In the golden era of rap, Ice-T was a force to be reckoned with. But few could have anticipated the seismic shift in the music world when he introduced his all-Black hardcore band, Body Count, in the early nineties. The band wasn’t just groundbreaking because of its racial composition in a predominantly white punk/hardcore scene. It was their music – fiery, raw, and fearless – that sent shockwaves through the establishment.

Introduced on Ice-T’s 1991 album, “O.G. Original Gangster,” Body Count was a breath of fresh air. Comprising of talented musicians like Ernie C, D-Roc the Executioner, Mooseman, Beatmaster V, Sean E. Sean, and Sean E. Mac, the band brought a unique amalgamation of punk, metal, and hardcore. Their introduction in the Lollapalooza tour that year cemented their place in the annals of music history.

The release of their self-titled debut album in 1992 was nothing short of explosive. Tackling issues like white supremacy, racial profiling, and police brutality, Body Count pulled no punches. This unapologetic approach, while resonating with many, also sparked widespread controversy. From boycotts and death threats to being placed on the FBI National Threat list, the band found itself in the crosshairs of not just the music industry but the government itself. The zenith of this controversy was a direct denunciation by the then-President of the United States.

Photo courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons/Andreas Lawen

The pushback was so severe that their album was banned and removed from stores. It remains a testament to the power of art and its ability to challenge the status quo.

Yet, the story of Body Count isn’t one of mere controversy. It’s a tale of resilience. Despite the initial backlash, the band has made an indomitable comeback. Today, they perform to their largest audiences yet, receiving acclaim and accolades, including a Grammy.

This journey, from outcasts to legends, is captured in the much-anticipated book, “Body Count (33 1/3)” by Ben Apatoff. With interviews from industry stalwarts and the band members themselves, the book promises a deep dive into the legacy of Body Count, a band that changed the musical landscape forever.

In the words of Chuck D from Public Enemy, Body Count might just be “the world’s scariest band.” Not for their sound, or their lyrics, but for their unyielding commitment to challenging injustice. Their story, as captured in Apatoff’s book, is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of music, politics, and culture. It’s a testament to the enduring spirit of rebellion and the transformative power of art.

Order Your Copy via Bloomsbury