I should begin this review by saying that I am a longtime BC fan. I still have the Born Dead original release CD, and have fond memories of playing Doom while jamming out to the Violent Demise album. Well, just like that Windows NT operating system on my parents’ computer, things have changed a lot in the music industry over the past two decades. Ice-T, however, hasn’t changed a damn bit, and is unapologetically old school on “Manslaughter”.
The album title, according to Ice, is about “the slaughter of manhood”, or how men are unwilling and unable to be REAL men nowadays. This attitude sums up Body Count’s hypermasculine persona perfectly. They are completely over the top, but resonate in a way that you can definitely feel, much like what so-called gangsta rap was capable of doing in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The album opens up with the first single “Talk Shit, Get Shot”, and is about exactly what you would guess it’s about. I highly recommend watching the video, if you haven’t already, it is as over the top as the song itself.
Other highlights include “Pop Bubble”, featuring Jamey from Hatebreed, which is another ferocious indictment on the sorry state of music nowadays, and which has some blistering Ernie C guitar solos; “Back To Rehab”, which updates their song “Street Lobotomy”; the new version of Ice-T’s classic “99 Problems” (yes, Ice-T’s, NOT Jay-Z, know your history); and the cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ classic “Institutionalized”, which updates the original with hilarious verses about nagging wives, the outsourcing of customer service representatives, and self-righteous vegans.
Ice is as potent as ever on this album, and Ernie C. (underrated as ever) has some killer riffs. Juan and Vincent Price are locked in throughout the album, which makes for a super tight rhythm section. The production is superb, and makes this the sonically best BC album since Violent Demise, and arguably ever.
I recommend this to any Body Count fan, Ice-T fan, or fan of aggressive street music in general.