Dr. Fisting Comments: on Body Count Songs About Body Count

CastilloThroughout metal’s history, bands have occasionally written songs named after themselves. Motorhead has one. Iron Maiden has one. Black Sabbath has one and a half. But only one group has had the nerve to compose five songs about themselves, and obviously that would be AMG house band, Body Count.

“Body Count’s In The House” (from Body Count, 1992) – The first of BC’s many anthems is probably the definitive one. The track begins with police sirens and an entry-level groove metal riff, leaving no doubt who the band is before Ice-T even opens his mouth. Lyrically, the song mostly focuses on the band’s name and location (“the house”), save for the breakdown where Ice introduces each band member, leading up to the now-classic “…and I’m Ice muthafuckin’ T, bitch!” This song has been the band’s live opener for years, and rightfully so.

“Body Count” (from Body Count, 1992) – The track “Body Count” first appeared on Ice’s solo album O.G. Original Gangster, a year or so before Body Count was released, making it the band’s first appearance on record. The song makes use of some Sabbath-style dynamics, opening with gentle acoustic guitar while Ice-T calmly discusses some issues that have been on his mind. This tranquility is shattered by Ice shouting “SHIT AIN’T LIKE THAT!”, as Mooseman’s bassline leads the band to full power. From that point on, Ice is in beast mode, ranting with furious anger about everything from gang warfare to racial inequality to police brutality. However, despite name-checking drummer Beatmaster V and guitarist Ernie C during their respective solos, he makes no mention of the band itself. In hindsight, it’s entirely possible that the band is named after this song, not vice versa.

“Body Count Anthem” (from Body Count, 1992) – On an album that already contained “Body Count” and “Body Count’s In The House,” somehow the band felt it necessary to add “Body Count Anthem,” just in case. This one has no lyrics save for gang shouts of “Body Count!” and “BC!” over a pounding tribal riff, before launching into an ill-fitting speed metal section. Oh, and Ice-T yells “muthafucka!” in there somewhere. Of all the self-referencing BC songs, this one’s probably the crappiest.

“Body M/F Count” (from Born Dead, 1994) – Just like their debut, Body Count’s sophomore record Born Dead begins with sampled police sirens and a gloriously stupid riff. This time, however, that riff adds some stuttering double kick to the mix, suggesting that someone in BC may have heard Fear Factory’s Soul Of A New Machine. The song’s sole lyric is “Body Count/Body muthafuckin’ Count,” proving that sometimes, less truly is more. While Born Dead has many other tracks that reference the band, this is the only one that mentions them in the title.

“You’re Fuckin’ With B.C.” (from Violent Demise: The Last Days, 1997) – Violent Demise is basically a concept album about murdering everybody who did not enjoy Born Dead, and “You’re Fuckin’ With BC” is every bit as defiant as you’d expect. The track opens with Ice-T bellowing “DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE FUCKIN’ WITH???!!,” and of course, his gang-vocal posse has the answer. Ice then launches into a series of increasingly ludicrous claims concerning his band’s criminal record, including “banana clip loader, L.A.P.D. got my fuckin’ folder” and “laser scope’n, hostage ropin’, known to get your safe open.” (The infamous “dusted with a musket” verse from 2014’s “Talk Shit, Get Shot” is coming from a similar place spiritually). Ice also makes the bold claim that his band was “on the cover of Murder Monthly,” but I searched their back issues on Amazon and found no evidence of this. Regardless of historical accuracy, “You’re Fuckin’ With B.C.” is the absolute pinnacle of Body Count’s lyrical grandstanding.

Strangely, none of BC’s post-Violent Demise albums have featured any anthem-type tracks. It’s possible that, after five attempts, they decided (correctly) that doing more would be extremely redundant. Perhaps, after 20-plus years, the band is confident enough that people are aware of who they are. Maybe, after the tragic deaths of 3 original members and the cruelty of the music business, Ice-T is no longer quite sure who you’re fucking with, or if they’re still in the house. Only time will tell.

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