Ice-T has revealed how rap music helped save him from prison or death.
The hip-hop star and director of new film Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap admitted that he was headed down a destructive path, but finding his musical talents gave him a new direction in life.
"It detoured me from my path. I was very negative, I was in the streets doing nothing that would have put me where I am today, I was gonna end up in prison or dead. So when I found a way where I could be known for doing something positive, of course I took that path," he said.
Ice-T, whose real name is Tracy Marrow, previously sold drugs, robbed banks and was a gang member.
"My friends that didn't take that path, most of them are on Death Row or dead," he continued.
"So I know for a fact that I was one of those kids that was really pushing the line of negativity, and rap gave me a voice and a way to get it off my chest. When I came out, people said I was really angry and aggressive, but it was either that or act it out."
The 54-year-old, who is married to swimsuit model Coco Austin, now wants society to help vulnerable children.
"I think all kids are victims of circumstances and opportunity. I had options, so don't throw in the towel on some of these kids. Every person wants to be special in some way and if you're not going to be special for doing something good, a lot of kids turn to 'negative' to be seen," he said.
:: Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap and the accompanying soundtrack are out now.