Monday, June 13, 2011

Ice Loves Coco

I have to preface this before I get in to the show proper. I was terrified of this idea when I first saw the commercials. I grew up on Ice-T. I know most of his catalog - including the work with Body Count - inside and out, for the most part. I own his book, The Ice Opinion, and have read it a few times. I’ve been a huge fan of ”the epitome of antidisestablishmentarianism” for well over 20 years.

All that in mind, of course I’m well aware of his relationship with Coco. I’ve actually met both Ice and Coco down in Tampa a little over seven years ago. Both were as gracious and cool as you’d imagine them being. Looking in from the outside (because that’s all any of us are doing, really), she seems to have made a huge difference in Ice’s life and happiness.

But, does that difference mean taming Ice? Is he the doting-husband-cum-corporate-sellout? Even considering a project like E!’s “Ice Loves Coco” would certainly seem to indicate that, much less making the reality show a reality that premiered Sunday, June 12. That’s why I was terrified of this whole idea - Ice-T being on the same network as the Kardashians (who rank right up there with Paris Hilton in the “why are they popular again?” category) and participating in a reality show that shows his relationship instead of something like, say, his directorial debut documentary he’s working on (The Art Of Rap) made me fear for the worst. But, in knowing how Ice rolls, that may have been an error in judgment.

After seeing the first episode (as well as the preview show they aired in the week leading up to it), I'm relieved to know that Ice knows what he's doing and that E! is on board with it. As indicated, Coco has made a difference in Ice’s happiness, but that doesn’t mean he’s become a punk over it. They're equals. On the same page. Neither plays second fiddle. His interaction with Coco on the show is a man in love with his wife, but who’s still...well, he’s Ice-T.

Take all the Bunnies out of the equation and he’s this generation’s Hugh Hefner. Ice is the epitome of cool. He has what every straight guy wants in Coco and he is what every guy wants to be. “Ice Loves Coco” opens the door to that idea for viewers. Many have seen Ice and Coco out and about on TMZ, Heyman Hustle, and all the other sites and each time they have, the overall thought is mostly the same - “Man, that Ice-T is a cool dude.”

I almost typed “a lucky dude” there, but that would have been horribly inaccurate. Many people point at Jay-Z as the ultimate “ne’er-do-good-made-good” but, to me, Ice has him beat. A few times over. This is a guy that lost his parents at a relatively young age and was a shot-caller (look it up) for the Crips at age 14. He overcame all that and a little more to become one of the most successful men on the planet - and all of it was self-made. Early on in his career, Ice made it a goal to show others that had no hope how to not only escape the dead-end life of the ghetto, but to make it out on top. The “sell-out” accusations are null and void for that reason; selling out indicates an abandonment of principles for the sake of money and fame. Ice not only did what he originally set out to do, but to this day has never lost sight of where he came from and who he is in the process. That’s been in the case ever since his first acting gig as a cop in New Jack City - which he pulled off so well that all the outrage that came from the initial announcement shut right the hell up once the movie made money. This show, so far, is another great example of Ice branching out in to new territory - the same territory that helped him escape a doomed path and also show others the way to do it. And E! is certainly one of the most unlikely places you’d think to look for it.

The show also displays a side of Coco we’re not used to seeing - that of a human being. Men look at her proportions and can’t want to get to the nearest bathroom. Women decry how fake it all looks. The show recognizes her physical appearance (how can it not?), but also focuses more on her personality and her interaction with her man. I’m glad to see that this side of Coco - which I’ve seen in person - now come out to the forefront so the general public can see it and maybe not focus so much on her ass.

All in all, the show doesn’t seem to be at all what I was so afraid of. E!, thank God, is straying away from the “OMGDrama” of the typical reality show and is simply showing one of the most notorious couples in the world just being a couple. If you want to get to know both Tracy Morrow and Nicole Austin, “Ice Loves Coco” is actually a pretty good way to do that. I’m actually looking forward now to watching the rest of the season.

No comments: