Body Count - Murder 4 Hire DVD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Body Count

Murder 4 Hire 📀 (2005)

Woodhaven Entertainment

During the first season of the Dave Chapelle show, there is a skit known as the "Player Hater's Ball." In the sketch, a rowdy group of "haters" slam each other in every way possible and are honored for their verbal abuse at the award show. From the Buc Nasty (Charlie Murphy) character dishing out rips on Silky Johnson's (Chapelle) fur coat to Silky handing it to right back to him and a slew of celebrities from P. Diddy to Kelly Osbourne and more. During the burlesque, Ice-T is announced as the "Original Player Hater" and the previous "Hater of the Year."

I am here to take that crown from the legendary West Coast rapper. Although Ice-T is often credited for spurring the entire gangster rap genre, his involvement in the hard rock group Body Count is an embarrassment to his storied past. The group's self-titled debut record included a controversial song titled "Cop Killer" that caused enough uproar that Warner Bros. dropped the act from their label even after the record was reissued without the song. Body Count has released two other records on independent labels since their unveiling; however, their popularity has never been much more than a blip on the radar.

The DVD encompasses their 2004 reunion tour across America with stops at clubs and on the Warped Tour. While the live footage is the emphasis of the 90-minute video, there is also a documentary aspect where members of the band and Jello Biafra talk about the group's uprising, reason for starting the group, the Jason masks, "Cop Killer's" impact, and several other topics. While Body Counts music addresses important topics such as racism along with a mix bag of political undertones, they are delivered in such an immature fashion that it is often difficult to take them seriously.

The video footage during the live performance is dry and too dark to clearly view the band. This destroys any intimacy that one could feel with the members on stage. The editing of said video recordings is terribly strung together, with cuts that happen too quickly and too often, which indignant the eyes through the disc's duration. Sound quality is also mediocre for what one could expect on a live DVD.

The special features section is also dire, with a "Crib's" section that solely shows Ice-T talking on his phone about music and the band, along with a photo gallery and additional live footage. Although Warner Bros. pulled "Cop Killer" from store shelves, the band still has the leeway to perform the song live; however, that alone does not make up for how boring Body Count and the Murder 4 Hire DVD are.