The Semiotics of Ice-T
Innocent Rebellion. An inchoate rapper, the young, well-groomed Ice-T reflects the contemporary style of the 1980s, complete with expensive jacket and (not fully pictured) iconic Mercedes necklace. He has chosen to add the affectation of a black beret. This hat indicates an interest in the political ideals of the Black Panther movement, if not a direct allegiance to this cause. The juxtaposition of symbols of wealth with symbols of resistance suggest a commercialization of uprising. Capitalism, like water, flows down, finding the lowest point and exploiting it.
Body Count Ice-T
Existential Menace. Violence is conveyed by Ice-T's posture and manner of dress. He wears a do-rag, dark sunglasses and a leather jacket. Common garb of gang members. Beneath his jacket (and on the other members of his band) we see prison uniforms, as if the band are inmates escaped from a prison. Ice-T threatens not only the individual body but the societal body. He suggests through lyrics and symbolism that freedom, like William Blake's divine infinite, requires destruction. Ice-T describes a world upended, wherein what most perceive as order is actually oppression and only by directly confronting the pillars of this order (police, KKK parents, etc), by shooting them while they are eating donuts or having sex with their daughters, can we escape to perfect freedom.