You Played Yourself

Album: The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say (1989)
Charted: 64
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Ice-T sends a warning to the aspiring rappers and drug dealers who neglect their education, believing everything is going to work out for them. When it doesn't, they'll learn the hard lesson: they played themselves.

    Ice-T had been around the block - he was in his 30s and had seen many wannabe gangsters and rappers get chewed up.
  • The track is based on the 1973 James Brown song "The Boss," which appeared in the film Black Caesar. On his previous album, Ice-T released "I'm Your Pusher," which sampled the Curtis Mayfield song "Pusherman" from another blaxploitation film, Super Fly. In a Songfacts interview with Ice-T, he explained: "We were just vibing off of different things, and at that time, my whole image was the player, the hustler. We said, 'How about we base a lot of my music off of blaxploitation music?'"
  • Ice-T crafted the song with his producer, Afrika Islam. The writers of "The Boss" - James Brown, Charles Bobbit and Fred Wesley - are also credited as composers.

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