Ice-T doesn’t get enough love in the hip hop world. A gangsta rap pioneer and one of the most influential West Coast artists of all time, Ice-T’s run in the ’80s is legendary.
The track “6 in the Mornin'”, off Ice-T’s 1987 debut album Rhyme Pays, was especially important to the culture and considered the first gangsta rap record.
However, in later interviews speaking about the record, Ice-T explained that he was inspired by Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D and in particular the track, “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?” It’s crazy to think the whole West Coast gangsta rap subgenre got kicked off by a Philly rap record.
Here’s the exact chronological order of what really went down: The first record that came out along those lines was Schooly D’s “P.S.K.” Then the syncopation of that rap was used by me when I made “6 in the Mornin'”. The vocal delivery was the same: “P.S.K. is makin’ that green”, “six in the morning, police at my door”. When I heard that record I was like “Oh shit!” and call it a bite or what you will but I dug that record. My record didn’t sound like P.S.K., but I liked the way he was flowing with it. P.S.K. was talking about Park Side Killers but it was very vague. That was the only difference, when Schooly did it, it was “one by one, I’m knockin’ em out”. All he did was represent a gang on his record. I took that and wrote a record about guns, beating people down, and all that with Six In The Morning.Ice T Interview | Davey D