Ice Ice Baby (3:47)

Cover of To The Extreme

From To The Extreme and 169 other releases

“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 Van Winkle’s 1989 debut album Hooked and later on his 1990 national debut To the Extreme, it is his most famous and popular 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”.

“Ice Ice Baby” was initially released as the B-side to Van Winkle’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 drive-by 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’.”

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