It has been 20 years since Vanilla Ice first broke onto the music scene with the tidal wave of a single that was “Ice Ice Baby.” In the two decades in between, the man born Rob Van Winkle has seen enough highs and lows to fill a half-dozen “Behind the Music” specials.
But he’s on a bit of a winning streak recently, and a lot of it has to do with real estate. Van Winkle has been flipping houses for close to 15 years, and his quest to fix up and turn a profit on a 7,000-square-foot mansion will be captured in his new show, “The Vanilla Ice Project,” which premieres Thursday night (October 14) at 9 p.m. on the DIY Network.
Though “The Vanilla Ice Project” will certainly show a new side of Van Winkle (his business savvy and trade skills are impressive), his main goal is simply to show people a good time. “I think this show is going to entertain a lot of people, whether you like Vanilla Ice or if you just like the home-improvement aspect of it,” he told MTV News. “I get in there and swing a hammer with these guys. It’s not just an investment. I take a lot of pride in what we do. And I put my signature on it.”
Those custom details include an attic home theater, electric curtains and mood lighting that actually changes with your mood. “There’s a lot of eye candy,” Van Winkle said. And no matter what the results are this season, he has already started on a new home for next season, where he plans to build a river in the backyard. And to prove that he can improvise, he took a walk around the MTV Newsroom to make some design and decorating suggestions.
In the meantime, Vanilla Ice also has a new album coming out titled WTF. “It means what you think it means, but to put it in Wal-Mart, we put a thing at the bottom that says ‘Wisdom, Tenacity and Focus,’ so that’s what it really means,” he joked. “It’s got techno on it — it’s like Lady Gaga meets Prodigy meets Vanilla Ice.” And 20 years after “Ice Ice Baby,” he’s still brushing up against the top of the charts: Irish pop duo Jedward borrowed the song (with Van Winkle providing new vocals) earlier this year and turned it into a chart-topping hit in the U.K.
What do you think of Vanilla Ice: the handyman? Let us know in the comments!