Last week, the air was thick with Tiwa Savage – Roc Nation news. Pictures of the Mavin first lady, and her boss Don Jazzy, posted up with Jay Z were plastered all over the internet like the damn thing was about to break.
Unbeknownst to many, there was another talented Nigerian artist in their midst. His name doesn’t carry as much weight as it once did but it’s still worth more than just a mention as the guy who held the camera up for some of those epic pictures. He goes by the name Iceberg Slim.
Ice T, Ice Cube, Ice Prince. The moniker “Ice” has been used and reused by hip-hop artists, but where did it come from? Ice Prince’s story is the least dramatic –
The name “Ice Prince” came in my SS2. Going to St Murumba College in Jos was great for me. I went to school one day wearing a DMX Ruff Ryder chain and it had blings on it.
A new student who just came to my class started calling me ‘Ice’ because he didn’t know my real name; and so ‘Ice’ stuck. I added ‘Prince’ years later (Source).
What about Ice T and Ice Cube? Legend has it that both of them adapted their rap names from a popular American pimp turned author Iceberg Slim whose story as a firm, ice cold sex merchant is an image they were heavily influenced by. Even though Ice Cube disproved that legend here.
That’s where the New York-based Nigerian rapper Iceberg Slim got his rap name from too.
My cousin would always make jokes, calling me a gigolo or pimp, then one day he just said “You’re Iceberg Slim…pimp” And the name just stuck with me ever since.
Of course I’m not a pimp, but I thought the name was catchy and cool, and I was young, anything to get me accepted into the “cool crowd” was definitely worth it. (Source)
However, when he posted his own picture with Hov with the caption below, I began to have a different perspective –
Where’s Iceberg Slim? He was the coldest cat.
That’s a line taken from Jay Z’s record “Kingdom Come”, which is one of a number of references to the pimp in Jay’s music. Slim has never hidden his admiration for Jay Z, he grew up on Hov’s music and he’s said so before. So in that way, even though Iceberg Slim was the person least likely to have walked out of that meeting with a deal, meeting Jay Z was probably a bigger deal for him than anyone else in that entourage.
Unfortunately, Iceberg has fallen so far off the radar that his presence in the meeting was grossly under reported. He’s so forgotten that no one recalls that Phyno straight up jacked his spiky mohawk look and made it his own. A career once so promising with Lyricist on the Roll nominations is now highlighted primarily by this faux-feud with M.I. several years ago.
But they do say, class is permanent and you cannot deny the man’s talent. He’s been consistently trying to reclaim his spot in recent months, with an appearance at Industry Nite and other events. And on the music side, he’s released a number of singles, including an appearance on Olamide’s Who you epp where he explained his disappearance from the scene and a new commercial record with Davido titled “Wave”, where he tried to remind us of the delivery and witty metaphors that made him stand out as a lyricist to keep an eye out for. Hopefully, he doesn’t walk away from everything again just when the public is getting reacquainted and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I’m sorry, I just had to do it.
Feature image credit – Instagram