Yes, you read that right. Vanilla Ice. Why? To go against the grain, for one thing. For years the name had become stigmatized in all forms of media, but it helps to take a step back on some of these narratives and look outside of the MTV lens. Years back, I tried to look into his newer records, but was disillusioned by the changes to his style. Here’s from his most recent album, W.T.F. (Wisdom, Tenacity, and Focus), which contains a combination of styles, original lyrics (this song, for example), and collabs with some well known rap acts and notable ghost-writers.

There has been a lot of criticism for Vanilla Ice, which seemed to be inflated by the industry more than anything. Looking at the initial spark to his fame over 25 years ago, I think he saw a lot more drama than he deserved. And for what? Because the industry propped him up? Is this any different than the giggy-era rappers who would appear only a few years later? The difference, perhaps, is that industry propped him WAY up, probably because he was a talented performer overall. But they overplayed his music, and when people got tired of the style he was put out there to represent, the industry turned on him…

I think that this video puts a few things into perspective. What I see is an artist who loves Hip-hop enough to keep at it after all of these years, through all of the ups and down of his career.

Warning: Intense lyrics

“holocaust is much more than a rapper, he is a war poet. this melody is dark, deadly and beautiful. i wish there were more lyricists such as this but can he even be matched?”

Warning: Hardcore lyrics

Remember this one?

Starting a couple of weeks back I began re-watching the Men In Black series and came across this main track from MIB II (2002). I actually never gave it a full listen, other than at the end of the movie. Compared to his original track from the 1997 movie (which captured hearts and minds on an unspeakable level) I figured that this song just wouldn’t be the same. Many saw the MIB sequel as a step down, but granted, the original is difficult to top.

Looking at the stats, this single did quite well across Europe and in Canada. This blog is obviously not anywhere close to being about stats, but I find that pretty interesting. And, at the end of the day, when does Will Smith not put on a good show?

As far as his work, in my opinion, nothing can top both Summertime, and the original Men in Black title track. For some Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It, is it. I can’t even put into words what the combination of the original movie and the original MIB single meant to me as a child. But other than, say, Public Enemy’s Fight the Power, I don’t think that any hip-hop movie track has yet measured on the same level as far as winning over an audience. So I can’t fault this song in any way. Taken on it’s own, it is definitely an entertaining and solid track. Enjoy!