This is the title track to Ice-T's fourth album. He had done four years in the Army before starting his rap career. After releasing a few singles, he got a deal with Sire Records, a division of Warner Bros. His first album, Rhyme Pays
, was released in 1987 and came with a warning label - a great marketing move that helped him land the gig doing the theme song to the 1988 gang-life movie Colors
. Rap music, especially the gangster variety, was pushing into the mainstream in 1991, and he was on the vanguard. What set him apart was his incredibly clear delivery and his storytelling, skills that also made him an acclaimed actor. On screen, he's played a cop on more than one occasion, starting with New Jack City in 1991 and famously in a long-running role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
, starting in 2000. Some have a hard time reconciling his gangster persona with his acting roles, but in both cases he is playing a character, using his life experience as a guide.