” Ice Ice Baby ” by Vanilla Ice was the most successful song from the album, To the Extreme.
The song wasn’t intended to be a release in its own right but a B-side to the song ” Play That Funky Music “, released by Wild Cherry in 1976.
The song started gaining traction when a radio DJ began playing ” Ice Ice Baby ” instead of the A-side. The single went on to top the charts in the US, the first hip-hop single to achieve the feat.
Tommy Quon who owned the management company looking after Vanilla Ice paid $8,000 for a music video to accompany the song; this received a lot of play on The Box which increased interest in the song.
Vanilla Ice wrote the track back in 1983 when he was just 16. The lyrics are based on his own experiences in South Florida.
The lyrics describe a shooting intertwined with Vanilla Ice’s skills in the use of rhyme. The chorus of the song comes from the chant of the national African American fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.
The hook of the song samples the bassline of ” Under Pressure ” by Queen and David Bowie, the already successful and well-known collaboration from 1981.
No credit or royalty payments were given to Queen or David Bowie for the sample at the time of release; however, later both were given credits as part of the songwriting.
” Ice Ice Baby ” helped with sales of the album, making it the fastest selling hip hop album ever. The album spent sixteen weeks at Number One on the Billboard 200 in the United States with sales more than 11 million copies.
The success of the song wasn’t just confined the United States, ” Ice Ice Baby ” went on to have Number One placements in several countries including Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Some didn’t entirely attribute the enormous commercial success of the song with meaningful lyrical content, in fact, ” Ice Ice Baby ” came 5th in VH1 and Blender’s list of 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever back in 2004.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 1
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (ARIA) 1, Austria ( Austria Top 40) 3, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 1, Canada Top Singles (RPM) 11, Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 2, France (SNEP) 10, Germany (Official German Charts) 2, Ireland (IRMA) 1, Italy (Musica e Dischi) 8, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 1, Norway (VG-lista) 2, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 4, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 2
Official Website: Vanillaice.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/officialvanillaice
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/VanillaIce
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