“Human beings are the most savage things walking the earth,” Body Count frontman Ice-T tells Apple Music. “We’re in this form of denial about why the earth is fucked up and why life is fucked up, but all we do is eat and destroy shit.” It’s the kind of shrewd observation that has propelled the gangsta rap pioneer since the early ’80s, and which catapulted Body Count into the public eye with 1992’s ultra-controversial “Cop Killer.” But Ice assures us that the title and overall sentiment of the LA metal band’s seventh album doesn’t just apply to meat-eaters. “It has nothing to do with your diet,” he says. “Vegans might think they’re on some type of higher level because they don’t eat animals. But they still eat life—plants are alive too—so don’t try to tap out of being human with that bullshit. We’re all part of the same human nature—we’re all carnivores.” Here are the stories behind each of the album’s tracks, directly from Ice-T himself. Carnivore “My overall belief of human nature is that we’re very violent, we're very dangerous, and it’s self-preservation over everything. Humans are the only thing that kills for sport. We’re very interesting creatures, and we figured out ways to justify the shit we do. So that's what the carnivore is: animals that stand erect. That's us.” Point the Finger (feat. Riley Gale) “This was Riley’s idea—he wrote the outline of the song. It’s about one of those cases we’ve seen too many times, especially recently, where people are getting shot by the cops and then the cops vilify the victim. ‘They used to be this, they used to be that, they were bad.’ It’s common tactics: An unarmed person gets shot and it’s like, ‘How the fuck do I end up being the problem?’ Now, as far as Riley, I got turned on to Power Trip when I was out on the road. Everybody was telling me they got big riffs that are heavy like Body Count. So I went to see them, and I was blown away. Riley’s bad as a motherfucker and the group sounds dope. So when it was time for the collabs to kick in for this album, it was natural to get him. I think it’s one of the hardest crowd-moving tracks on the album.” Bum-Rush “‘Bum-Rush’ has got a little Public Enemy going on, a little Prodigy vibe to it. In order to conquer they have to divide, but the sooner we figure out that we're all on the same side—that we all have the same issues—we become a problem. So they got to keep throwing out all this extra bullshit: Get mad at this, get mad at that. And we as stupid human beings do it, instead of realizing that a focused attack cannot be stopped.” Ace of Spades “Ever since [2014’s] Manslaughter, we made it a thing on our albums to do tributes to bands that influenced us. On Manslaughter we did Suicidal Tendencies, and then last time we did Slayer. On this one we did Motörhead. People ask, ‘Where’s your Motörhead influence?’ and I’m like, ‘Listen to “Cop Killer.”’ ‘Cop Killer’ is Motörhead—it’s got those open guitars and that sound of being on a Harley going down the highway. I was fortunate enough to work with Lemmy on Airheads—we did a song called ‘Born to Raise Hell.’ In this song, he says he doesn’t want to live forever, but I think everyone wanted him to live forever. The funny thing is, I didn’t realize I was going to have to actually sing this. But fortunately Lemmy wasn’t Céline Dion and I was able to pull it off. It’s Ice trying to sing Lemmy—I did my best.” Another Level (feat. Jamey Jasta) “Jamey has been a fan and friend of Body Count since the beginning. I met him when he was the host of Headbangers Ball. They told me his band was called Hatebreed, which sounded like the Klan to me. But when I got to know him, I realized he couldn’t be further from a racist. He’s a cool-ass dude who understands hardcore music like pretty much nobody else. My name on Twitter is Final Level, so he came in with this track like, ‘Yo, man—“Another Level”—this is your shit.’ So I started writing about overcoming adversity and not letting people tell you what the fuck you can’t do. And that shit slams—it’s one of the heaviest tracks on the album, and it’s got a really good hook.” Colors - 2020 “When we do Body Count shows, there’s always an Ice-T fan yelling for ‘Colors’ or ‘6 in Tha Morning,’ but we never had it in the set list. So [bassist] Vince [Price] was like, ‘We should just cover your songs so we have them in our clip.’ So we did ‘Colors’ and it came out hard. We got [ex-Slayer member] Dave Lombardo to play drums on it, and it’s a trip that you can do a metal rendition of a song and it doesn’t change it much. It just makes it harder. And that goes to show that there’s a lot of similarities in this shit.” No Remorse “‘No Remorse,’ to me, is the hardest song on the record. It's just brutal. If you look at my albums, if you hold them up to each other, they're kind of like blueprints. So ‘No Remorse’ is in the place of [2017’s] ‘All Love Is Lost,’ with that same anger and emotion, ’cause what I try to do with records is hit emotions. That’s where the best songs are written. The feeling of ‘I fucked you over, but I meant to’ is a real emotion. That’s where the fire of the lyrics comes from. I can’t really make records about outer space or dragons and shit, ’cause I don’t know. I’ve never met a dragon, but I can sing about a motherfucker that crossed me and now thinks I should give a fuck. And I’m like, ‘Nah, motherfucker. Die slow.’ We all have somebody that we could dedicate that song to.” When I’m Gone (feat. Amy Lee) “When Nipsey Hussle passed, they sold the Staples Center out in two hours for his tribute. But could he sell it out for a concert that quick? It’s kind of fucked up that we’ll rally when someone’s dead, but not really pay attention when they’re alive. So it triggered an emotion in me and I started writing this song. We’ve got a tech in our group named Tyler who is connected some way to Amy, and somehow or another they got the song to her and she wanted to fuck with it. I didn’t know she was on it until she had done it. So I get the track and I’m like, ‘How the fuck did you get Amy Lee on this track? That shit is fire.’ She took the record to another level. And then she wrote me an email saying she had lost somebody too soon, so you got a song where both people are writing from the heart, which is very rare.” Thee Critical Beatdown “This is aimed at internet tough guys. Kind of like ‘Talk Shit, Get Shot,’ but instead of getting shot, I’m just going to beat you down. It’s textbook Body Count grindhouse. I always call my band grindhouse because it’s like wild karate movies or the blaxploitation films where motherfuckers knock you through three walls and shit. It has a touch of humor, and if you don’t get the humor, then you’re missing the point. It’s ultraviolent to the point that you laugh. It’s some motherfucker talking shit and me saying, ‘Let’s meet up,’ but just like a bitch he never wants to meet up. And then finally in the end of the song we meet and we got like a kung fu fight, with sound effects and everything. It’ll definitely be fun to perform.” The Hate Is Real “Jim Jones from Dipset wrote on Twitter, ‘The love is fake but the hate is real.’ I was like, ‘That’s a fucking song right there.’ So I started thinking about how we throw the word ‘love’ around loosely, but when someone hates you, they really fucking hate you. They wish you bad luck. They wish you bad health. They really wanna see the worst shit happen to you. And now we live in a world with so much racial hate and religious hate—it’s unfortunate, but that’s what it is. This one also has a cool guitar solo with Ernie C and Juan [of the Dead], where they harmonize at the end, which is some classic rock shit. And we’ve got Jello Biafra doing the intro—he’s been down with me from the beginning. That’s Jello talking shit over a Black Sabbath track on one of my Ice-T albums. He’s always put that politics and real shit in music, so he was perfect for this.” 6 in Tha Morning - 2020 “This is a bonus track. We wanted to have some Ice-T songs in our clip, so we did ‘Colors’ and this one. ‘Colors’ was my biggest record that broke me nationally, and ‘6 in Tha Morning’ was the record that was considered the invention of gangsta rap and started everything. If there was never a ‘6 in Tha Morning,’ there would never have been a Body Count. If the song hadn’t hit, I’d probably be in prison. That record detoured my entire life. And it’s a fun song—we took the breakdowns in it and used drum fills. It’ll be dope to play in concert.”

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