Across The Margin : The Podcast explores one of the most controversial bands in the history of music through an interview with Body Count 33 ⅓ author, Ben Apatoff…
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This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast features an interview with author Ben Apatoff, whose writing has appeared in Alternative Press, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, Metal Injection, MetalSucks, Daily News, The Deli, Electric Literature, Beyond Race, Outburn and MLB.com. He is the author of Metallica: The $24.95 Book (2021). His latest book — the 33 ⅓ dedicated to Bodycount’s Bodycount — is the focus of this episode.
On Ice-T’s 1991 classic O.G. Original Gangster, he introduced his all-Black hardcore band Body Count, with lead guitarist Ernie C, and later brought them on the first-ever Lollapalooza tour that summer. The next year, Body Count’s self-titled debut album made them the most incendiary band in the world, confronting white supremacy and police brutality with pulverizing songs that shattered musical boundaries. Body Count‘s rage and shock humor sparked nationwide protests and boycotts, including death threats, censure from the federal government, a spot on the FBI National Threat list, and a denunciation by the President of the United States. The album was removed from stores and remains banned to this day, but decades later Body Count are performing to their biggest audiences and greatest acclaim, pulling off one of the most remarkable comebacks in punk or metal history.
Drawn from years of research and dozens of new interviews, Apatoff’s book tells the story of a band of high school friends who revolutionized modern music, brought explosive live performances, and raised questions America’s lawmakers didn’t want to answer, overcoming some of the country’s most powerful forces to reshape the world’s cultural conversation.
In this episode host Michael Shields and Ben Apatoff expound upon just how fast Ice-T’s fame was amplifying before the “Cop Killer” controversy boiled over. They talk about how the controversy began, how it swelled to a level no other music industry artist faced prior, and explore the fallout of the dispute on Ice-T, Bodycount, and Time Warner. The discuss the genius of guitarist/producer Ernie Cunningham, Body Count’s enduring legacy, and how Body Count, ultimately, outlasted the politicians that scorned them and the record stores that banned them.