Occupation: Rapper, host of The Vanila Ice Project
Why we hated them: Because he created a fake street persona to boost his popularity
Lyrical shoutout: "Hip hop got turned into hit pop/The second a record was number one on the pop chart." - 3rd Bass on "Pop Goes the Weasel"
Before Vanilla Ice was nearly thrown off a balcony by Suge Knight; before he obliterated an MTV set with a baseball bat in an effort to destroy the "lamest video ever;" way before he was a cast-member on Rachael & Guy's Celebrity Cook-Off on the Food Network, he was a rapper.
Well, he was a phenomenon. In 1990, he sold 11 million copies of his debut album, To The Extreme and it spent 16 weeks at number-one on the Billboard charts. He dated Madonna; there are pictures of him palming her pubis for her Sex book. So, he clearly had his fans. But, oh right, an entire culture saw him as an unwanted wanna-be, the guy who brought his version of hip-hop to a new and largely white mainstream.
He pretended to have grown up on streets he'd never visited, imitating things he'd seen on Yo! MTV Raps and elsewhere. Also, he was a sell-out and gentrifier. In 1991, he was seizure-dancing and wagging his tongue while "rapping" about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, taking opportunities that better-skilled MCs could've had. He went on tour with MC Hammer. Hell, that same year, he starred in his own truly awful movie! All one year!
It was all his for the taking.
Alas, his moment didn't last long: as a result of his popularity, authenticity in hip-hop became more necessary than ever, and he was laughed off the stage. Now Vanilla Ice is remembered as a one-hit wonder, which is the best and only way to explain how all of that happened, even if it's incorrect. He came out of nowhere, and then he disappeared, and now he fixes houses on reality TV on a channel I can't seem to find on my remote. See, our hating had a purpose.