In hip-hop news that will make you do a double (possibly even a triple) take today: Apparently, Vanilla Ice owns the song he samples for his infamous 1990 hit “Ice, Ice, Baby.”
That’s right. In an interview with Dan Patrick, Ice revealed that while he borrowed the bassline from the Queen and David Bowie hit “Under Pressure” for his somehow-still-enduring, runaway smash, and subsequently faced a massive lawsuit for unpaid royalties on the uncleared sample, after reaching out to Queen guitarist Brian May — who owned the recording at the time — he decided to just straight-up buy it. Although one wonders why a ’90s kitsch rap star went on a sports radio talk show to reveal this information, if a ’90s kitsch teen heartthrob actor can drop freestyles on rap radio shows, we’ll let it fly. He says that it was cheaper to buy the song outright than to pay out on the suit or go to court and risk being ordered to pay the back-owed royalties. This may not be the strangest thing to be revealed this year with regard to the late, great David Bowie’s catalog recently, but it’s up there.
That’s pretty impressive when you remember that he once tried to defend his use of the bass loop by denying that the bass lines were the same. Of course, the subtle difference he insisted made them distinct never existed, and he cops to being “a jackass” during this interview. He also says that the situation taught him about how publishing works, which is all too common an occurrence when it comes to young, popular rappers, who often learn the ins and outs of the music biz in the most expensive way possible. In the future, maybe they can take a page from the book of Vanilla Ice and save themselves a lot of headaches while making a little extra money in the process. You can check out the interview below.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) July 12, 2017