Body Count

Manslaughter

Written by: PP on 04/01/2015 22:00:11

Leave it to a real rapper to show how rap metal is supposed to be done properly. Body Count, which is the crossover / nu-metal side project of Ice T, formed in 1990 out of the interest in heavy metal music by Ice T and guitarist Ernie C. They were one of the pioneers and founding fathers of mixing together rap and metal on their 1992 cult classic "Body Count" that attracted much controversy thanks to the "Cop Killer" song. Their material since then has been a varying degree of laughably bad and irrelevant in the grand scheme of the music scene, with comeback album "Murder 4 Hire" in 2006 being mostly received as atrociously bad by the media and fans alike. If anything, it felt like a weird time to put out what was essentially a nu metal album because the genre had just experienced total internal collapse into a term you would never want to be associated with as a band. And so the band went quiet again for another eight years, and I guess none of us expected for something as outrageous as their 5th album "Manslaughter" to ever surface again, at least not for another decade or so when we'll experience the return of nu-metal as we remember it according to cyclical trends of music.

"Manslaughter" is a comeback with a vengeance, a wicked rap metal album that's outrageous in its piercing rage and seamless fusion of rap and metal. From the ultimate groove and aggressive Suicidal Tendencies-style shouts of "EVERY NIGHT, EVERY SHOW, THERE'S A BITCH IN THE PIT" on "Bitch In The Pit" to their metallic interpretation of the Jay-Z classic "99 Problems BC", Body Count deliver a convincing, high-energy assault of crushing riffs, and real hip hop that feels like it was always meant to go together. The murderous "Talk Shit, Get Shot" that opens the album is the perfect example: I'll guarantee you haven't heard Ice T sounding this angry with his razor-sharp yelling on top of the metallic riffs. In a single song Ice T and Body Count have revitalized rapcore and returned the style to its origins. Think Rage Against The Machine, except with more of a crossover / hardcore base to the instrumentals.

What's best about "Manslaughter" is that it's not just a gimmick. The quality of songwriting and the truly sublime manner of merging together two distant genres suggests it's a legitimate contender and an album to be taken seriously. This is how rap metal is meant to sound like, not how it sounds like on the latest Trapt or Limp Bizkit album. Pure hip hop attitude and culture exposed bare on top of heavy grooves, delivered with a relentless urgency and immediacy that we haven't heard in nu-metal in probably almost two decades. Another example is the band's modernized take on the Suicidal Tendencies classic "Institutionalized" with upgraded lyrics, where Ice T sounds like a lunatic about to go on a gun rampage when a vegan asks him how can he eat his pork sandwich:

"(voice asks) Do you understand that that pork can kill you? (Ice-T): Look motherfucker. Pork is not gonna kill me, unless they figure a way to shoot it out of a fucking gun, but I might kill you, if you keep fuckin' with me! He says calm down I'm a vegan. FUCK A VEGAN. I could give a fuck if you eat sawdust motherfucker, just step away from my fucking sandwich "

You really need to hear it to understand the level of rage we're met with lyrically and vocally on the hip hop part with open-ended riffs supporting on the background. And that's really the keyword that holds the entire album together: rage. Body Count are angry, and "Manslaughter" is their statement of purpose. You won't hear a rap metal album as good as this again for a while.

8

Download: "Institutionalized 2014"; "Talk Shit, Get Shot", "Pray For Death", "Bitch In The Pit"
For the fans of: Rage Against The Machine, Suicidal Tendencies, Biohazard, Ice T
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.06.2014
Sumerian Records

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