Episode 174: Body Count with Ben Apatoff

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. 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.

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