Last updated on October 6, 2020
The Ringer has a great long-form piece on how Vanilla Ice became on of the biggest artists in the World and then, almost as quickly, became a pariah. It’s a lengthy, but highly entertaining and detailed history of the rise and fall of the man who said that if there was a problem, yo’ he’d solve it.
Back in late 1990, the 23-year-old became the pale face of hip-hop apostasy, attracting oblivious Karens and Brads at a startling clip.
“I was mentioning eight balls of cocaine, 9-millimeter guns, a 12-gauge shotgun, and prostitutes. You can’t paint this picture to a 9-year-old. So how did they clean it up? Use the image, let ’em focus on the beat and the dancing—it worked,” Ice says. “I wasn’t targeted to be a role model; I was never put out as an artificial boy-band thing to fit this new audience that I was catering to now. All of a sudden, it went from Black clubs that I thought I’d been in and would be in forever to stadiums with white people.”
Photo credit: Chris Young / The Canadian Press