Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vanilla Ice Gets a Bad Rap

Awful pun aside, I'm serious. Vanilla Ice's hit, "Ice, Ice, Baby", which is often the joke of many VH1 specials, is criticized as being cheesy; of being soft or weak; quite frankly, of a white guy trying to play a black man's game. The Beastie Boys were originally met with the same type of criticism, but were able to move past it and establish a name for themselves.

But what exactly is the problem with this song? Is it the fact that it uses--or seems to use--the same underlying beat as David Bowie's "Under Pressure". Surely this can't be the problem, as almost all of Kanye West's tracks utilize this same technique, called sampling. Why was the same amount of outrage not evident when West debuted "Stronger", and obvious remix of the Daft Punk song?

So it must be the way he raps. Perhaps because there isn't a definite structure to the lyrics; they lines sort of flow into each other, lacking punctuation. But wait... more and more songs are using this theme as well. The rapper T.I. is practically known for this style of prose, and the Nickelback song "Animals" sounds like this as well.

Since these reasons do not make sense, it must be the lyrical content itself that is the problem. Surely a rapper claiming how he is better than all other rappers, and how he can "light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle"; surely this is an absurd notion. Nothing like the lyrical genius of Lady GaGa we are subjected to now: singing about being too drunk to remember the name of the club, but it's alright so "Just Dance", before then telling us that she's "Gotta doo-doo". Oh yeah, Vanilla Ice's lyrics are whack.

I guess there's only one possibility left to us: it has to be the parachute pants.

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