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Van Winkle in February 2007
Vanilla Ice
Background information
Born (1967-10-31) October 31, 1967 (age 51)
Birthname Robert Matthew Van Winkle
Birthplace Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Also known as
Occupation Rapper, actor, record producer, singer, television host
Origin Dallas, Texas; Miami, Florida; Lake Worth, Florida (residence)
Genres Hip hop,[1][2] rap rock,[3][4] nu metal,[1][5] rap metal[2]
Former members
Years active 1985–present
Labels Psychopathic (2011–present)
Radium (2008–2011)
Cleopatra (2008)
Ultrax (2004–2007)
Liquid 8 (2000–2003)
Republic/Universal (1996–1999)
SBK/EMI (1990–1994)
Ichiban (1987–1989), Arista
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards
Associated acts
Notable Instruments

Robert Matthew Van Winkle (born October 31, 1967), known professionally as Vanilla Ice, is an American rapper, actor, and television host. Born in South Dallas, and raised in Texas and South Florida, Ice released his debut album, Hooked, in 1989 on Ichiban Records, before signing a contract with SBK Records, a record label of the EMI Group which released a reformatted version of the album under the title To the Extreme. Ice's 1990 single "Ice Ice Baby" was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts.

Although he was successful, Ice later regretted his business arrangements with SBK, which had paid him to adopt a more commercial appearance to appeal to a mass audience and published fabricated biographical information without his knowledge. After surviving a suicide attempt, Ice was inspired to change his musical style and lifestyle. While his later, less mainstream albums failed to chart or receive much radio airplay, Ice has had a loyal underground following. In 2009, Ice began hosting The Vanilla Ice Project on DIY Network. His latest album WTF – Wisdom, Tenacity & Focus was released in August 2011. Ice is currently signed to Psychopathic Records.

Early life Edit

Robert Matthew Van Winkle was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 31, 1967.[6] Van Winkle has never known his biological father; he was given the family name of the Dutch man his mother was married to at the time of his birth.[7] When Van Winkle was four, his mother divorced. Afterward, he grew up moving between Dallas and Miami,[8] where his new stepfather worked at a car dealership.[7] Hip hop affected Van Winkle at an early age, saying "It's a very big passion of mine because I love poetry. I was just heavily influenced by that whole movement and it's molded me into who I am today."[9] Between the ages of 13 and 14, Van Winkle practiced breakdancing, which led to his friends nicknaming him "Vanilla", as he was the only one in the group who was not black.[10][11] Although he disliked the nickname, it stuck. Shortly afterward, Van Winkle started battle rapping at parties and because of his rhymes, his friends started calling him "MC Vanilla." However, when he became a member of a breakdance troupe, Van Winkle's stage name was "Vanilla Ice" combining his nickname "Vanilla" with one of his breakdance moves; "The Ice".[12] When Ice's stepfather was offered a better job in Carrollton, Texas, he moved back to Texas with his mother. He attended R. L. Turner High School for a short time before dropping out. When Ice was not learning to ride motorbikes, he was dancing as a street performer with his breakdancing group, now called The Vanilla Ice Posse. Ice wrote "Ice Ice Baby" at the age of 16, basing its lyrics on a weekend he had with friend and disc jockey D-Shay in South Florida.[13] The lyrics describe Ice and Shay on a drug run that ends in a drive-by shooting while praising Ice's rhyming skills.[14]

Career Edit

Personal life Edit

Vanilla Ice dated Madonna for eight months in 1990.[15] Ice married Laura Giaritta in 1997; they have two daughters, Dusti Rain (born 1998) and KeeLee Breeze (born 2000).[16] Ice describes himself as a "Juggalo", a fan of Psychopathic Records hip hop groups,[17] and was a vegetarian for a short time.[18]

In 2016, Ice's wife filed for divorce, citing that the marriage was "irretrievably broken."[19]

Legal issuesEdit

In August 8, 1988, Ice was arrested in South Dallas for illegal drag racing.[20]

On June 3, 1991, he was arrested in Los Angeles on firearm charges after threatening a homeless man, James N. Gregory, with a pistol. Gregory had approached Ice's car outside of a supermarket and attempted to sell him a silver chain.[21][22] Ice and his bodyguard were charged with three weapons offenses.[23] Ice pleaded no contest.[24]

In January 2001, Ice was arrested by police in Davie, Florida for assaulting his wife, Laura. According to the criminal complaint, Ice and his wife argued as they drove on Interstate 595. Ice admitted to pulling hair from her head to prevent her from jumping out of the truck's window.[25] He pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct four months later and was sentenced to probation and ordered to attend family therapy sessions.[26]

Ice's pet wallaroo, Bucky, and pet goat, Pancho, escaped from his Port St. Lucie, Florida home in November 2004. After wandering around local streets for over a week, the animals were caught and returned to Ice. He paid a $220 fine for expired pet tags and an undisclosed fine for the escape of the animals.

Ice appeared in West Palm Beach court on September 2007 to be arraigned for driving with an expired license. In the months leading up to the court hearing, Ice had been pulled over for doing 74 in a 45-mph zone, violating high-occupancy vehicle lane restrictions and having illegally tinted car windows.[27]

On April 10, 2008, Ice was arrested in Palm Beach County on a battery charge for allegedly kicking and hitting his wife.[28] He was released the following day after she declared that her husband had only pushed her. In court, the couple's neighbor, Frank Morales, stated that it was merely a verbal argument.[28] Ice was ordered by a Florida court to stay away from his wife following his arrest, and to communicate with his children only if Morales accompanied him. The judge told Ice that he could only contact his wife via telephone.[28] On April 29, 2008, Ice's lawyers, Bradford Cohen and Joseph LoRusso, were able to get the case dropped after providing the state attorney with evidence that conflicted with what was originally reported.[29]

In February 2015, Ice was arrested and charged with burglary residence and grand theft after he allegedly stole furniture, a pool heater, bicycles and other items from a Florida home he believed to be vacant.[30] He later accepted a plea deal which would result in the charges being dropped following his completion of 100 hours of community service and payment of restitution to the estate of the homeowner.[31]

Style and influences Edit

Legacy Edit

Along with Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, and House of Pain, Ice was one of the earliest white rappers to attain major success.[32] Chuck D has credited Ice as a regional breakthrough, stating "He broke through in the mid-South, in a Southern area in Texas, in something that was kind of indigenous to that hip-hop culture down there. He just doesn’t get credit for it."[33] In 1991, 3rd Bass released a single called "Pop Goes the Weasel", and in the lyrics comparing Ice unfavorably to Elvis Presley. The song's music video featured Henry Rollins as Ice, who is depicted as being assaulted by 3rd Bass. Ice responded to "Pop Goes the Weasel" with his 1992 song "The Wrath".[34] Del tha Funkee Homosapien referred to Ice in the lyrics of "Pissin' on Your Steps", which appeared on his 1991 debut album I Wish My Brother George Was Here. Similar to 'Pop Goes the Weasel', the song negatively makes a connection between Ice and Elvis, while saying Ice alongside MC Hammer are mocking hip hop by being commercial.[35] Vanilla Ice answered back to most of his critics in the song "Hit 'em Hard".[36]

Vanilla Ice appears as a video game character in Championship Motocross released in 2001 on PlayStation 2.[37] The hairstylist character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is also molded after Vanilla Ice. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Chuck 'The Iceman' Lidell used Ice's song Too Cold for his entrance to the ring.[38] In 2007, Nike released Vanilla Ice shoes for their Fallen Heroes pack.[39] Rapper G-Child, best known for her appearance on ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show, has credited Ice as being a major influence on her work.[40] After meeting Ice in 2000, G-Child performed freestyle raps at six of Ice's performances, and opened for him four times.[40] The late rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard appeared on stage with Vanilla Ice during the 2004 Gathering of the Juggalos and expressed interest in working on a song together after stating that he was Ice's "greatest fan".[41] In March 2009, Ice participated in a Virgin Mobile advertising campaign titled "Right Music Wrongs", apologizing for his 1990s image.[42] As part of the campaign, Ice was placed on "trial", and was voted innocent by users of the campaign website.[43] He also appeared in a commercial for the South African light beer Castle Lite.[8] In 2010, Vanilla Ice was featured on the debut single of the Irish duo Jedward, a mashup of "Under Pressure" and "Ice Ice Baby".[44] "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" was released in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2010 via download and as a physical single on February 15, 2010.[45] In 2010, Serbian musicians Slađa Delibašić and Shwarz released the single and music video Dizel Power. The music video and song feature various references to Vanilla Ice, including the performers dancing next to a graffiti mural of Ice. The video has reached two million views on YouTube.[46]

After signing with Psychopathic Records, Violent J mentioned that Insane Clown Posse were longtime fans of Ice's work; “We were bumping him way before "Ice Ice Baby" blew up. We were bumping him when he had his first record out on Ichiban. Shaggy had the vinyl and we used to bump that shit up in his room. It felt like two summers before that shit blew up.”[47] "Thanda Thanda Pani" (Cold Cold Water) by Baba Sehgal was inspired heavily by Vanilla Ice's music and style. Rapper Riff Raff has mentioned in interviews that Vanilla Ice was one of his biggest influence.[48]

Eminem has often name-dropped Vanilla Ice in his songs. Starting during taped freestyles he did with rapper Proof in 1992 where they performed against each other portraying Ice and MC Hammer, respectively. In his first single "Just Don't Give a Fuck", Eminem mentions Ice alongside Everlast, boasting in a playful manner that he's a better rapper. In "Role Model", Eminem says he ripped out Vanilla Ice's dreadlocks. Ice responded to in a magazine interview with Vibe saying that Eminem "raps like a girl".[49] While Vanilla Ice and Eminem neither look at their responses as an actual beef, Eminem did reply to the quote in his song "Marshall Mathers" which also featured a verbal attack on the Insane Clown Posse. Eminem mentioned Ice again in the song "Purple Pills" in 2001, which caused Vanilla Ice's only response in song. On his album Bi-Polar, Ice mentions Eminem in a positive light ("Hip Hop Rules") and in a negative light ("Exhale"), however, Ice stated that he has no bad feelings towards Eminem. In a 2002 interview, Vanilla Ice stated that he thought Eminem's references were flattering, going on to say "I give him credit, I think he’s talented, I think he’s a killer rapper, you know I don’t compare myself to him because he’s another white rapper, I don't compare myself to any other rapper period, I don’t colorize hip hop, it’s stupid, but for people who are doing that are just looking through the eyes of a racial standpoint, and it really shouldn’t be looked at that way, you’re looking at two musicians that are in a broad brand of hip hop, so you don’t need to compare us two. Following me, any white rapper is going to have to hear 'oh, you think you’re Vanilla Ice?', so I am sure he’s heard that."[50] In April 2009, Ice appeared in the music video for Eminem's song "We Made You".[51] In the 2011 single "Fast Lane", Eminem raps about riding in his car while listening to "Ice Ice Baby".

Band members Edit

  • DJ Dirty Chopstix – turntables
  • Kool Keith – drums
  • Krazy Klown – dancer and background vocals
  • Maniac – dancer
  • Earthquake (1987–2014) – turntables and background vocals
  • DJ Don't Play (1985–2009) – turntables and background vocals
  • Zero (1985–2014) – turntables and background vocals
  • D-Shay (1985–1991) – turntables and drums
  • Clint Barlow[52] – drums (2004-2011)
  • Tha Hit Man (1997–2005) – drums
  • Boom (1990–1995) – drums
  • Bobzilla (2000–2004) – bass
  • Doug Ardito (1998–2001) – bass
  • Scott G. Shriner (1997–1999) – bass
  • 2Hype / Rod-J (1991–2004) – Hype Man and background vocals
  • Chill (1992–1994) – Hype Man and background vocals
  • Hi-Tec (1985–1995) – dancer and background vocals
  • Koko (1985–2010) – dancer and background vocals
  • Squirrel (1985–1995) – dancer and background vocals
  • Twist (1987–1993) – dancer and background vocals
  • E-Rock (1987–1991) – dancer and background vocals
  • Juice (1989–1991) – dancer and background vocals
  • Ste~bo (1990–1992) – dancer and background vocals

Discography Edit

Filmography Edit

Year Film Role Other notes
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Himself Film debut
Cool as Ice John 'Johnny' Van Owen Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song
2000 Da Hip Hop Witch Himself
2002 The New Guy Seth - Music Store Employee
2005 The Helix...Loaded Theo
2006 The Bros. Vanilla Ice
2010 Big Money Rustlas Heckler
The Vanilla Ice Project Host
2012 That's My Boy Uncle Vani Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2013 Vanilla Ice Goes Amish[53] Himself TV series
2015 The Ridiculous 6 Mark Twain
2016 Brother Vs. Brother Himself Celebrity judge during Season 4
Dancing with the Stars Himself Contestant on season 23

Awards and nominations Edit

American Music Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1991 Vanilla Ice Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist Won
Vanilla Ice Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist Nominated
To the Extreme Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album Nominated
Vanilla Ice Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop New Artist Won

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1991 "Ice Ice Baby" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated

People's Choice Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1991 "Ice Ice Baby" Best New Song Won

The Factual Entertainment Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
2011 "The Vanilla Ice Project" Best Home Show Won

Golden Raspberry Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1992 Vanilla Ice Worst New Star Won
Vanilla Ice Worst Actor Nominated
"Cool as Ice (Everybody Get Loose)" Worst Original Song Nominated
2013 Vanilla Ice Worst Supporting Actor Nominated

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rauschert, Jeff (September 19, 2008). "'90s rapper Vanilla Ice puts new twists on old hits". The Flint Journal. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mooney, Michael J. (November 26, 2009). "For us, Rob Van Winkle will always be Vanilla Ice". Miami New Times. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  3. Greene, Andy (July 10, 2012). "Where Are They Now? Pop's Class of 1990: Vanilla Ice". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  4. 4. Vanilla Ice. July 13, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  5. D., Spence (November 24, 2008). "Vanilla Ice – Vanilla Ice Is Back! Hip Hop Classics". IGN. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  6. "Vanilla Ice". Newsmakers 1991. Thomson Gale. June 5, 1991. ISBN 0-8103-7344-0Script error. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lego, Ray (May 1994). "The Iceman Cometh Back". Spin 10 (2): 50; 52. ISSN 0886-3032. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mooney, Michael J. (November 24, 2009). "Wellington Resident Vanilla Ice Talks About Madonna, Wallaroos, and What's Next". New Times Broward-Palm Beach: pp. 2–3, 5–6. 
  9. "Vanilla Ice on 'Canada Sings' and Why It's Anything But Another 'Idol'". Interview. AOL-TV. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  10. Vontz, Andrew (January 3, 2002). Ice capades. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007. 
  11. "Catching Up With... Vanilla Ice". The Washington Post. February 17, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  12. Zakarin, Jordan (June 2, 2011). "Vanilla Ice On Real Estate, DIY Show And How He Got That Name". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2011.  I didn't even like the name Vanilla Ice. It was because I had a breakdancing crew and they labeled me that and I kept telling them stop calling me that! I don't like it. Why are you calling me that, because I'm the only white guy here? Well F you guy!" he remembers back with a laugh. "And then they were my friends, and when your friends see you don't like something, it sticks even more. So they were like 'Oh, he hates it,' so they were like 'Vanilla Vanilla Vanilla.'" Eventually, he said, Vanilla got put together with the name of his dance move, the Ice, creating the name that stuck.
  13. Rayner, Alex (November 3, 2007). "Is this it?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  14. Perullo, Alex; Fenn, John (2003). "Ideologies, Choices, and Practicies in Eastern African Hip Hop". In Harris M., Berger; Michael Thomas, Carroll. Global Pop, Local Language. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 25. ISBN 1-57806-536-4Script error. 
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  18. Perez, Laura (2010-10-12). "Vanilla Ice Opens Up About Vegetarian Diet". Ecorazzi. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  19. Lambiet, Jose (2017-05-11). "Vanilla Ice to wife: You want a divorce? So do I". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-08-29. 
  20.[dead link]
  21. "Rapper Vanilla Ice Arrested on Charge of Brandishing Gun". Los Angeles Times. June 4, 1991. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
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  23. "L.A. charges Vanilla Ice, bodyguard". The Philadelphia Inquirer. June 22, 1991. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  24. Quinn, James (September 28, 1991). "Singer Takes Rap for Gun Charges; Must Make a Video". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  25. "Vanilla Ice Arrested". Davie, Florida: CBS News. January 5, 2001. Retrieved March 26, 2009. 
  26. "Rapper Vanilla Ice arrested for assaulting wife 'for second time'". London: Daily Mail. April 11, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2009. 
  27. "Road Menace". New York Post. NY Post. September 24, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2007. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Finn, Natalie (April 10, 2008). "Vanilla Ice Cooling in Jail". E!. Archived from the original on April 13, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2008. 
  29. "Prosecutors decline to charge rapper Vanilla Ice after wife recants abuse allegation". Associated Press. April 29, 2008. 
  30. Sarah Whitten (February 18, 2015). "Rapper Vanilla Ice charged with grand theft". CNBC. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  31. Silva, Daniella (2 April 2015). "Rapper Vanilla Ice Accepts Plea Deal in Florida Home Burglary Case". NBC News. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  32. Kennedy, Erica (Feb 2002). "White on both sides". Vibe 10 (2): 77. ISSN 1070-4701. 
  33. Morse, Nathan (April 20, 2009). "Public Enemy: The Rolling Stones of the Rap Game". L.A. Record. 
  34. Hess, Mickey (2007). "White Rappers". Is Hip Hop Dead?. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0-275-99461-9Script error. 
  35. Perkins, William Eric (1996). "The rap attack". Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture. Temple University Press. p. 37. ISBN 1-56639-362-0Script error. 
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  40. 40.0 40.1 Lauer-Williams, Kathy (Jan 6, 2007). "Petite Allentown rapper seeks big break on VH1 show.". The Morning Call. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  41. "Ol Dirty Bastard and Vanilla Ice Together on Stage (2004) SUPER RARE". YouTube. 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
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  43. Australian Associated Press (March 28, 2009). "Singer found not guilty of crimes against music". Melbourne: Herald Sun. 
  44. O'Brien, Jennifer (January 13, 2010). "Jedward will team up with rapper Vanilla Ice for their new debut single". The Sun (London). Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  45. Nissim, Mayer (January 21, 2010). "John & Edward confirm debut single". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  46. "Shwarz feat Sladja Delibasic-Dizel Power OFFICIAL VERSION 2010". YouTube. 2010-07-06. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  47. Nosnitsky, Andrew. "Violent J Breaks Down the Gathering of the Juggalos". Violent J Breaks Down the Gathering of the Juggalos. MTV. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  48. "Riff Raff Details Admiration for Vanilla Ice". YouTube. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  49. "13 Ways Of Looking At A Whiteboy". Vibe 7 (5): 120. June 1999. ISSN 1070-4701. 
  50. "Throwback Interview: Vanilla Ice". Shockblast Media. 2002. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  51. "Eminem ‘We Made You’ Video". 2009-04-07. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  52. Gubbins, Teresa (2009-08-15). "Friday's reopening of Trees, nightclub in Dallas' Deep Ellum district, draws sell-out crowd". Dallas/Fort Worth: Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
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External links Edit

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