|Artist Name: ||VANILLA ICE|
|Song Author: ||Vanilla Ice, Earthquake, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, David Bowie|
|Ice Ice Baby|
Single by Vanilla Ice
from the album To the Extreme
A-side "Play That Funky Music"
Released July 2, 1990
Format 7", 12", CD, cassette single
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:46 (Radio edit)
4:32 (Album version)
Label SBK Records
Writer(s) Vanilla Ice, Earthquake, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, David Bowie
Producer Vanilla Ice
"Ice Ice Baby" is a hip hop song written by American rapper Vanilla Ice and DJ Earthquake. The song samples the bassline of "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie, who did not initially receive songwriting credit or royalties until after it had become a hit.
Originally released on Vanilla Ice's 1989 debut album Hooked and later on his 1990 national debut To the Extreme, it is his most well known song. It has appeared in remixed form on Platinum Underground and Vanilla Ice Is Back! A live version appears on the album Extremely Live, while a rap rock version appears on the album Hard to Swallow, under the title "Too Cold". the artist was well known for his pop and rock music themes.
"Ice Ice Baby" was initially released as the B-side to Vanilla Ice's cover of "Play That Funky Music", but the single was not initially successful. When a disc jockey played "Ice Ice Baby" instead, it began to gain success. "Ice Ice Baby" was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts. Topping the Australian, Dutch, Irish, Italian and UK charts, the song helped diversify hip hop by introducing it to a mainstream audience.
Robert Van Winkle, better known by his stage name Vanilla Ice, wrote "Ice Ice Baby" at the age of 16, basing its lyrics upon his experiences in South Florida. The lyrics describe a shooting and Van Winkle's rhyming skills.
The chorus of "Ice Ice Baby" originates from the signature chant of the national African American fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. Of the song's lyrics, Van Winkle states that "If you released 'Ice Ice Baby' today, it would fit in today's lyrical respect among peers, you know what I'm sayin'? [...] My lyrics aren't, 'Pump it up, go! Go!' At least I'm sayin' somethin'."
The song's hook samples the bassline of the 1981 song "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie, who did not receive credit or royalties for the sample. In a 1990 interview, Van Winkle said the two melodies were slightly different because he had added an additional note, an anacrusis ("pickup") between odd-numbered and subsequent even-numbered iterations of the Under Pressure sample.
In later interviews, Van Winkle readily admitted he sampled the song and claimed his 1990 statement was a joke; others, however, suggested he had been serious. Van Winkle later paid Queen and Bowie and as a result, all members of Queen and Bowie have since been given songwriting credit for the sample.
In December 1990, Van Winkle told Smash Hits magazine where he came up with the idea of sampling "Under Pressure":
"Ice Ice Baby" was initially released by Ichiban Records as the B-side to Van Winkle's cover of "Play That Funky Music". The 12-inch single featured the radio, instrumental and a cappella versions of "Play That Funky Music" and the radio version and "Miami Drop" remix of "Ice Ice Baby".
When a disc jockey played "Ice Ice Baby" instead of the single's A-side, the song gained more success than "Play That Funky Music". A music video for "Ice Ice Baby" was produced for $8000.
The video was financed by Van Winkle's manager, Tommy Quon, and shot on the roof of a warehouse in Dallas, Texas. In the video, Van Winkle is shown rapping the lyrics while he and others dance to the song. Heavy airplay of the video by The Box while Van Winkle was still unknown increased public interest in the song.
"Ice Ice Baby" was given its own single, released in 1990 by SBK Records in the United States, and EMI Records in the United Kingdom. The SBK single contained the "Miami Drop", instrumental and radio mixes of "Ice Ice Baby" and the album version of "It's A Party".
The EMI single contained the club and radio mixes of the song, and the shortened radio edit. The single was quickly pulled from the American market soon after the song reached number one, in a successful attempt to drive consumers to buy the album instead.