If you even vaguely had a pulse in the 90s, you know this song.
“Ice Ice Baby” is the 1990 single from Robert Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice because apparently it gives you more street cred to sound like a snow cone than it does to sound like a guy who falls into a a moonshine-induced coma.
This song is exceedingly catchy features ridiculous lyrics with gems such as:
Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly
Cookin’ MCs like a pound of bacon
Take heed ’cause I’m a lyrical poet
But let’s be honest, no one is praising the lyrical genius of this song except Vanilla Ice. The main reason people love it is because he ripped off David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.” I say “ripped off” instead of “sampled” because he initially claimed that the two bass lines were totally different and not only did he not pay royalties to Bowie and Queen, but he also didn’t give them writing credits.
Years later, Vanilla Ice claimed that his statement was a joke but pretty much everyone around him at the time called bullshit and insisted he’d been serious. Vanilla Ice ended up forking over the cash to David Bowie and Queen and gave them writing credits which means that we get to continue to enjoy this song in perpetuity instead of having it disappear from our lives forever due to copyright infringement.
“Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop song to top the Billboard charts and some critics said that it was this song that made hip hop more available to a
whiter wider audience. However, even the critics admitted this was largely due to the stolen hook from David Bowie and Queen because those guys were geniuses and Vanilla Ice was kind of a twat.
While my best friend’s husband might be quick to point out that “Ice Ice Baby” wasn’t Vanilla Ice’s only hit, Vanilla Ice was primarily viewed as a novelty pop act instead of a legitimate rapper. Once people started to get tired of “Ice Ice Baby”, his popularity declined.
That being said, the song remains wildly popular to this day so really, who gives a crap? Go ahead and watch the video below so you can sing along and/or dance around and do the running man. I know you want to.
Also, that video cost $8,000 to make. Relatively speaking in terms of music videos, that’s not very expensive when you compare it to, say, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson’s video for “Scream” which is the most expensive video ever made at $7,000,000 (nearly $11,000,000 when adjusted for inflation). However, there’s no way a few cans of spray paint and the use of an empty warehouse for a couple days cost $8,000. But then again, what do I know? I just make fun of stuff on the internet.
Happy Throwback Thursday! Word to your mother.