Ice exits WB

Controversial rapper/actor Ice-T and Sire/Warner Bros. Records have parted ways, and master tapes for his next album, “Home Invasion,” which was to be released next month, have been returned to the artist.

In a terse statement released late yesterday, the label said that “by mutual agreement,” Ice-T, whose lyrics sparked police protests against Time Warner across the country last year, had been granted unconditional release from his Sire/WB contract.

The release also applies to the rapper’s heavy metal group Body Count.

Neither Ice-T nor his representatives could be reached for comment.

“The decision to end this seven-year relationship was a difficult one for all concerned, but in the final analysis, we believe that this was the best way to resolve our creative differences,” WB Records board chairman Mo Ostin said in the label’s announcement. “The collaborative process between the label and the artist has traditionally been a private one, and we will continue to honor that privacy. We wish Ice-T all the best.”

The song “Cop Killer” from the album “Body Count” sparked a nationwide furor and calls for boycotts of label parent Time Warner by police, members of Congress and other critics that resulted in the rapper voluntarily removing the song from that album.

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