Since I began sharing my list of the ten greatest songs of all time four (!) months ago, I imagine that many of you have been on the edges of your seats wondering which song would hold the coveted #1 position.
When I posted the penultimate entry in the series two months ago, you probably assumed that the #1 song would be revealed shortly after. I apologize for making you wait so long, as I’m sure it has been absolute torture for you.
I’m happy to say that the wait is finally over. I will now reveal the song that my super-secret formula has determined to be the greatest ever!
In case you have forgotten, here’s the rest of the top ten:
The songs so far:
And finally, the #1 song of all-time…
#1 – Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
Why the Ranking is Justified
The year was 1990. Hip hop had not only emerged into the mainstream, but was largely taking over the pop music scene thanks to hit songs like Bust a Move and The Humpty Dance.
America was ready for party-style hip hop to be taken to its absolute pinnacle. And that’s exactly what Robert Van Winkle did.
Going by the stage name of Vanilla Ice, Van Winkle originally expected his breakout hit to be “Play That Funky Music.” As it turned out, when he released his record, people liked the B-side track just a little bit better.
Maybe it was because he
stole modified the bass line from another popular song. (In this classic interview, Vanilla clearly shows us how they are different.) Maybe it was because America really wanted to see a white rapper succeed. Whatever the reason, Ice Ice Baby soon rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts, and Vanilla Ice became a megastar.
Historians may one day decide that pop culture reached its apex on January 12, 1991 when Vanilla Ice performed on Saturday Night Live. Wearing his now famous “Word to your Mother” jacket, Vanilla performed his hit song with a high amount of energy.
And just when we thought it was over, Vanilla gave us a surprise. He treated the audience to a dance routine that was like nothing anyone had ever seen before…or will ever see again.
Click here to watch Vanilla and crew in action!
Obviously, the song has endured it’s share of ridicule over the years. Perhaps that’s because gangsta rap became popular shortly after, and Ice Ice Baby is pretty much the antithesis of gangsta rap.
- Vanilla Ice doesn’t brag about getting women. In fact, he makes a point to tell us how he passes them up.
- Vanilla doesn’t do drugs.
- When violence breaks out, Vanilla isn’t in the middle of it “popping caps.” Instead, he runs away as fast as he can.
- The police don’t harass Vanilla. Instead, they leave him alone and go after the drug dealers.
Yeah, it’s a pretty safe bet that this song was written by a white guy.
It didn’t take long before Vanilla Ice fell from those glorious heights. But for a brief time, he was the biggest star in the world. And if a song can make this guy into a huge star…
…then who are we to say that it isn’t the greatest ever?
Personal Reflection on the Song
I still remember being at a middle school dance in 1991 when the DJ dropped the now-classic bass line. The squeal of glee was so intense that I think some members of the student body instantaneously went through puberty at that moment.
Could any other song have possibly evoked such a strong reaction? I don’t think so.
I don’t think there can be any argument that this is truly the greatest song of all time!
This post has been part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In case you couldn’t tell, today’s letter was I, and the topic was “Ice Ice Baby.”