The Iceman Goeth

The rapper and his label agree to disagree -- and to split

WHEN THE SONG COP KILLER, BY RAPPER ICE-T'S group Body Count, brought the wrath of police -- not to mention Charlton Heston and Oliver North -- down on Warner Bros. Records and its parent company, Time Warner, the entertainment giant defended its artist's right to free expression. But it began taking a harder look at its albums, rejecting, for example, the work of the rapper Paris.

That tougher scrutiny has now sidelined Ice-T himself. Last week Warner Bros. said he had agreed to leave the label because of "creative differences." By all accounts, the dispute centered on the cover art for...

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