Veteran rapper turned actor, Tracy “Ice-T” Marrow was known for his cutting lyrics about his harsh upbringing in California. His mother died of a heart attack when he was in third grade. He was then raised by his father for four years, with help from a housekeeper, but when he turned 12 years old, Ice-T’s father, Solomon died of a heart attack. These events led him to look at his health, and other men like him, a little more seriously.
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While Ice-T and fellow MC, Chubb Rock never collaborated as emcees, the two Hip Hop artists are launching a foundation together. According to reports, their Male Awareness Foundation was founded by Ice and Chubb, along with veteran music manager Mickey Bentson, his wife, Toya Bentson and Dr. Annie Ford.
The foundation promotes health through cancer screenings, specifically testicular, colon, pancreatic, oral and other forms of the disease. “A lot of issues can be addressed with early detection. Our mission is to encourage everyone to get screened on a regular basis.” said Male Awareness Foundation Co-Founder Mickey Bentson said.
Mentioned on their website, the Male Awareness Foundation (MAF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men and boys where they live, work, play, and pray with sickness prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational material, advocacy opportunities, and patient referrals. The Male Awareness Foundation will begin with mobile promotions in New England as well as New Jersey.
After high school, Ice joined the Army and served as a ranger in the 25th Infantry. He did not enjoy the experience explaining “I didn’t like total submission to a leader other than myself.” After four years, (1981) he returned to his streets in LA with intentions of being a dance promoter.
Yet, after coming full circle with his multi-platinum albums, movies, documentaries and playing a police officer for over 10 years on the long-running television show, Law & Order, Ice-T now counts himself as a mentor and family man and wants other men to be alive and around for their families like him.