TV audiences may know Ice-T as the star of "Ice Loves Coco" and "Law & Order: SVU," but he's first and foremost a rapper, and he wants to make sure everyone understands how important that genre is to him -- and to American history.
"(Rap) put Barack Obama in the presidency. If it wasn't for rap, white people wouldn't have been so open to vote for somebody like Barack Obama," he said during a TODAY visit with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford Wednesday.
When Gifford noted that Obama was just a good candidate, race aside, Ice-T acknowledged, "That had to happen after their eyes were opened up, and hip-hop is what brought us together."
The musical genre is everywhere, he added: "It's a global thing.... I'm sitting back and watching the weatherman rap. I'm like, really? I'm like, do people really know where this comes from?"
To that end, Ice-T has now made a documentary called "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap," which will be in theaters on Friday. It's a history of rap and how it came to dominate the music industry around the world, and Ice reported the film's getting plenty of positive reviews.
Ice-T himself gives plenty of positive reviews of his life with Coco, his wife since 2001, who he says has no need to read popular erotic fiction.
"If you live in my house, the last thing you need to read is '50 Shades of Grey,'" he said. "I can tell you that for a fact. We would have done 50 shades of blue, red, orange, yellow and pink."
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