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The Ice Man Returneth | Weekend Cover Story | Midweek.com

The Ice Man Returneth

So whatever happened to Vanilla Ice, you’re wondering? He turned to heavy rock with a mix of rap, and he’ll take the stage at Pipeline Cafe on Sunday night

Friday - February 16, 2007
By Kerry Miller
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Vanilla Ice has picked up a few tats since his Ice Ice Baby days
Vanilla Ice has picked up a few tats since his Ice Ice
Baby days

“OK, stop. Collaborate and listen. Ice is back with a brand new invention.”

Seriously, Vanilla Ice is coming back - coming back to Hawaii, that is. The rapper who soared to the top of the charts in the early ‘90s with Ice Ice Baby and Roll ‘Em Up says it’s been a while since his last trip to the islands (he’s visited Kona and also Honolulu) and is excited to rock the Pipeline Cafe stage on Sunday night.

Speaking of his famous song, Vanilla Ice, aka Rob Van Winkle, is not shy about admitting that “a lot of people remember me by Ice Ice Baby, so that’s cool. They go back in their photo album and they remember the shaved hair, the eyebrows, the baggy pants, who they were dating in high school.”

As for what fans will hear at his show Sunday night, Van Winkle says “I’m gonna take ‘em back to the old school and introduce my new stuff. It will be a lot of fun.”

As for his new music, the artist describes as “fusion music. I don’t know how to label it. Some people call it ‘skate rock,’” he laughs.“It’s different music mixed with hip-hop. My crowd is like 16-25 year olds, they’re kind of like body-pierced and tattooed. I’ve got almost this sub-culture following. They enjoy it.”

Since the 1989 release of his first album Hooked, which featured re-mixes of Satisfaction and Play That Funky Music, and then, of course, To The Extreme in 1990, Van Winkle has been up to a lot more musically than most of us might be aware of.

Extreme Live, a compilation of live versions of songs from To The Extreme, came out in 1991. He starred in the movie Cool As Ice, for which a soundtrack of the same name was produced. At concerts these days, he’s been known to perform tracks from the 1994 album, Mind Blowin.

He blended rock and rap for 1998’s Hard to Swallow. In 2001, Bi-Polar hit stores, featuring a combination of metal and rap beats. Most recently, the artist released Platinum Underground in 2005, in which he again utilized the combination of rock and rap.

Forget the lips — read his fingers
Forget the lips — read his fingers

The reason for this leap from “straight-up rap” to blending hiphop and rock beats is not just about trying something new. For Van Winkle, it’s about making music that simply feels right and says more about who he really is, rather than making songs based on an image created for him by someone else.

“I do music the way I feel. I don’t think about too many outside things. I don’t think gimmick image. Just make the music. It just kind of unfolds as you go, we call it ‘vibing.’ I never come up with a master plan.

“I love making music. It’s fun. It’s great therapy for me. I use it for everything,” he continues.“It’s amazing because I didn’t know it had all these qualities to it.”

“Ice” has come a long way for a guy who got his big break in the movie Turbo No Zone, showing off his break dancing moves.

“I used to break dance. I had a little dancing crew. We were 14

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