Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice baby (2013)

Written by on 20 March 2021

“Ice Ice Baby” is a hip hop song written by American rapper Vanilla Ice, K. Kennedy, and DJ Earthquake. It was based on the bassline of “Under Pressure” by British band Queen and British singer David Bowie, who did not receive songwriting credit or royalties until after it had become a hit. Released on his debut album, To the Extreme, it is his best-known song. It has appeared in remixed form on Platinum Underground and Vanilla Ice Is Back! A live version appears on the album Extremely Live, while a nu-metal version appears on the album Hard to Swallow, under the title “Too Cold”.

“Ice Ice Baby” was first released as the B-side to Vanilla Ice’s cover of “Play That Funky Music”, but the single was not initially successful. When disc jockey David Morales played “Ice Ice Baby” instead, it began to gain success. “Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard Hot 100. Outside of the United States, “Ice Ice Baby” topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom, thus helping the song diversify hip hop by introducing it to a mainstream audience.

Robert Van Winkle, better known by his stage name Vanilla Ice, wrote “Ice Ice Baby” in 1983 at the age of 16, basing its lyrics upon his experiences in South Florida. The lyrics describe a shooting and Van Winkle’s rhyming skills. The chorus of “Ice Ice Baby” originates from the signature chant of the national African American fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. Of the song’s lyrics, Van Winkle stated in a 2001 interview that “If you released ‘Ice Ice Baby’ today, it would fit in today’s lyrical respect among peers, you know what I’m sayin’? My lyrics aren’t, ‘Pump it up, go! Go!’ At least I’m sayin’ somethin’.”

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