Momentous Birthday greetings are certainly required.
Straight outta Carollton, TX, that crazy mutherfucka named Robbie Van Winkle is celebrating his birthday today.
Vanilla Ice is 35.
Though famously the person who, just in case you didn't know, brought Miami on the scene, Ice was actually from my neck of the woods: the suburbs of Dallas. He languished in obscurity until the hit song, Ice Ice Baby, had every white boy believing that they to could play the fade and write a hit rap song.
After about 3 months, he had us all asking questions like, "Will it ever stop?" to which Vanilla could only reply, cunningly, "Yo... I don't know." It was truly a magical time for anyone who was around.
Of course, into every fairy tale a little night must come, so it wasn't long before Suge Knight started to mumble and he did, indeed, want to rumble. In another DFW area confluence, Knight famously broke into Ice's penthouse in the Anatole hotel, and dangled him off the balcony, claiming he was owed money and demanding that Van Winkle give it up smooth.
After that, it was downhill for Ice. Truly, the Dallas area died just a little bit that day. The Cowboys went 7-9, the Rangers went 70-92 and the Mavericks went 28-54. But mostly, the city just felt despondent, as though our brain was slowly being killed by a poisonous mushroom. Seeing our native (though unacknowledged) son going through such a dismal time was hard.
Time passed, and we soon learned to ignore our pain - though it still returns once in a while when a party is particularly jumping or we hear a cymbal and a high-hat with a souped-up tempo. And it is during such moments, and on days like today, that I and my fellow Dallasites raise our glasses to the Iceman, a star who can be best summed up as, in his own words, anything less than the best.