People's Party

Lollapalooza Founder Perry Farrell Remembers The Difficulty Of Getting Ice-T On The Festival

On the latest episode of Uproxx’s People’s Party With Talib Kweli, the host sits down with Perry Farrell, the frontman of Jane’s Addiction and the founder of Lollapalooza in Chicago. Of course, the discussion touches on both the legendary and influential Jane’s Addiction and Perry’s current solo project, Kind Heaven, as well as the impact and importance of Lollapalooza. On the subject of the first-ever Lolla, Kweli wonders if it would be possible for Farrell to book Ice-T and his band Body Count in the modern political climate, given how controversial both were back in 1991.

“I had a hard time getting him to jump on stage at Lollapalooza because I was getting all kinds of heat, ‘Like are you sure you want to do that?'” he admits. “There was a danger to it… You know what, I was pretty reckless, but I felt it was right to do.” Although Kweli notes that the pair had performed Sly And The Family Stone’s 1969 psychedelic soul song “Don’t Call Me N—r, Whitey,” Farrell is quick to point out that Ice-T received a huge backlash from his own song “Cop Killer,” which was then the focus of — ironically — an anti-rap campaign led by conservative commentators that also included NWA’s “F*ck The Police.”

Kweli and Farrell note that songs like that still have their place in modern times since, in Farrell’s view, “We need people to serve and protect us — they forget the ‘serve’ part a lot. The ‘protect’ part… they’re riding the line back and forth.” Kweli also calls their performance of Sly And The Family Stone’s song “revolutionary” before the conversation swings around into protest music and its importance. Check out the full interview above and subscribe to Uproxx Video on Youtube to see future episodes of People’s Party With Talib Kweli as they premiere.