When Ice-T went big, he went utterly massive.
And perhaps his most massive jam was the probably-not-completely-apocryphal “Midnight,” an utterly riveting travelog centering on a skirmish in the gang wars that he often chronicled.
“Midnight” was also one of his more successful rap/metal fusions — I never really liked Body Count, his out-and-out thrash band — welding the doomy riff of Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” to John Bonham’s crazy stupid fly slamming beat from “When The Levee Breaks.”
Now, of course, “When The Levee Breaks” is an all-time classic sample — I first heard it powering The Beastie Boys’ “Rhymin’ and Stealin'” and Beyonce just used it on Lemonade — and Ice-T himself used “Black Sabbath” on his previous record.
But together they were perfect for a track that Ice-T described as a “walk through hell.” A cinematic depiction of a night that went from zero to holy fuck! in a record period of time, “Midnight” puts in the middle of a shootout and car chase never knowing what’s going to happen next.
We boned down Vernon
Right on Normandie
Left on Florence
Gettin’ thru the E.T.G.’s
Spun out on Vermont
Made a left on Colden
Right on Hoover
“E where we goin’?”
He didn’t even answer that
Checked the rear view
They were still out back
Where were these brothers from?
What made these brothers come?
Bang! Our back window
Was removed by a shotgun
The panic in his voice during that verse makes one thing perfectly clear: we’re all going to die tonight, and we don’t even know why.
And while the sound effects that accompany the track are sometimes over the top — especially the horror movie scream after the first verse — they also add to the cinema verite feel that makes “Midnight” such a thrill ride.
And in fact, that’s how Ice-T gets away with a video that is little more than him rapping the song into a camera.
Official video for “Midnight”
Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page