Former rapper Vanilla Ice had one of the biggest hits of the early 90s with “Ice Ice Baby.” The hit rap song featured a major sample of Queen and David Bowie’s classic “Under Pressure.” Ice was sued for a hefty amount of money for lifting the sample without getting permission. For that reason, Vanilla Ice says he is a man who broke barriers in Hip-Hop.
Recently, in an interview with xxlmag.com, Vanilla Ice said, “Sampling barriers, I broke down. They made a spectacle out of it and it made it okay for Puff Daddy and everybody else to go make music. They figured it out. There was nobody before me that I could use as a guideline. [I] took rap mainstream. I had the first Rap song that had ever been #1 on the Pop charts. The most-sold Rap record in the history of the world, and that’s extreme. 160 million. The fastest-selling [Hip Hop album] of all time, and it still stands today. I don’t think it will ever be broken at this point.”
Vanilla Ice went on to say that he never really left music because he still writes music and poetry only he doesn’t do it for financial gain now. And while he still has a passion for music, he is focusing on his other passions right now, one being construction. He has a television show where he renovates homes and it’s the highest rated show on HGTV.
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While I can appreciate where Vanilla Ice is coming from when he says he broke barriers in the Hip-Hop industry, let’s not get carried away. He gives himself credit for being the scapegoat in the sampling conflict in the late eighties/early nineties, but Beastie Boys dropped their album “Paul’s Boutique” in 1989, which was basically all samples. That album sparked the sampling debate and was the catalyst for the music industry putting sampling rules and regulations in place.