Our favorite Wellington neighbor, Robert Van Winkle, has been making so much news with his renovation television show, The Vanilla Ice Project (season two just got picked up!), that we're just catching up with the developments of his next studio album. Titled WTF, this project is due for a November 19 release. We love that the cover features the past, now-antiquated image of Vanilla getting torched, by the way.
Anyway, a new single from the album is expected to drop any day now. Titled "Born on Halloween," the track features a collaboration with none other than the evangelical Christians of the Juggalo Nation, Insane Clown Posse. Vanilla actually appeared on ICP's "Swallow This Nut" back in 2005. This could prove to be a fascinating song and, judging by the title, topical.
In a new Billboard feature that we already like much better than Mashup Mondays, we get an artist's "5 Favorite Things." Find out Vanilla Ice's five favorite rappers -- AKA the possible influences for his latest material -- below.
Jay-Z: Vanilla says he loves "Empire State of Mind," and who can blame him?
How influential? Businesswise, certainly. We're talking about different levels of moguldom, but there's no doubt that a guy with his own TV show, lots of real estate, and his propensity for death-defying stunts in Cadillacs shows that he can relate to the grandiose, savvy, and ultimately personal nature of Jay-Z's music and other projects more than some.
Lil Wayne: Respect from one Dirty South rapper to another. No mention of both of them relocating to South Florida, though.
How influential? Not as much commonality here. Weezy is prolific without parallel when it comes to releasing music -- even while in jail. Vanilla is closing a five-year gap between studio albums, not counting the remix album Vanilla Ice Is Back! There is the possibility that they've used the same tattoo artist, though.
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Jadakiss: Identified here as an overlooked treasure of the rap game.
How influential? Well, they've both had their share of beef. Suge Knight's entourage notoriously (reportedly) strong-armed Vanilla into signing over producing credit for "Ice Ice Baby," and Jada has been targeted by Diddy, 50 Cent, Bill O'Reilly, and others. The music itself, we don't hear it.
Ludacris: Another Dirty South shoutout.
How influential? Acting is a parallel here, but there's actually a decent argument for Luda's undeniable pop leanings with his five Billboard Hot 100 number ones. Here's betting that Vanilla Ice and Justin Bieber could collaborate just fine too.
Public Enemy: He also mentions hip-hop vets EPMD and Sir Mix-A-Lot.
How influential? To the extreme! As much as revisionist historians would like to see things differently, "Ice Ice Baby" came out during Public Enemy's prominence, and this is probably an act that Vanilla had in his collection back then. Certainly, there's a huge divide when it comes to the militant attitudes and content of PE versus "if there was a problem, yo I'll solve it," but both acts had an ear for an infectious sample. Judging by the $4 million Vanilla Ice eventually had to fork over to David Bowie and Queen, times were changing rapidly.
Read more about each of Vanilla Ice's choices at the source here. For some reason, a bunch of the comments are pissed that he didn't include Eminem... or Asher Roth... or MC Serch. Big deal.