News: Vanilla Ice Quits Rap To Become TV Handyman

Friday, Sep 17, 2010 6:00PM

Written by Biz Jones

Controversial hip-hop vet Vanilla Ice has put the microphone on ice for a new reality television series showcasing him renovating Florida homes.

The reality series will reportedly be called "The Vanilla Ice Project".

Vanilla Ice, the rapper who briefly ascended to fame with his single "Ice Ice Baby" in the early 1990s and then dropped off the radar, will reportedly star in his own reality TV show, according to media reports. Born Robert Van Winkle, Vanilla Ice, 42, announced on Thursday that he's starting his TV show, The Vanilla Ice Project, which will be focused on home renovation. (The Epoch Times)

Widely known for his 1990's hit, "Ice Ice Baby," the rapper claims he has been renovating homes for over a decade.

"It's funny, because it's not a new career direction. I've been doing this for over 13 years. I was building homes in Florida, from $300,000 to $1.5 million. The bottom dropped out of the real estate market, but I learned how to go to these seminars and read these books -- Robert Shemin is one of my favorite authors. He's a guy that I learned a lot from, by reading his books, about how to adjust to the market as it evolves. One of the adjustments was, O.K., now you can buy a foreclosed, or tax-lien or short-sale home for a lot less than you can build a home." (The New York Times)

He also believes that investing his finances into multiple homes helped steer his new career.

"Basically, when I had a lot of money when I was younger, I said -- like most rock stars who are young and dumb-- let me go buy a bunch of houses," he tells The New York Times about the beginning of his real estate ventures. "When I sold them, I made, on each one of them, $300,000 to $400,000. I stopped in my tracks and said, 'It can't be that easy.' But it was." (On The Red Cartpet)

As an emcee, Vanilla Ice sold millions of albums in the early 1990's.

With his hit single "Ice Ice Baby" and its accompanying album, To the Extreme, Vanilla Ice became the second white rapper to top the charts. Unlike the Beastie Boys, he didn't have any street credibility, so the Miami-born rapper decided to invent some of his own, claiming he had a seriously violent gangster past. Nevertheless, "Ice Ice Baby" became a number one hit late in 1990, thanks to the pulsating bass riff from David Bowie and Queen's "Under Pressure." To the Extreme also went to the top of the charts, spending 16 weeks at number one and selling over seven million copies. Ice began filming a feature film, Cool as Ice, in the spring of 1990, but by the time the film came out in the fall, his star had fallen dramatically; To the Extreme was at number one longer than the soundtrack to Cool as Ice was even on the charts. (All Music)

"The Vanilla Ice Project" airs on the DIY Network on October 14.

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