Soccer Mommy On 'color theory,' Impulse Depop Shopping & The Demon Living In Her House

Soccer Mommy

Photo by Brian Ziff


Soccer Mommy On 'color theory,' Impulse Depop Shopping & The Demon Living In Her House

Ahead of her sophomore album, out on Feb. 28, the bedroom-pop player spoke to the Recording Academy about defining her latest recordings in colors, how astrology ties to her need to express herself and more

GRAMMYs/Feb 24, 2020 - 11:20 pm

"A lot of people think I have synesthesia," Sophie Allison laughs. "But I do connect a lot of emotions with colors." Throughout her new album as Soccer Mommy, Allison separates the darkness in her life into three sections themed to different hues. Color theory begins in a "Blue" territory focused on depression and being a loner; "Yellow" follows, with songs centered on physical and mental illness; and the album ends in "Gray," ruminating on mortality and death. Across these borders, the young Nashvillian shares a very real relationship with pain, self-doubt and insecurity, delivered without pretense. The lyrics are unvarnished and personal, yet engulfing in their relatability. And though those three emotional areas may feel closely related, the difference between colors is palpable. 

Allison deals in intimate detail, yet her curiosity and compassion bring the listener closer with each syllable. We all have our demons—some both literally and figuratively. "God, I keep promising myself I'll stop talking about demons," Allison says, midway through discussing the record, which arrives on Feb. 28 via Loma Vista Recordings. But the potential of an evil spirit inhabiting her home is only one item on the list of concerns powering Allison’s songwriting. 

The record’s complex take on indie pop and alt-rock is also indebted to other women familiar with darkness—Allison reveling in '00s MTV icon Britney Spears and '90s chamber-pop luminary Tori Amos in equal measure. The spiraling patterns of "circle the drain" daub her paranoiac depression in a deceptively warm swathe of Clinton-era acoustic guitar and splashy cymbal. The expansive "lucy," meanwhile, finds Allison dealing with heartbreak embodied in a devilish form, her voice floating by in daggered falls. The seven-minute epic "yellow is the color of her eyes" explores her mother’s battle with cancer in a sparkling churn at once heartbreaking and endearing.

Allison spoke with the Recording Academy about the mood-building of defining her album in colors, how astrology ties to her need to express herself musically and the potential of a demonic presence living in her walls.

What are you up to today?

I'm at Target, looking at some blenders. I just want to start blending! I want to make smoothies and to stop having to eat meals. Only liquids, that's what we're working toward. I don't have to use a plate, I could use the same water cup I've been using for days. It's great!

2020, the year of the liquid. I’m new to America and Target is fascinating.

Target has everything. I don't like ordering things online. I need instant gratification. The one exception is that I'll Depop stuff because it’s just other 25-year-olds who posted their clothes trying to make 20 bucks.

I got stuck on Depop the other day, scrolling for hours—imagining the life that each little piece of clothing can have.

"My life's going to change when I get it." And then, in reality, nothing's going to happen. It's a problem. It triggers an insane impulse shopping thing that I didn't even know was alive in my body. I used to have to go to the mall and it'd be the whole day, but now I just sit and scroll, and then buy a million things. 

I do it a lot in the back of the tour van. When I'm on tour, I don't have many outfits, and I start getting really depressed about the fact that I don't like any of the clothes I own. It starts becoming this insane meltdown situation. Then I buy a new wardrobe on Depop, and once I get it, it's really fun—for a couple of days. I'm just going to go through this cycle for the rest of my life, over and over again. 

I was completely absorbed by your new album. It's one of those all-consuming records—but it didn't overwhelm.

That's good. That was the worry for me honestly. It is very dark. There are definitely going to be fans that are like, "This is destroying me right now." And I'm like, "Sorry! Oops."

These songs are so confident and self-assured. There's that inkling of doubt laced in, but you are singing right from the authentic core. How did it feel to get this all out?

The writing helps. The thing is, I'm still dealing with the stuff I wrote about. I've never found it hard to write about dark things, but I do find it hard even to tell people when I'm feeling dark things. I'm very much the type to be in denial. I've gotten better at it, but I still would joke about it more than actually talk about it. Writing isn’t different than saying it to myself in my head a million times a day. It would probably be really hard to write about that stuff without it destroying me if I wasn’t used to it. But the place I was coming from when writing the album is already kind of destroyed.

Clean was all about not denying your feelings, and now there's this commitment to the now, to what's happening to you. There's a lot of pain and difficult emotion, but it’s entirely relatable rather than overly dark.

Yeah. It's literally the stuff that was happening to me at the time that I was writing—especially some of the stuff in the "Yellow" section, like "crawling in my skin." It's not metaphoric. It's about having sleep paralysis and really bad paranoia and hallucinating and not sleeping very much. It's hard to not be honest. But in some ways, I could have been more honest.

How could you have been more honest?

There's always more I can say. One thing that's really important in writing about really heavy subjects is to not get bogged down in the moment when you're feeling really upset. At least for me, I go through mood shifts. I'll be really intensely low about something and then later it's like it never happened. So for me, it's partially about finding the balance between over-exaggeration and the normal feeling.

Are you writing in the phase where you're feeling down, or are you writing in the aftermath, where you're a little bit more separated from the emotion?

It varies. You can usually hear the difference. Some songs are way more reflective, while a song like "royal screw up" is laying the intensity on the whole song. I wrote that song in five minutes, sitting in my bed at my parents’ house. I just started singing lines and tweaking it until it felt right. 

Is there anything on the album that is the antithesis of that song, something that you labored over?

"bloodstream," definitely. That was one where I had the chorus and all these visual ideas for the lyrics, comparing blood to a river and looking back on childhood. But it was very hard to piece it all together and have it sound like lyrics. It just sounded like a bunch of words.

Not a lot of artists talk about self-harm. It's something that people intentionally hide, but you explore it with tenderness and subtlety. How did it feel to sing those lyrics in the booth?

Honestly, it felt great. It's not fun to have this public image and pretend to be fine all the time when I'm not. I want people to know that I'm not fine so that they won't take advantage of thinking I'm fine. That’s especially hard with social media. I want to give fans stuff they want, but at the same time, it triggers mood problems for me because I'm thinking too much about what people think of me. It's just too overwhelming and I can't stand it.

The songs allow you a moment in time to step back from.

Maybe. To me, it honestly feels more like when I listen to Britney Spears songs from before she kind of lost it. I'm like, "She's screaming for help!" I'm telling everyone about it. I'm telling anyone that's riding in the car with me. I'm like, "Do you hear that line?" I'm being a really big freak about it and I'm kind of like, "I hope someone's at least noticing that I'm also kind of losing it." [Laughs.

In "night swimming," you contextualize the themes by pairing the emotion with ambient crowd noise. You acknowledge implicitly that the audience might be going through the same darkness.

That's a really good point. I really wanted the record to sound like early 2000s pop music—the most fun music. When you’re with the girls and trying to party, you put on early 2000s throwbacks. I wanted it to sound like that, but also like I'm trapped in the body of a doll and I'm trying to get out. [Laughs.] I wanted it to have that feeling of relief from hiding in something. It is really common to feel trapped in that way. A lot of people don't want to be a burden with their emotional stress. It is stressful! It's stressful having your friends burden you with a lot of emotional stress. But we do it because we care about people.

There’s also a lot of '90s influence—Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple.

Tori Amos is actually one of the only direct influences I can cite for this album.

I really heard her in "gray light."

I literally was like, "To Venus and Back, let's do it on this track!” I'm glad that came across. Tori Amos is the energy that we're channeling on all of the drum machine sounds. 

I was so struck by how interconnected all three of the album's themes could be—fear and sadness and physical sickness. But when you put a color to each, it's easier to differentiate them.

It's a whole mood. The songs in the section don't have to be exactly on the same topic to be about the same energy. I’d been steadily writing since the last album, and we recorded about a year from the release of Clean. I've written other stuff in between, including this song that I wrote around last January for a horror movie called "The Turning." That was really fun. It was really easy. I would love to keep writing songs for horror movies because I am really connected to these horror ideas, having experienced hallucinations and paranoia and stuff. Also, I think there's a demon trapped in the walls of my house. Everyone keeps saying it’s an animal. But I know it’s not an animal. I had a demon possessing me and following me around, and now it's in my walls.

Wait, seriously?

I connect a lot of my paranoia with monsters and horror stuff, probably because I watched a lot of that sh*t growing up. When I start getting paranoid that someone's watching me and following me, I'm like, "It's a mythical creature."

I used to think the demon was in my brain, but I got it out and now it's in my house, in the walls. I said this incantation to banish it from my body while I was in my living room, and then all of a sudden we started hearing noises in the wall. I saged the entire house except for by my bed, because my boyfriend was in it and I didn’t want to sage his face. And then that night I wake up at 5:00 AM and it's right there behind my pillow, some noise, something crawling around. 

You need something stronger than sage.

Yeah, I know. I need to get some help. But the point is, I love writing songs for horror movies. When I wrote "Feed," I thought, "I'll just talk about demons. I can do this all day." 

It takes courage to speak so openly. I’m thinking specifically of "yellow is the color of her eyes" and "gray light."

In terms of braveness, I still can't talk to my mother about these songs. She'll be like, "I like the new song. I'm so happy to hear—." And I'm like, "Stop. Please. I can't. I get it. Thank you. You like it. I feel good. That's all I can take from you.” I don't want to have a deep convo. I'm uncomfortable with that kind of stuff too. The reason I write it out is my Taurus Mercury. My communication is very solid if I get the words in a way where I'm like, "This is it. It's complete."

Did your mom listen to those songs?

Yeah, she's heard the album. I'm close to my mom. She understands I don't want to talk about anything emotional. I'm not very good at doing interviews and stuff like that because I’ll ramble and I can't concisely say exactly what I'm trying to say. When I write something, it’s the finish line at the end of a bunch of rambling. I want to get the words right so I can feel at peace with it, satisfied. When I don't feel like anyone is fully understanding what I'm trying to say, it's internally frustrating.

Do you have a different relationship with Clean now? 

The songs are really good songs, and I feel really happy with them. Lyrically, some of it sticks hard and it's gonna stick forever, but some of it is just not the life I'm living anymore. Honestly, a couple of months after an album comes out, for me, it loses the sense of attachment because it's not mine anymore. It's not something I'm sitting privately recounting and listening to and being like, "I got this right and this means a lot to me."

Do you think about your place in this world? 

I think everyone does, regardless of what they're doing for a living. I'm hoping my purpose is to keep playing music. I'm hoping I'm blessed with that ability to keep doing this for the rest of my life. I will always play music but I'd love to be blessed with the ability to perform and be an artist for the rest of my life. 

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More



Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

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Quarantine Diaries: Joan As Police Woman Is Bike Riding, Book Reading & Strumming D'Angelo

Joan as Police Woman


Quarantine Diaries: Joan As Police Woman Is Bike Riding, Book Reading & Strumming D'Angelo

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors

GRAMMYs/Apr 7, 2020 - 07:21 pm

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, singer/songwriter Joan Wasser of Joan as Police Woman, whose forthcoming covers album, COVER TWO, includes tracks by The Strokes, Prince, Talk Talk, and more, shares her Quarantine Diary.

Thursday, April 2

[10 a.m.-12 p.m.] Went to bed at 4 a.m. last night after getting drawn into working on a song. Put on the kettle to make hot coffee while enjoying an iced coffee I made the day before. Double coffee is my jam. Read the news, which does not do much for my mood. Catch up with a few friends, which does a lot of good for my mood. Glad it goes in this order.

[12 p.m.-2 p.m.] Make steel cut oats with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, a sprinkling of cinnamon and cardamom, and of course, coconut butter to melt on top. If you’re not into coconut butter (sometimes marketed as coconut "manna"), I’d suggest just going for it and getting it (or ordering it) and putting it on your sweet potatoes, your oats, anywhere you’d put butter. I’m not vegan but I do enjoy hearing the tiny scream uttered by a strawberry as I cut into it. 

Contemplate some yoga. Contamplate meditating. Do neither. Resume work on the song I want to finish and send today. I have a home studio and I spend a lot of my time working on music here. The song is a collboration sent to me from Rodrigo D’Erasmo in Milano that will benefit the folks who work behind the scenes in the music touring system in Italy. 

[2 p.m.-4 p.m.] I traded in a guitar for a baritone guitar right before all this craziness hit but hadn’t had the time to get it out until now. I put on some D’Angelo, plugged into my amp and played along as if I were in his band. Micahel Archer, If you’re reading this, I hope you are safe and sound and thank you immensely for all the music you've given us always. 

[4 p.m.-6 p.m.] Bike repair shops have been deemed "necessary," thank goodness, because biking is the primary way I get around and I need a small repair. I hit up my neighborhood shop and they get my bike in and out in 10 minutes, enough time to feel the sun for a moment. 

I ride fast and hard down to the water's edge and take in a view of the East River from Brooklyn. There are a few people out getting their de-stress walks but it is mostly deserted on the usually packed streets.

[6 p.m.-8 p.m.] Practice Bach piano invention no. 4 in Dm very, very, very slowly. I never studied piano but I’m trying to hone some skills. Realize I’m ravenous. Eat chicken stew with wild mushrooms I made in the slow cooker yesterday. It’s always better the second day.

[8 p.m.-10 p.m.] Get on a zoom chat with a bunch of women friends on both coasts. We basically shoot the sh*t and make each other laugh. 

Afterwards I still feel like I ate a school bus so I give into yoga. I feel great afterwards. This photo proves I have a foot. 

[10 p.m.-12 a.m.] Record a podcast for Stereo Embers in anticipation of my new release on May 1, a second record of covers, inventively named COVER TWO. Continue to work on music (it’s a theme).

[12 a.m.-2 p.m.] Tell myself I should think about bed. Ignore myself and confinue to work on music. 

[2 a.m.-4 a.m.] Force myself into bed where I have many books to choose from. This is what I’m reading presently, depending on my mood. Finally I listen to Nick Hakim’s new song, "Qadir," and am taken by its beauty and grace. Good night. 

If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website

Report: Music & Culture Infrastructure Can Create Better "Future Cities"

Hero The Band perform at the Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter Annual Membership Celebration
Photo: Marcus Ingram/WireImage


Report: Music & Culture Infrastructure Can Create Better "Future Cities"

How sound planning for a creative future in our urban areas makes all the difference for artists and musicians

GRAMMYs/Oct 24, 2019 - 01:27 am

The future, as they say, is now. And for music makers around the world, building a future for themselves often starts at home, in their local creative community and in the city where they live. While technology has expanded communication and made the world smaller, cities continue to grow, making planning for the future a critical cultural mission of the present.

To that end, a new report by global organization Sound Diplomacy titled "This Must Be The Place" examines, "The role of music and cultural infrastructure in creating better future cities for all of us." The 37-page deep dive into community planning and development highlights the importance of creative culture in what it calls "Future Cities."

"The government defines ‘Future Cities’ as 'a term used to imagine what cities themselves will be like," the report states, "how they will operate, what systems will orchestrate them and how they will relate to their stakeholders (citizens, governments, businesses, investors, and others),'"

According to the report, only three global cities or states currently have cultural infrastructure plans: London, Amsterdam and New South Wales. This fact may be surprising considering how city planning and sustainability have become part of the discussion on development of urban areas, where the UN estimates 68 percent of people will live by 2050.

"Our future places must look at music and culture ecologically. Much like the way a building is an ecosystem, so is a community of creators, makers, consumers and disseminators," the report says. "The manner in which we understand how to maintain a building is not translated to protecting, preserving and promoting music and culture in communities."

The comparison and interaction between the intangibility of culture and the presence of physical space is an ongoing theme throughout the report. For instance, one section of the report outlines how buildings can and should be designed to fit the cultural needs of the neighborhoods they populate, as too often, use of a commercial space is considered during the leasing process, not the construction process, leading to costly renovations.

"All future cities are creative cities. All future cities are music cities."

On the residential side, as cities grow denser, the need increases for thoughtful acoustic design and sufficient sound isolation. Future cities can and should be places where people congregate

"If we don’t design and build our future cities to facilitate and welcome music and experience, we lose what makes them worth living in."

For musicians and artists of all mediums, the answer to making—and keeping—their cities worth living in boils down to considering their needs, impact and value more carefully and sooner in the planning process.

"The report argues that property is no longer an asset business, but one built on facilitating platforms for congregation, community and cohesion," it says. "By using music and culture at the beginning of the development process and incorporating it across the value chain from bid to design, meanwhile to construction, activation to commercialisation, this thinking and practice will result in better places."

The report offers examples of how planners and leaders are handling this from around the world. For instance, the Mayor Of London Night Czar, who helps ensure safety and nighttime infrastructure for venues toward the Mayor's Vision for London as a 24-hour city. Stateside, Pittsburgh, Penn., also has a Night Mayor in place to support and inform the growth of its creative class.

Diversity, inclusion, health and well-being also factor into the reports comprehensive look at how music and culture are every bit as important as conventional business, ergonomic and environmental considerations in Future Cites. Using the Queensland Chamber of Arts and Culture as a reference, it declared, "A Chamber of Culture is as important as a Chamber of Commerce."

In the end, the report serves as a beacon of light for governments, organizations, businesses and individuals involved in planning and developing future cities. Its core principals lay out guideposts for building friendly places to music and culture and are backed with case studies and recommendations. But perhaps the key to this progress is in changing how we approach the use of space itself, as the answer to supporting music may be found in how we look at the spaces we inhabit.

"To develop better cities, towns and places, we must alter the way we think about development, and place music and culture alongside design, viability, construction and customer experience," it says. "Buildings must be treated as platforms, not assets. We must explore mixed‑use within mixed‑use, so a floor of a building, or a lesser‑value ground floor unit can have multiple solutions for multiple communities."

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Nearly 30 Years After Their Debut, Body Count's 'Carnivore' Is The Thrash-Metal Band's Most Fully Realized Album

Ice-T In 1993

Photo by David Corio/Redferns


Nearly 30 Years After Their Debut, Body Count's 'Carnivore' Is The Thrash-Metal Band's Most Fully Realized Album

Led by iconic rapper Ice-T, the L.A.-based seven-piece keep their socially conscious themes consistent and the music louder than ever on their seventh studio album

GRAMMYs/Mar 10, 2020 - 10:06 pm

In early 1992 Ernie Cunnigan visited the Burbank office of Howie Klein. The guitarist (who goes by Ernie C.) and the then-president of Reprise/Warner Bros. Records were listening to the upcoming self-titled debut from Cunnigan’s band, Body Count, fronted by his Crenshaw High School buddy Tracy Marrow, already famous as rapper Ice-T. Ice, with the savvy creative connectivity that guides his multi-hyphenate media career to this day, introduced his forthcoming metal band in 1991 via tracks on O.G. Original Gangster, his fourth album.

It's not unusual for high school pals to form a band. What was unusual, though, was that Body Count was a hardcore thrash metal band comprised of all-black musicians, with point-blank lyrics that were both insightful and incite-ful concerning racial and social inequities and the climate of America. Listening to the 18-track debut, Klein praised it, while voicing concern about the lyrics of "Momma's Gotta Die Tonight," a song about the matricide and dismemberment of a racist parent. Turns out it was the last track, a ditty called "Cop Killer," that should have given the executive pause. 

While Klein was and remains stridently opposed to censorship and is a dedicated free speech advocate, Body Count, per the era, was released with a parental advisory sticker (as was Original Gangster). Less than two months after Body Count dropped, Los Angeles exploded in fiery violence in reaction to the acquittal of four policemen in the beating of Rodney King, as well as the shooting death of black teenager Latasha Harlins by a Korean grocer. (The grocer was given only probation.) It was the worst possible climate for "Cop Killer," with lyrics including "Fk the police, yeah!" and shout-outs to then L.A.P.D. chief Daryl Gates, Ice's "dead homies" and King. The blowback went all the way up to then-President George Bush, and though Time Warner supported Ice-T in his fight against the song's opponents, he eventually pulled the cut from new pressings of the album.

Currently, streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music offer the version sans the group's most (in)famous song, replacing "Cop Killer" with "Freedom Of Speech" from Ice's 1989 solo album, The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say, edited to add samples of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" and the voice of political punker Jello Biafra. On YouTube, "Cop Killer" has more than 1.5 million views, with most of the comments thoughtful and positive, understanding the intentionally incendiary messages Body Count was delivering. Ultimately, if Body Count isn’t a classic record in the way that critics consider Nirvana’s Nevermind or Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back to be, it’s an important and groundbreaking one. As Ice-T has said, Body Count is: "a protest record,” not the norm in the metal world, but still the way BC's songs operate today.

Indeed, 28 years later, things haven’t changed. Biafra is also on Body Count's powerful new album, Carnivore. Police actions like "stop and frisk" (the NYC law enforcement program that was proven to disproportionally target black and Latino men) wasn’t legally discredited until 2014. Body Count’s one-time bassist, Lloyd "Mooseman" Roberts III, was murdered in South Central Los Angeles in 2001 in an accidental drive-by; in the last 12 months, 126 black men were killed by guns in L.A. County, as opposed to 23 white men. And Ice-T and Body Count are still raging against the machine.

Ice-T enjoys pushing buttons lyrically, and if they’ve sometimes been heavy-handed or misguided ("KKK Bitch" or "Bitch In The Pit"), Ice-T is a politically eloquent, passionate and personal songwriter, which can be too easily overlooked given Body Count's volume-heavy metal chops and Ice's delivery, a speedy vocal style that’s been traditionally more aggro-rapping than melodic singing.  

That said, Carnivore is Body Count’s best album to date; it’s the most fully realized musically, and there’s a cohesion to the vocals and music that led Body Count bassist Vincent Price to lay out the band’s growth in a Metallica timeline: "Manslaughter [2014] was basically Kill ‘Em All; Bloodlust [2017] was our Ride The Lightningand Carnivore’s our Master Of Puppets."

He's not wrong, and though Ice-T’s more than 20-year stint as detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit has precluded lengthy Body Count tours, the buzz is loud for this seventh album.

Ice-T may be the original gangster, yet he’s patient, articulate and fervent in explaining songs and motivations to audiences and the press alike. "When I'm Gone," featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence, was inspired by the killing of Nipsey Hussle. It’s a reminder, as he says in the tune, to "tell the people that you love, that you love them now. … Don't wait; tomorrow may be too fking late."

His prolific musical social criticism and seemingly left-leaning views are thoughtful and targeted, despite the vitriol of so many Body Count songs. In the nearly 30 years since founding his revolutionary band, Ice-T observes, "I think you’ve got less racism; less people, but more avid racism. It’s unnerving to think that we’ve come so far but there’s still so far to go." As he advised in a 2017 interview, "Don’t just be angry. Know what you’re talking about so you don’t alienate someone who should be an ally."