A1A Beachfront Avenue

There’s something that has been bothering me lately and I am hoping this is the forum to vent my frustration. There was a hubbub going on around the 4th of July concerning an upcoming concert event headlined by 90’s hip hop legend Vanilla Ice. People didn’t want anyone to go to it in fear that the legions of Vanilla Ice fans would all pass covid to eachother.

And I get it. We gotta stay apart. Don’t go to concerts. That’s fine. That’s not what bothered me.

I’ve heard “ice ice baby” a million times. I used to be able to recite it by heart. My MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice cassette tapes blared loudly from the back bedroom of Donna and Stan’s house growing up. This was never anything I examined objectively. I just listened to the lightly altered back beat of “under pressure” and bobbed my head in the hippest way a dorky suburban white dude in Umbro shorts could do. It’s only now as an adult that this has come to light. Blame it on experience. Blame it on whatever you want. But “girls were hot wearing less than bikinis” is a stupid fucking lyric.

Let’s think about it. What’s less than a bikini? Nothing, really. Underwear isn’t less than a bikini. It’s about the same. And if it was underwear, why not say girls were hot wearing their underwear? It isn’t important to use bikinis to get to Lamborghinis. All he says is some other guys drive them. He’s driving a 5.o with the ragtop down so his hair can blow. Things rhyme with naked. Were the girls naked, Vanilla?

This problem I’m having with that single line has tainted the entire song for me. Something I once loved now just seems stupid. What really happened? He drove by the nearly nude ladies and then somebody shot guns and it freaked him out so he drove away. What an uneventful shit story. Why did I ever like this? I would rewind my cassette over and over. Was I stupid? I guess a lot of people were. It sold millions of copies. There’s probably things now that given 30 years to reflect on, we’ll realize they were not us at our best. Weird that you can’t see them when they’re right in front of you.

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