Original Label: Warner Bros.
New Label: Priority Records
Why They Left: The release of Ice T's controversial side project with Body Count became a political lightning rod—and liability for his label. "Cop Killer" ended up killing Ice T's contract with Warner Brothers, too. While at one time, the label had a hands-off attitude towards gangster rap, this metal song—which, it should be noted, wasn't even rap music—provoked so much outrage that his label freaked. Ice T ended up backing down on the song, and agreed to remove it from his album, after months of pressure. But when it came time to release his next album, skittish record execs were again concerned about the cover art the LP, entitled Home Invasion. They pushed his release date back and said the cover art was unacceptable. Ice T had folded once; now his artistic freedom was being severely hampered. He requested release from the label in January, 1993.
Career After They Left: After his release from Warner, Ice T was picked up for a pressing and distribution deal by the independent Priority Records. Now it was on Ice T to deal with his own promotion. He successfully released Home Invasion (with original artwork) in March of 1993; the album was met with scathing reviews, many from critics upset that he had folded under pressure for "Cop Killer." In addition, many larger record stores were no longer stocking Ice T's records, concerned over "Cop Killer" fallout. Home Invasion was hurt by these retail limitations, debuting at No. 14 and falling from that point. Ice T ended up finding more luck outside of music thereafter; his most high-profile entertainment gig was playing a cop on Law and Order: SVU.