Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vanilla Ice - Hard to Swallow (1998)

A colossal misfire from the rasputin of Rap

Listening to his third studio album, you start to wonder if the american rapper Vanilla Ice aka Robert Van Winkle should have stayed an obscurity after his initial super duper reign of success. His long absence from the music scene was hardly noticed, until this ill conceived mishmash of an album with rap core and nu-metal elements reminds us of why rap and hiphop fans are glad he's been gone. 

In his heyday, he tried to pull the wool over our eyes and have us think he was a gangsta rapper from Miami, and legit. This image go-around finds him hoeing a row different than before this time, but it's just as pointless. Hard to Swallow is just that. 

The eleven proper songs are indicative of his prior style stealing. This time the victim is the metal-esque rap metal done by bands like Rage Against the Machine, Korn, etc which Ice calls "Skate Rock". The songs are all way too long and wear quickly. Ice raps in a lower register as he attempts to growl / rap in a poor de la Rocha imitation. All in all, the whole idea is way too contrived. 

The raps themselves are ridiculous. "Fuck Me" is a long rant through all the finest of foul language. He spouts off obscenity at every turn for no real reason. Did he think we would find him cool because he can swear? Then we have the needless "Zig Zag Stories." In another attempt of trying to convince us he's cool, Ice spouts off a story of smoking blunts and every other pot cliché and nickname you can think of. In addition to this beauty, "Prozac" finds Ice chanting "We gets crazy like Prozac." Isn't that backwards? you're crazy so you need Prozac? To top off this banality is the utterly idiotic "Stompin Through the Bayou" with its faux metal swamp guitar and Ice's mundane refrain. 

All through the record Ice refers back to lines from the first piece of schmaltz: "Ice, Ice, baby" gets many repeatings in many different contexts. An album like this is hard to review as it's so contrived. From it's style copping music and raps, to the bare breasts on the cover it is one piece of material that reeks of corporate composition in an attempt to cash in and revive a dead stars career. It is an abhorrent waste of money, time and plastic and nobody would have missed it's existence.


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