Rapper Ice-T answered a few questions from the red carpet before the Sundance premiere of "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap." The film is part of the Documentary Premieres category.
What sort of insights are you hoping that audience members will gain from this film?
I just think that the whole art form of rap is something people don't know. I just think you kinda know that we can be stupid, I think you know we can buy nice cars and we can end up in the MTV Crib, but they don't know what work goes into it. Like how do we come up with the music, what's the creative process. And I think you'll understand that a lot of these artists that you think are so crazy, aren't. I just think you'll get a more in-depth understanding of rap music.
Describe your creative process?
I get inspired from a lot of different things. I have people walk up to me on the street and say, 'you need to rap about this.' And I'll take it to heart. You know, there's something going on right now, I speak on it. It might only be a verse but I'll hear it. Other times, I'll listen to music and music will start to talk to me and you'll hear it and it'll say something, it'll say, "oh, this is a dark song, or this is a sinister song. It's a lot of different ways but I gotta get quiet. Coco knows it gets quiet and then I put on the headphones and I make an announcement, and I say, "I'm about to write a record," and she doesn't come around until I'm done.
You said that you went to your friends, but I am sure you have quite a few, so how did you narrow that down to the artists that you did feature?
It was complicated because we started out with like 15 artists, next thing you know we had 30, next thing you know we had 54. And I had about 20 people on line ready go. So, we had to stop it. And the most difficult thing about this film is editing it. We had a three hour cut and this is a 2 hour cut, you're gonna see. So we still had to really cut it down. It's hard.
I go back to "Law and Order." "Ice Loves Coco" just finsihed shooting its second season, actually they're getting some of the Sundance events. You know, they kind of follow what's going on in your life and catch it. But, we're just trying to stay busy, you know, keep in it. I don't know what my next move will be but you know, they say that a journey of a million miles starts with one foot. This is a big step here and I can't wait for the music to come on.