Rapper Vanilla is a hip hop legend. He is one of only two white rappers to have a chart topping song. His release “Ice Ice Baby” is a classic. “Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts. It helped to open the doors of the mainstream for the deluge of rappers that followed. At first people laughed at the idea of a white rapper. According to Forbes as of 2012 the 44 year old rapper, and television personality has a net worth of $18 million. His wealth comes from music, television and film.
Vanilla Ice’s real name is Robert Mathew Van Winkle. He was born on October 31, 1967 in Houston, Texas. His parents are of German, Irish and Dutch ancestry. The 6’2″ tall Van Winkle is a high school drop-out. He left R. L. Turner High School in Texas to pursue his musical career. The versatile entertainer is married to Laura Giaritta. The couple has two daughters, Dusti Rain, KeeLee Breeze.
Vanilla Ice burst onto the music scene in 1990 with the cult classic “Ice Ice Baby” off his album To The Extreme. By late 1990 the song had skyrocketed to the top of the charts and it stayed there for 16 weeks. Part of the song’s attraction was the David Bowie bass riff he sampled and his clean cut good looks. Although his musical star began to dim a year later, he was able to parlay his celebrity status into television and movie appearance and work as a record producer. In 2011 he released the album WTF (wisdom, Tenacity & Focus). It featured a variety of musical genres including rock and rap.
Although Vanilla Ice only had one commercially successful album, he has had an impact on the industry. “Ice Ice Baby” brought a lot of white teen into rap. He was also one of hip hop’s first white stars. This has led most white rappers to be compared to him. Vanilla Ice has experimented with many other musical genres, but “Ice Ice Baby’ has made him a certified rap legend.