WTF Happened to Vanilla Ice?


We take a look at the meteoric rise and fall of one of the biggest one-hit-wonders of the 1990s, Vanilla Ice.

Ice Ice Baby. Go Ninja Go Ninja Go. If a guy was everywhere in 1990 and 1991, it was Vanilla Ice. A white rapper from Dallas, Texas – whose real name is Rob Van Winkle, the much-mocked but extremely popular rapper scored a multi-platinum debut with his album To The Extreme, which sold seven million copies and, at the time, was the fastest-selling hip-hop album of all time. His signature track, “Ice Ice Baby”, which sampled Queen’s “Under Pressure”, was the highest-charting rap single ever, as was his cover of “Play That Funky Music”.

Vanilla Ice was so popular among teens that he showed up as himself in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, where he sang “Ninja Rap” (Go Ninja Go). But, just as quickly as he rose, Vanilla Ice fell, with his acting debut, Cool As Ice, widely mocked as one of the worst films of all time when it came out in 1991, just after his career had peaked. By the year’s end, he was a has-been. So, how does someone rise and fall so quickly? In this episode of WTF Happened to this Celebrity, we dig into Vanilla Ice’s epic rise and fall, paying tribute to the fact that despite his short-lived fame, he stuck around much longer in the public consciousness than a lot of his contemporaries, thanks to his constant willingness to poke fun at himself, and his reputation for being a nice guy. So “stop, collaborate and listen” to this special episode, written by Brad Hamerly and edited, produced, and narrated by Taylor James Johnson.

Do you still crank up Ice Ice Baby when it plays on the radio? Let us know in the comments!

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