I listened to Vanilla Ice’s third single tonight, at the risk of gangrene. “I Love You” courted bathos. That’s the only mode he knew. In the same year Marcel Theo Hall showed contemporaries how to take a worn scenario — a crush insisting on a platonic relationship — into a terribly sung, beautifully wrapped scenario. Biz Markie’s thick mucous-y tunes bespoke his commitment to the shaggy dog story; not once did he suggest danger. “What Comes Around Goes Around” should’ve followed it into the top ten but didn’t.
Calling him the Crown Prince of Hip-hop condescended to him, as if rock ‘n’ roll, much less hip-hop, required discrete categories. As if rap and rock ‘n’ roll required us to separate the serious from the trivial!