Ice-T knows a thing or two about writing and recording albums, having released several classics over the past 30-plus years. So you'd think given the past successes and experience in creating music that making albums would get easier. Nope.
In an interview with Darren Paltrowitz of the Paltrocast, Ice-T touches on making the upcoming Body Count record Merciless (due out hopefully in 2023). Ice-T touches on why it's still nerve-wracking to make new music and how approaching it from the perspective of past work can complicate things.
"Making albums, it's kind of scary. It's kind of like, how do I explain it… it's like okay, you make an apple pie. Everybody likes the apple pie and it sells a lot. So now you got to make another pie, but it can't be apple. It's got to be just as good as the apple one, so you make a cherry apple. It sells just as good as the apple and everybody loves it. Now you gotta make another one but it can't be apple and it can't be cherry apple, so you make a blueberry apple.
"So now it's like, I'm ran out of flavors. Like, you're scared to make the lime pie so you're like, 'fuck it.' If you do the apple again they say 'oh, you're just [doing the same thing again].' Now you're at a place where… and then also if the last album was a hit, do you want to make another record and it not be a hit? Or do you want to retire like Floyd Mayweather just have a bunch of albums that all hit and tour off of them indefinitely? Like, Kiss doesn't need a new record."
Ice-T also talks a little about his approach to songwriting, basically saying if a song seems like it sucks then it's going in the trash (or the good stuff is getting repurposed). "Don't for a second think the stress is off. I'm just more picky like, I'm just more surgical. Let's say that. It's more surgical. I'm quick. I'll delete songs as we're making them. I don't need to make 20 songs." Or as Ice-T puts it later on in terms of work ethic with any musician, "make music so good I don't have to sing on it. Make music that you could come out and play instrumental and it would rock."
And really, who better to get advice from than one of the greats? Ice-T fucking rules.