From the department of low-hanging fruit: I wrote a little tongue-in-cheek Critic's Pick for Vanilla Ice in this week's JEFF-covered glossy, previewing the Iceman's performance at Murfreesboro's Club 527, or Main St. or whatever it's called, tomorrow night. I don't know if you've ever tried it, but picking out the funniest picture of Vanilla Ice from a Google image search is fucking impossible. Deciding whether or not to show him in his Hammer-pants record-groove heyday, his dread-locked stoner-rap period, rockin' the poor man's Fred Durst look he's sported for the last 10 years, or just his mugshot, is as difficult and gut-wrenching as choosing which child to save from a fire.
No matter who you are or what your circumstances may be, you'd probably never trade places with Rob Van Winkle, a.k.a. Vanilla Ice. Perhaps the most maligned figure in the history of pop culture--more so than Roman Polanski, O.J. Simpson, Gary Glitter and Fatty Arbuckle combined--Ice has long been relegated to the abyss of D-list celebrity. Going from having a reputation as the biggest poseur in hip-hop history to simply being the Carrot Top of rappers, Vanilla Ice is destined to forever be a punch line. Since Charles Manson and the Son of Sam killer probably trump Ice in the amount of fan mail received, it's important to remember that he didn't kill anybody. He just wore audaciously bedazzled clown garb, forever tainted Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure," rapped about ninja turtles and lied about his back-story--but hey, Bob Dylan did at least one of those things too. Nearly 20 years after his brief reign over the pop charts--during which his debut To the Extreme sold an unfathomable 40 million copies worldwide--it's safe to say Ice has paid the price for his musical trespasses. Drop the zero and get with the hero when he returns to Murfreesboro to play some funky "music."