991) was later cited as one of the key factors in developing the genre of gangster rap. Mixing social commentary with inflammatory lyrics, the rapper pushed musical boundaries by recording a heavy metal track with the band Body Count. He would later tour with the band and play at the rock-oriented Lollapalooza festival.
Parallel to his music career, Ice-T was also building his resume on the big screen, finding roles in movies such as New Jack City (1991), Ricochet (1991), Trespass (1992) and Johnny Mnemonic (1995). Somehow the rapper-turned-actor found time to build a television career as well, including multiple guest-star appearances and even his own reality show on VH1, Ice-T’s Rap School.
Ice-T’s most notable and long-lasting television role has been as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Ice-T has worked on this popular NBC police drama since 2000.
Ice-T’s most recent labor of love is The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars, a reality show on A&E that chronicles the life of gang mediator Malik Spellman. Like the show’s star, producer Ice-T is now strongly committed to ending violence in the place he grew up, hoping the word “chance” will mean as much to a younger generation as it did to him when it first inspired him to escape the streets via hip-hop. When talking about his own opportunity, Ice-T makes no bones about where he would be without music: “I was so programmed into being a hustler that if I hadn’t had a chance to rap, I’d either be dead or in jail—or I’d be rich, but I knew the odds were against it.”
Ice-T is a father to two children by his first wife Darlene Ortiz: daughter Letesha and son Tracy Marrow Jr., sometimes known as Lil’ T. In 2005, Ice-T married his second wife, the model Coco (née Nicole Austin), with whom he starred in the reality show, Ice Loves Coco (2011-2013), on E!
In 2015, a month ahead of their eponymous talk show debut, Ice-T and Coco announced they were expecting their first child. The couple welcomed daughter Chanel Nicole on November 28, 2015.
Ice T Bio Info
Full name: Tracy Lauren Marrow
Born: 16 February 1958 (age 60 years), Newark, New Jersey, United States
Full name: Tracy Lauren Marrow
Spouse: Coco Austin (m. 2002)
Children: Letesha Marrow, Tracy Marrow Jr, Chanel Nicole Marrow
Ice T Quotes
- Redemption just means you just make a change in your life and you try to do right, versus what you were doing, which was wrong. – Ice T
- A good emcee will rhyme a lot of different ways. Don’t limit yourself. – Ice T
- The right to bear arms is because it’s the last form of defense against tyranny. – Ice T
Being cool is when you win, you don’t get too happy; and when you lose, you don’t get too mad. – Ice T
- You have to come in on a professional level to make it, otherwise you just can’t get into rap. – Ice T
Ice T Videos on YouTube
Rapper, actor and Body Count frontman Ice-T talks with Graham ‘Gruhamed’ Hartmann for ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?’
Too Old To Die Young is a short documentary series hosted by legendary publicist Bill Adler that showcases the lives of urban culture’s most legendary characters. Today’s episode focuses on the world of Ice-T, one of the pioneers of gangster rap, and one of the most successful rapper-turned-actors till date. We spent a day in Ice’s home, getting an intimate look into his personal life.