- Released: April 6, 1993
- Label: Rhino/Wea Uk
- 2.The Coldest Rap
- 4.Ya Don't Quit
- 5.6 in the Mornin'
- 6.Body Rock
- 7.Cold Wind-Madness (aka The Coldest Rap, Pt. 2)
- 8.Dog'n the Wax
Personnel: Ice-T (vocals), Al Eaton, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Dave Storrs, Unknown, Lyrrad, Daniel Sofer, W. Michael Lewis, D.J. Flash (various instruments), Tim Larkin (trumpet), D.J. Rob-Scene (scratches).
Producers: Al Eaton; Willie Strong and Cletus Anderson (tracks 2, 7); Dave Storrs (tracks 3, 6); Ice-T and Unknown (tracks 4-5, 8-9); W. Michael Lewis and Galen Senogles.
Compilation producer: Lee "D.J. Flash" Johnson.
Digitally remastered by Bob Fischer.
All songs written by Ice-T except "Ice-O-Tek" (Lewis/Johnson).
THE CLASSIC COLLECTION features early Ice-T recordings from between 1983 and 1986. Includes an overview of Ice-T's career in the 1980's written by the Excello Staff.
Personnel: Tim Larkin (trumpet); DJ Rob-Scene (scratches).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Daniel Sofer; Jimmy Jam; Terry Lewis.
From N.W.A. to Snoop Dogg to Above the Law, any West Coast rapper who has embraced gangsta rap -- or hardcore rap period -- owes a major debt of gratitude to Ice-T. Rhyme Pays, his debut album of 1987, made hip-hoppers all over the world realize that hardcore rap could, in fact, come from Los Angeles. The Classic Collection focuses on Ice's formative years and takes a look at the innovator's pre-1987, pre-Sire/Warner Bros. output. Recorded from 1983-1986 for various indie labels, Ice's early singles rejected the futuristic, dance-oriented electro-hop style that was prevalent in southern California at the time. Ice didn't identify with the Egyptian Lover, the World Class Wreckin' Cru, or any of the other L.A. rappers who epitomized electro-hop; his influences were hardcore rappers from New York. Ice's very first single, "The Coldest Rap" (released in 1983), has the type of old-school hip-hop flavor that Kurtis Blow and his colleagues were known for, and subsequent singles such as "Killers," "Ya Don't Quit," and "Dog 'N the Wax" are as hard-hitting as anything that was coming out of New York at the time. However, only one tune on this CD is full-fledged gangsta rap. The disturbing "Six'N the Mornin'" (which he re-recorded for Rhyme Pays) is a gangsta classic; rapping in the first person, Ice gives listeners some disturbing accounts of thug life in South-Central Los Angeles. Rhino concludes this disc with 1992's "Ice-O-Tek," a techno mix that samples the rapper's early singles; the mix is fun, but not essential. The Classic Collection isn't for casual listeners, who would be better off sticking to essential albums like Rhyme Pays, Power, and O.G. Original Gangster. But Ice's die-hard fans will find a lot to admire about this CD, which is easily recommended to serious rap historians. ~ Alex Henderson