Skip

Drop that zero and get with the hero.
November 29, 2009 12:47 PM   Subscribe


 
Cryogenics may be a neat idea, but it is hardly a brand new invention.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:49 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel like reading this will make me dumber, and I'm already dumb enough.
posted by xmutex at 12:53 PM on November 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


In just over a year, Ice was out of the spotlight, replaced by darker, ultraserious acts like Nirvana. The feel-good dance-along sounds soon gave way to Tupac Shakur and gangsta rap.

Who were then replaced by Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, N'Sync and everyone else that showed up with Carson Daly on TRL just in time to make my teeth hurt from the sweetness. So you'll forgive this old fart for pointing out that things are always cyclical.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:56 PM on November 29, 2009 [14 favorites]


It's actually a well-written and enjoyable article. Thanks for posting this, porn in the woods.

It did not make me feel dumber in the slightest, except by revealing Rob van Winkle is perhaps not the fool he was made out to be, which did a major number on my "at least I'm not as dumb as Vanilla Ice" metric.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:57 PM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Mr. Ice came by the nightclub where I work security a few weeks ago. His party ordered a bottle ($300) and I was all like, "Damn, where'd homeboy get that kind of scrilla?!?" It turned out he wasn't paying so then I was all like, "Damn, what kind of fool takes Vanilla Ice out fror a night on the town?!?"

Whatever. Coolio was nicer.
posted by item at 12:59 PM on November 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


which did a major number on my "at least I'm not as dumb as Vanilla Ice" metric.

Yep, not long ago I caught a 'Where Are They Now?' feature on MuchMusic where they interviewed V.I. One of the questions was about regrets, and he kind of chuckled and said that while everyone else was blowing their one hit wonder profits on drugs and other useless stuff he went out and invested all of his.

I actually think that when I saw that show was within the same week someone here on Metafilter linked to that interview of Fred Durst on .... was it Tom Green's show? Either way the same thing happened with him and I was left in a state of confusion over which celebrity to look down on. I guess that's why the general public keeps Kanye around and on the charts.
posted by mannequito at 1:05 PM on November 29, 2009


I'm sorry-- the "unknowing innocence of another time"? Are they fucking kidding?
posted by jokeefe at 1:08 PM on November 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


Cool As Ice deserves a DVD release! That movie is very special...
posted by ph00dz at 1:08 PM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Shit, I miss a lot of things about 1990, but Vanilla Ice sure as hell ain't one.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2009 [13 favorites]


Mass murders are nothing new. Economic despair might be pushing it a bit. Come on, lets focus on what's been achieved since 1990; every generation can lament on their present day problems, it takes courage and intelligence to build on our strengths.
posted by deticxe at 1:16 PM on November 29, 2009


"The name Vanilla Ice evokes the sweet charm, the unknowing innocence of another time. In a world of school shootings, mass murders, endless wars, and economic despair, we miss that time."

No we don't. Some of us see nostalgia for what it is.
posted by el_lupino at 1:16 PM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Vegetarians eat eggs for breakfast?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:23 PM on November 29, 2009


That was a lot more charming than it had any right to be.
posted by runehog at 1:26 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Vegetarians eat eggs for breakfast?

Unless they're vegans, why not?
posted by Slothrup at 1:29 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did they live through a different early nineties than I did? An innocent time? Only if you forgot about the first Iraq War, Crack, a nasty recession, civil war in Yugoslavia and about a million other bad things that were going on around the world twenty years ago.
posted by octothorpe at 1:29 PM on November 29, 2009 [12 favorites]


"Vegetarians eat eggs for breakfast?

Unless they're vegans, why not?"


I don't know. I was under the impression eggs were verboten.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:30 PM on November 29, 2009


"Whatever the reason, within days of its release, "Ice Ice Baby" gripped America tightly, unleashing a wave of consumption like no song before or since."

Yeah, it was way hotter than anything Elvis, the Beatles, or Madonna ever did. Ever. Michael Jackson, Prince and Britney Houston wish they could get half of the airplay that Ice Ice Baby got.

Lady Gaga and Kanye West can only dream of the media saturation that was available in 1990.

Moby had that album on which every song (just about) was licensed for commercials; freaking amateur.
posted by oddman at 1:31 PM on November 29, 2009


The name Vanilla Ice evokes the sweet charm, the unknowing innocence of another time.

The name "Milli Vanilli" conjures up a golden-tinged fin-de-siecle moment of langour and ennui.

The name "Starland Vocal Band" brings to mind a glorious summer of danger and romance in post-war Berlin.

The single word "Urkel" takes one back to a sun-drenched summer of knowing innocence, when all the world seemed new and open, ripe for the taking.

Seriously, WTF? Is James Lipton short of cash and taking freelance work?
posted by PlusDistance at 1:37 PM on November 29, 2009 [42 favorites]


So if I'm reading this correctly, Ice is back and his brand new invention is nostalgia?
posted by TBAcceptor at 1:38 PM on November 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


I don't know. I was under the impression eggs were verboten.

Vegans don't eat eggs, but some vegetarians do.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 1:39 PM on November 29, 2009


Where does Vanilla Ice make his money these days? In South African beer commercials of course!
posted by PenDevil at 1:41 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lady Gaga and Kanye West can only dream of the media saturation that was available in 1990.

You're not wrong, but I do think there is an increasing density of niche-ization (I'm sure there's a better word) that enables people to ignore stuff that, in years past, would have been more ubiquitous. I'm fairly certain I've never heard Lady Gaga, and even if I have, she just sort of faded into the background. If you played ten songs for me I don't think I'd be able to pick out the Lady Gaga song. I haven't heard a new Britney Spears song since "Oops I Did It Again," and I don't think I heard Kanye until a friend made me a mix with a bunch of his songs on it (which I loved).

The farther back you go, the fewer choices there were, and the easier it was for a lot of people to get into one thing. I don't think the memories of your Elvises and your MJs and your Madonnas will persist because they were necessarily better (although, pop-wise, you don't get much better than those three), but because it's easier for a larger group of people to remain ignorant to their modern equivalents.
posted by hifiparasol at 1:44 PM on November 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


> The farther back you go, the fewer choices there were, and the easier it was for a lot of people to get into one thing.

Lester Bangs said it best: "I can guarantee you one thing - we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis."
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:53 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Van Winkle isn't even the best Vanilla in music history. That honor would go to these guys.
posted by jonmc at 1:56 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Cool As Ice deserves a DVD release! That movie is very special...

With cinematography by Janusz Kaminski!
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:58 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


True story. When I was a college radio DJ, one of us was picked to go interview Vanilla Ice when he played a casino. My friend got the honor.

Vanilla Ice kept interrupting the interview to correct my friend, "Yo, it's V-Ice, not Vanilla Ice. V-Ice, got it?" and my friend just had a ball with the thing. "So do you mind if I call you Vanilla? Yes? Ok, can I call you Vee? Well, Vee, this is the part of the interview where we turn off the lights and see if you glow."

He walked out on the interview.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:59 PM on November 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


I'm probably one of a very select group of people who sat out "To The Extreme" but then a year later picked up "Extremely Live", his live album. To this day I have no idea what I was thinking, but there you go. As Tammy Baker apparently said: "We are who we are because of who we were."
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:00 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, how have we not mentioned this little gem yet?
posted by hifiparasol at 2:07 PM on November 29, 2009


I admit it, I enjoyed Vanilla Ice and I still have "Ice Ice Baby" on one of my current playlists. I remember the silliness of the sampling controversy and the MTV interview when he tried desperately to convince people that he hadn't used the riff from "Under Pressure" because his version had one extra beat, dammit! It was interesting to read the article's take on it:

But by age 16, he was trying. He spent hours with his friends, writing short rhymes. One day, while going through some of his brother's records, he sampled a riff from the David Bowie/Queen hit "Under Pressure." He recorded some simple lyrics about his rapping prowess — "flow like a harpoon, daily and nightly" — and mixed in South Florida references like "A1A Beachfront Avenue" and "Miami's on the scene, just in case you didn't know it." He used an old African-American fraternity chant for the hook: "Ice, ice, baby!" The entire thing took only a few hours.

Reading further:

He was sued by Queen and David Bowie for using their song without permission. He defended his beat in an infamous video clip — "Theirs goes ding-ding-ding dada ding-ding, and mine goes ding-ding-ding dada ding-ding dink" — but eventually paid them $4 million.
posted by amyms at 2:10 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


MC Hammer, who was just as pop-ular as him was around before and after him, so it's not like he started or ended that period of music.
I believe he spent a few years partying and doing drugs before he got rid of his entourage, took what the had left and opened a business or two.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:20 PM on November 29, 2009


"Theirs goes ding-ding-ding dada ding-ding, and mine goes ding-ding-ding dada ding-ding dink"

Jesus built my hotrod, it's a love affair, mainly Jesus and the hotrod.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:20 PM on November 29, 2009 [9 favorites]


How have we not yet mentioned Vanilla Ice's line of bacon products?
posted by MikeHarris at 2:21 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


All of you guys are haters. Word to your MOTHER.
posted by Bageena at 2:30 PM on November 29, 2009


I think it's pretty cool how the Van Winkle family will gather around the TV and break out the video of Cool as Ice. His daughters love horses, which are prominently featured in the movie, along with Stüssy T-shirts, Naomi Campbell and Family Ties' Michael Gross.

I love how the tagline "When a girl has a heart of stone, there's only one way to melt it. Just add Ice" makes no goddamn sense, thereby preparing you for 90 minutes which also make no goddamn sense.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:32 PM on November 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


I think a lot of us remember that "extra beat" line from him - I wonder if MTV and other people played that clip of his so much a lot of us got it drilled into our heads.
posted by jscott at 2:32 PM on November 29, 2009


It was right then I decided I needed to start living for me. I kicked everybody out of my house. I wanted to start everything over."

Or I guess I could've just read the article. Some of their timeline for rap music is a bit skewed though. Not bad, it's an easy sunday read.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:33 PM on November 29, 2009


I remember the first time I saw his video. I immediately called my music buddy. "I just saw this guy's video, I totally, totally hate it" I said. "Vanilla Ice" he responded.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:37 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]




Shit, I remember seeing that live. Chris Kattan shitting his pants is the best part.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:56 PM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anything less than the best is a felony.
posted by ColdChef at 2:56 PM on November 29, 2009


Er, not live, I presume. The first time it aired.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:56 PM on November 29, 2009


Let's not forget what was clearly V-Ice's crowning achievement.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:58 PM on November 29, 2009


This reminds me heavily of an old article about Axl Rose's post-fame life that I wouldn't be possibly able to find, I reckon. (This isn't it.) The setting was a neighborhood Haloween party Axl was throwing for the kids and for their parents to hang out, and his sedated attitude, wounded, trying to mesh his celebrity with a somewhat normal life. Of course, there was also domestic abuse mixed into it, as there is with Rob Van Winkle, whitewashed by the articles but still there, a part of what makes these men who they are.

I don't want to talk too much about domestic violence here, as Dee Extrovert shut me down conclusively the other day in the Patrick Stewart thread for the fact that I didn't know what the fuck I'm talking about there. I'll just say that I wouldn't be shocked by the meteoric rise to fame followed by a just-as-quick drop causing many of the same symptoms that we see in PTSD, and leave it at that.

Instead, I'll say that, all snark here aside, Vanilla Ice was the biggest one-hit-wonder we've seen in our lifetimes, and that's what this article shows us. He's a guy who, at a very young age, did one silly song which on the one hand made him enough money (and continues to do so) to live very comfortably, and on the other hand stunted his entire life because he will be forever iconic of a flash-in-the-pan image between the "everything is new!" aesthetic of the '80s and the grunge, "raw is real" aesthetic of the '90s. He's Bush 41 summed up in a song he came up with when he was 16.

I was about 10 when "Ice Ice Baby" hit, and it was strangely unlike anything we were hearing at the time, as children just getting into pop music. Of course, M.C. Hammer was out there, and we adored him as well, but Vanilla Ice was like Hammer, but edgier. If the article gets anything wrong, it's whe it claims that having a white face on things made rap "safer" for suburbia. In suburban Houston, Hammer was welcomed, and Vanilla Ice was met with wary glares. It was, indeed, a different time.

I remember going to TNMT:2 with my friends, and while we were excited about everything surrounding it, the Vanilla Ice cameo took the cake. We all were hoping for "Play That Funky Music, Green Boy." It didn't matter. He was, for a split-second in Warhol terms, the voice of a very young generation who didn't know better.

I'm glad he's happy now. I'm more glad that he seems to have worked out his issues and is (good god I hope) no longer beating his wife. I love that "Ninja Rap" is his daughters' favorite, as it means that it still touches something in my own childhood as timeless.

Of course he's not perfect - he's Vanilla Ice, for christ's sakes - but he's the guy who has to live with Vanilla Ice for the rest of his life, and that is, to me at least, pretty fascinating.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:03 PM on November 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


So I kind of missed this whole period of music history. Am I to understand that this guy invented rap music and African American singers stole the idea from him? Because if that's the case, it's the exact opposite of what usually happens. Rock and roll, for instance, was first invented by African Americans, and Phil Collins and others like him just stole it from them. Many the pioneers of rock and roll were not even paid. But it's good to see that sometimes this trend goes in the opposite direction.
posted by Faze at 3:07 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


tl;dr: "It was a million dollars. I'd lick my mother's asshole for a million dollars."
posted by klanawa at 3:10 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Vanilla Ice kept interrupting the interview to correct my friend, "Yo, it's V-Ice, not Vanilla Ice. V-Ice, got it?" and my friend just had a ball with the thing. "So do you mind if I call you Vanilla? Yes? Ok, can I call you Vee? Well, Vee, this is the part of the interview where we turn off the lights and see if you glow."
It's easy to to make fun of Vanilla Ice. The real gold standard would have been to do the interview totally straight.

"So you're going by V-Ice now. Tell me about that."

Ice Ice Baby (and Hammer Time) are good time capsules of pop-music. Both are on my "awesome" playlist (for songs that are "awesome")
posted by device55 at 3:14 PM on November 29, 2009


"These things tend to go in cycles," says Vanilla Ice's manager, Tommy Quon, "and that time in history, the period when Rob was the biggest, seems to be cycling around and getting popular again."

If by that you mean whenever VI convinces someone to run a "where are they now?" story on him every four or five years, then yes, the VI cyclical marketing pitch seems to be popular, with Rob, again.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last that Mr. Van Winkle tries to pitch the "I wish I wasn't Vanilla Ice, yet will you hire me to do Vanilla Ice shit?" angle. And apparently it works.

See you again in four or five years.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:15 PM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ahhh, Cool as Ice... I remember more about that movie than I should. Yep yep. 'Cuz nothin' says sexy like practically breaking a girl's collarbone in a horseback riding accident, openly stalking her and then breaking and entering into her bedroom, shoving ice into her mouth while she sleeps.

Now *there's* some old fashioned movie romance! Squeee!
posted by miss lynnster at 3:28 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


tl;dr: "It was a million dollars. I'd lick my mother's asshole for a million dollars."

Hmm, well maybe I would too, but I'd have to see the million dollars first. And meet his mother.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:32 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I loved Ice Ice Baby then, and I love it now. It's my stone cold favorite 'everyone else thinks this is shit' record And the wisdom of age makes me comfortable with that fact.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:36 PM on November 29, 2009


Vanilla Ice could cure cancer with one hand while solving world poverty with the other and I'd still call him a no-talent asshole.

Cuz that's just how I roll, G.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:38 PM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I didn't know too much about VI besides ice ice baby and TMNT until years later when I bought a bloodhound gang album where it was announced on a track that "this is bloodhound gang and rob van winkle on this one". My reaction was "who the fuck is rob van winkle? That's not a rap name." I had to look him up to figure out it was VI. I think this was the period where he was doing hardcore raprock. Which sucked.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:40 PM on November 29, 2009


Love V-Ice or hate him, there's one thing we all can agree upon:

At least he's not Snow.

Who, you may remember, named his album 12 Inches of Snow.

12 Inches.
Of Snow.

I mean, kudos to you, Mr. Snow, for the witty double entendre...but really, aren't you just focusing everybody's attention on the fact that your...album...is likely no more than an EP?

A-licky-boom-boom-down.
posted by PlusDistance at 3:46 PM on November 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


Am I to understand that this guy invented rap music and African American singers stole the idea from him?

You are not to understand that. It existed for ten years in various before he came around, didn't do a whole lot, and had little to no lasting impact.
posted by ofthestrait at 3:47 PM on November 29, 2009


Thanks to Jim Carrey, whenever I think of Vanilla Ice, I think of this.
posted by bwg at 4:14 PM on November 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


I was kind of feeling some empathy for him and thinking he was an okay guy until
I'd lick my mother's asshole for a million dollars
and
Their daughters — Dusti Rain, 12, and Keelee Breeze, 10
and of course the whole beating up his wife a bunch of times thing.
posted by chococat at 4:16 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


He was sued by Queen and David Bowie for using their song without permission.

And to think Roger Taylor always maintained he could have had the riff for free if only he'd asked nicely beforehand...

Ahhh, Cool as Ice... I remember more about that movie than I should. Yep yep. 'Cuz nothin' says sexy like practically breaking a girl's collarbone in a horseback riding accident, openly stalking her and then breaking and entering into her bedroom , shoving ice into her mouth while she sleeps.

Now *there's* some old fashioned movie romance! Squeee!


So Twilight's not just crap, it's plagarized crap, is that what you're telling me?
posted by rodgerd at 4:26 PM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry-- the "unknowing innocence of another time"?

I'll bet the author is around 35-40, which means that at least on his personal timeline, that's what this music would invoke by sheer youth if for no other reason. I don't miss much of what was in the top 40 circa 1990, but who doesn't miss being 20 years younger sometimes?

Though if you are looking at things like school shootings and actively/publicly fought wars, there's a pretty good (and apersonal) case to be made that the trend since around 1990 is negative, and a little nostalgia for a time where it looked like we were winning the cold war and we were far away enough from Vietnam we could maybe think we weren't going to do anything like that again makes some sense, even if it's nostalgia.
posted by weston at 4:26 PM on November 29, 2009


I'll bet the author is around 35-40

Hey. HEY!
posted by device55 at 4:29 PM on November 29, 2009


I can't find a reference, but one wrestler, when looking for the gimmick for the most universally hatable persona, just imitated Vanilla Ice.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:32 PM on November 29, 2009


Men gets rich; suffers psychological trauma as a result; comes to terms with it years later. Truly a precis of the human condition.
posted by GuyZero at 4:43 PM on November 29, 2009



I can't find a reference, but one wrestler, when looking for the gimmick for the most universally hatable persona, just imitated Vanilla Ice.


PN News?
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:53 PM on November 29, 2009


I remember buying the Cool as Ice soundtrack CD in 1992 or so for 50¢ and eBay-ing it for $30 eight years later. Thanks for the nice dinner, Ice! There were some truly horrendous cuts on that thing - "Cool as Ice (Everybody Get Loose)," "People's Choice" and "Get Wit' It" were silly piffle which made "Ninja Rap" seem profound and timeless in comparison.

I'm waiting for the Blu-Ray reissue - a 720p "scene" copy was floating last winter. The cinematography is aces all around. I should send Ice a copy so he doesn't wear out his VHS tape.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:04 PM on November 29, 2009


Of all the advice he's received over the years, he says the words he repeats to himself most often came from, of all people, Tammy Faye. "She told me, 'We are who we are because of who we were.'

True, and good to remember. A wise person once put it this way: "It's not where you're from. It's where you're at."*

*Vanilla Ice, on the Arsenio Hall Show, 1992.
posted by autodidact at 6:06 PM on November 29, 2009


I can't find a reference, but one wrestler, when looking for the gimmick for the most universally hatable persona, just imitated Vanilla Ice.

You're thinking of John Cena. And it was very effective. I remember my roommates watching it at the time and having a verbal reaction of "OH HELL NO".

Between the Vanilla Ice reference and his habit of getting cheap heat by mocking/dissing/what-have-you the local sports teams, he was pretty much loathed within a few weeks.
posted by FritoKAL at 6:25 PM on November 29, 2009


Instead, I'll say that, all snark here aside, Vanilla Ice was the biggest one-hit-wonder we've seen in our lifetimes

debbie boone - you light up my life
posted by pyramid termite at 7:33 PM on November 29, 2009


While we're on the subject of white rappers from the early 1990s, somebody with more initiative and time really should do a FPP on the Prime Minister, Sinister, Pete Nice of Third Bass. I believe that their "Pop Goes the Weasel" might have been a send-up of Vanilla Ice.

Pete Nice is actually one of baseball's leading scholars nowadays. Talk about successful second acts.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:55 PM on November 29, 2009


>I'm sorry-- the "unknowing innocence of another time"?

>>I'll bet the author is around 35-40


I'll just take 'Who is a piss-poor writer?' for 800, Alex.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:16 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Vanilla Ice was the biggest one-hit-wonder we've seen in our lifetimes

Oh FFS let's not lose our heads here.

What about:

Sinead O'Conner - Nothing Compares 2 U
Softcell - Tainted Love
Gary Numan - Cars

Even The Cardigans - Love Fool has held up better.

(Full disclosure: I didn't like Ice, Ice Baby when I first heard it and I don't like it now.)
posted by Bonzai at 8:24 PM on November 29, 2009


He redeemed himself a little in my eyes when he apologized.
posted by Dr. Send at 8:29 PM on November 29, 2009



"The name Vanilla Ice evokes the sweet charm, the unknowing innocence of another time."


Has this dude ever heard the song?

The second verse is about a drive-by shooting. It's clearly trying to be a gangsta rap in the mold of N.W.A. It's tone deaf, and there's no way anybody believes that comes from Vanilla Ice's experience. Still, I can't see it as evoking "unknowing innocence."
posted by chrchr at 8:34 PM on November 29, 2009


What about:

Sinead O'Conner - Nothing Compares 2 U
Softcell - Tainted Love
Gary Numan - Cars

Even The Cardigans - Love Fool has held up better.


I agree that all of those have held up better, but none of them were as big a deal when they came out.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:48 PM on November 29, 2009


debbie boone - you light up my life

Did V-Ice ever earn a groovy P-Smith cover?
posted by ovvl at 9:04 PM on November 29, 2009


I will love Ice Ice Baby until the day I die. It has played a reoccurring role in my academic career, and I wouldn't be surprised if it crops up again.

In 4th grade dance class, three other nerdy ass nine year-olds and I shuffled out a set of poorly choreographed moves to the pumpin' Vegas whilst wearing pants made out of garbage bags.

In high school, I got to perform my epically reworded Odysse-Ice Ice Baby to my Freshman English class, totally cementing my unstoppable popularity for the next four years.

As a junior in college, I got 3 points of extra credit on a calculus test from an amused instructor because the problem about related rates featured a Vanilla Ice poster, so I wrote all the lyrics on the back of the test.

If Ice Ice Baby can play a role in my dissertation, my life my be complete.


Also, say what you will about Love Fool, but The Cardigans cover of Iron Man totally kicks ass.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:54 PM on November 29, 2009


Can't believe nobody linked: under ice
posted by poe at 11:33 PM on November 29, 2009


Afterward, taking off his pads and helmet, Rob admits the last landing stung like a bitch. In many ways, the jump serves as a metaphor for his life: the meteoric rise, the brief time on top of the world, the hard, awkward landing. Now though, he's grinning.

Looks like writing school paid off!
posted by delmoi at 12:41 AM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh no, someone didn't just draw an indirect comparison between Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret and To The Extreme. I'm dyin' here.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 12:46 AM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the link; despite the occasional writing mishaps, that was an entertaining read. I found myself reading quite a lot aloud to my poor boyfriend sitting next to me, trying valiantly to watch Top Gear instead.

The part where the author is taken on a tour of his house, notes that it's devoid of VI memorabilia, and then enters the OH MY GOD DO NOT ENTER room and discovers a treasure chest of memorabilia that he just can't part with, despite struggling with the fame that went with those items, I found that all quite charming somehow, along with his daughters watching that movie once a year.
posted by chronic sublime at 1:23 AM on November 30, 2009


Vanilla Ice (as I'll refer to him) hit it big in 1990. Nostalgia for circa 1990? Hard to explain: a) The Persian Gulf War, b) Ted Bundy's execution, c) Cleveland School Massacre, d) the Keating Five, e) Potatoe-gate, etc.
posted by josephtate at 2:34 AM on November 30, 2009


I'll just take 'Who is a piss-poor writer?' for 800, Alex.

Looks like writing school paid off!


I thought it was a well-written piece. Please don't be nasty to alt-weekly writers. They make like $24K a year.
posted by Kirklander at 5:48 AM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rock and roll, for instance, was first invented by African Americans, and Phil Collins and others like him just stole it from them.

He's guilty of a lot, granted, but Phil Collins did not steal Rock and Roll.

Yeah, I think I'll have to flag that as complete bullshit.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


"He's really smart, and it makes him really hard to argue with sometimes,"

Man, it's really gotta suck to be outsmarted by Vanilla Ice.
posted by electroboy at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I worked at Good Vibrations (music, not sex toys) in 1990 and I can tell you what - To The Extreme moved some god damn units. There was a long time where we didn't even bother to shelve them - we'd just tear open the box and leave it next to the register and it would be gone in a few hours. It was nuts. I was a junior in High School and I swear I sneered and rolled my eyes while selling a copy of that loathsome record to each member of my graduating class.

But yeah, I enjoyed this article, and the fact that I am STILL annoyed at that album shows how weird it has got to be to be that guy. Love, hate, or both, pretty much everyone who ever meets him has some opinion of him that has very little to do with him.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:37 AM on November 30, 2009


Now would be a good time to revisit the Implausible Claims Made by Vanilla Ice in His 1990 No. 1 Hit Ice Ice Baby.

I have no idea if the following is true. But I hope someone online can verify it...

In the mid-90s Ice was trying to revive his music career and had a lame rock band. His tour booker thought it would be a good idea for him to play in Salt Lake City, which was at that point home to a huge straight edge scene. Someone also thought it would be a good idea to say he was playing with Earth Crisis (who were at their peak and very big in Salt Lake). Ice wasn't.

Lots of people turned up to see Earth Crisis and yo, who's that white boy onstage? It's Ice? Vanilla Ice? People got really angry and stormed the stage. Vanilla Ice, true to his name, kept his cool by swinging a mic stand around his head and making a quick escape.
posted by xpermanentx at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2009


I can't help but snark on this:
Remember what the world was like in 1990. Before Vanilla Ice, radio airwaves were dominated by Phil Collins, Wilson Phillips, Sinéad O'Connor, New Kids on the Block, and a spattering of hair bands whose sole existence seemed to be aerosol distribution.
Well, if you're looking just at 1990, things do look pretty grim.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2009


Back in 2000, my best friend and I went to see [mall-metal era] Vanilla Ice perform at a small club. He didn't have his band with him that date because of a missed flight or whatever, so it was just him and his DJ, but he had great crowd interaction, had some of the openers come out and rhyme with him, and all around put on a really good show.

After the show he met with fans and signed autographs. I got one of the flyers autographed and asked him if he could sign my ticket stub. He did, we also had breif conversation about Public Enemy and other such things. I can't speak for a lot of what he's done, but he struck me as a genuinely down to earth guy.

Also, I count the fact that at one point I got to say the phrase "Yo Vanilla" aloud and have the Vanilla Ice actually look up at me.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:32 AM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


...as one of my life's crowning achievements, damn itchy trigger finger.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:33 AM on November 30, 2009


Although the stunt was supposed to demonstrate that Rob was a good sport, which he was, he launched into a carefully-controlled pretense of rage*, destroying the tape, the sound stage, and nearly Jon Stewart if you overlook the part where you can hear him warning Jon and others to get out of the way, withholding his blows until they moved, and carefully aiming so that no one would be injured.

* Even pausing afterwards to apologize to the staff for destroying their set during his slowly enacted "rage" stunt, which, judging from the laughter of everyone there, was appreciated as the camp it was meant to be.


Fixed that for ya, P.o.B..
posted by IAmBroom at 11:14 AM on November 30, 2009


"unknowing innocence of another time"

Y'know, around the time Benny Goodman and Glen Miller was popular, guys were inventing the drive by shooting with Thompson submachine guns, bombing storefronts and murdering people en masse in cold blood over whiskey.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:07 PM on November 30, 2009


Although the stunt was supposed to demonstrate that Rob was a good sport, which he was, he launched into a carefully-controlled pretense of rage

Yeah, that's the way I saw it, too. Although I think Jon Stewart and Chris Kattan were still a bit shocked when it really went down, because it did look like Van Winkle wanted to take it further but kept it in check.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2009


After the show he met with fans and signed autographs. I got one of the flyers autographed and asked him if he could sign my ticket stub. He did, we also had breif conversation about Public Enemy and other such things. I can't speak for a lot of what he's done, but he struck me as a genuinely down to earth guy.

Yeah, he seems like he'd be pretty fun to hang out with for a while. I really, truly hated Vanilla Ice at the time, but there's nothing like some humility to take that superstar ego down to earth again. People who've been through that who don't end up bitter shells of the person they once were usually come out better people at the end, and with some great stories. But I would not have wanted to meet him when he was at the top ...
posted by krinklyfig at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2009


Fixed that for ya, P.o.B..

That was a qoute pulled from the article.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:07 PM on November 30, 2009


In 2002 or 2003, Ice was set to fight Todd Bridges on some lame FOX reality teevee show. I spent an hour in Final Cut Pro putting together a nice promo spot and forwarded it to the Ice Man, hoping to land some contract work, but I never heard back from him. Fuck. It would have been so cool to say I was handling design and video for Vanilla Ice.

Todd kicked his ass in the fight anyway.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:00 PM on November 30, 2009


Y'know, around the time Benny Goodman and Glen Miller was popular, guys were inventing the drive by shooting with Thompson submachine guns, bombing storefronts and murdering people en masse in cold blood over whiskey. money.
posted by Bonzai at 8:33 AM on December 1, 2009


Now would be a good time to revisit the Implausible Claims Made by Vanilla Ice in His 1990 No. 1 Hit Ice Ice Baby.

I have read some bad McSweeny's articles in my time, but that ranks among the very worst. Just a list of excerpted lyrics from Ice Ice baby? Those aren't even the most implausible claims in the song.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:21 PM on December 2, 2009


« Older O Lutefisk! Oh. Lutefisk.   |   Joe Howe Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post