Ice-T was shocked to discover everything on a music video set is "fake" as a young rapper.

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actor recalled how he was stunned by the amount of artifice when he started making videos following the release of his debut album in 1987.

"The biggest thing that surprised me about music was you could lie. I mean, I was watching music videos, I'm like, 'Oh, that's their house. That's their car. That's their girl.' Then when I got in there, like, 'Oh, you can rent a car.' MTV Cribs, 'You don't have to have this house, we'll put you in a house that's not yours.' I'm like, 'This is all fake, you know.' And I didn't know that. And when I got in there, you know, I always had to use my own cars."

Ice-T, real name Tracy Marrow, used the cover of his 1988 album Power as an example of his how naïve he was about the industry. The posed with his girlfriend at the time, Darlene Ortiz, and his own guns.

"That's my son's mom, Darlene, those are my guns, and that was my life at that time, you know? And, hey, I didn't know you could lie. I was like, what?" the star recalled. "(On other music video sets) they'll come and put jewellery on you for the video, and then take it back. Or you got all the girls in the jacuzzi, and their boyfriends are sitting right out of frame, waiting on them, like... So, I was coming from a real world, Steve. I didn't know about this. Show business is so fake."