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Source Material

Vanilla Ice,
"Ice, Ice, Baby" from the album
"To the Extreme"
Amazon

Queen,
"Under Pressure", from the album
"Hot Space"
Amazon

 
 

Extreme Gall

In a similar fashion to MC Hammer sampling Superfreak, Vanilla Ice sampled the most identifiable riffs from David Bowie and Queen's song Under Pressure for his only hit Ice Ice Baby on his 1990 album titled To the Extreme. However, unlike MC Hammer, Vanilla didn't bother to license, or even credit, the song.

Rock or Rap - can you tell the difference?

Queen Puts on the Pressure

The music is used to provide a feel, mood, or atmosphere; generally the same as the original. The sampled song will compete directly with the original. It is generally the case that the readily identifiable riffs or hooks in a particular song are what generate the sales.

The liner notes indicate the author of Ice Ice Baby as Vanilla Ice, Earthquake and M. Smooth. Additionally, the liners thank such artists (presumably for inspiration) as MC Hammer, Ice T, Public Enemy, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Cash Money, EPMD and 2 Live Crew. Conspicuously absent are David Bowie and Queen.

This case never went to trial, although rumor has it that the copyright holders of Under Pressure threatened suit and settled with Vanilla out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Queen subsequently re-released Under Pressure in 1992 in their compilation album Classic Queen. The liner notes indicate that the genesis of the song was an impromptu recording session in Montreux, and that it was Queen's first collaboration with another artist (David Bowie). The liners go on to say that not only was the song number one in the U.K. and Argentina, but that "in 1990 the bass and piano featured again on Vanilla Ice's number one single Ice Ice Baby".

Lyrics

"Ice, Ice Baby" -
by Vanilla Ice

Yo, VIP, Let's kick it!

Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby
All right stop, Collaborate and listen
Ice is back with my brand new invention
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Then I flow like a harpoon daily and nightly
Will it ever stop? Yo -- I don't know
Turn off the lights and I'll glow
To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal
Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

Dance, Bum rush the speaker that booms
I'm killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom
Deadly, when I play a dope melody
Anything less than the best is a felony
Love it or leave it, You better gain way
You better hit bull's eye, The kid don't play
If there was a problem, Yo, I'll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Ice Ice Baby Vanilla, Ice Ice Baby Vanilla
Ice Ice Baby Vanilla, Ice Ice Baby Vanilla

Now that the party is jumping
With the bass kicked in, the Vegas are pumpin'
Quick to the point, to the point no faking
I'm cooking MCs like a pound of bacon
Burning them if they're not quick and nimble
I go crazy when I hear a cymbal
And a hi hat with a souped up tempo
I'm on a roll and it's time to go solo
Rollin' in my 5.0
With my ragtop down so my hair can blow
The girlies on standby, Waving just to say Hi
Did you stop? No -- I just drove by
Kept on pursuing to the next stop
I busted a left and I'm heading to the next block
That block was dead

Yo -- so I continued to A1A Beachfront Ave.
Girls were hot wearing less than bikinis
Rockman lovers driving Lamborghinis
Jealous 'cause I'm out geting mine
Shay with a gauge and Vanilla with a nine
Reading for the chumps on the wall
The chumps acting ill because they're so full of "Eight Ball"
Gunshots ranged out like a bell
I grabbed my nine -- All I heard were shells
Falling on the concrete real fast
Jumped in my car, slammed on the gas
Bumper to bumper the avenue's packed
I'm trying to get away before the jackers jack
Police on the scene, You know what I mean
They passed me up, confronted all the dope fiends
If there was a problem, You, I'll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Ice Ice Baby Vanilla, Ice Ice Baby Vanilla
Ice Ice Baby Vanilla, Ice Ice Baby Vanilla

Take heed, 'cause I'm a lyrical poet
Miami's on the scene just in case you didn't know it
My town, that created all the bass sound
Enough to shake and kick holes in the ground
'Cause my style's like a chemical spill
Feasible rhymes that you can vision and feel
Conducted and formed, This is a hell of a concept
We make it hype and you want to step with this
Shay plays on the fade, slice like a ninja
Cut like a razor blade so fast, Other DJs say, "damn"
If my rhyme was a drug, I'd sell it by the gram
Keep my composure when it's time to get loose
Magnetized by the mic while I kick my juice
If there was a problem, Yo -- I'll solve it!
Check out the hook while Deshay revolves it.

Ice Ice Baby Vanilla, Ice Ice Baby Vanilla
Ice Ice Baby Vanilla, Ice Ice Baby Vanilla

Yo man -- Let's get out of here! Word to your mother!

Ice Ice Baby Too cold, Ice Ice Baby Too cold Too cold
Ice Ice Baby Too cold Too cold, Ice Ice Baby Too cold Too cold

"Under Pressure" -
by Queen

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for

Under pressure -
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends

Screaming let me out
Pray tomorrow-gets me higher
Pressure on people-people on streets
Chipping around -

Kick my brains around the floor
These are the days
It never rains but it pours
People on streets turned away
From it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
But it's so slashed and tarn

Why-why-why
Love, insanity laughs
Under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more
Why can't we give love chance

That one more chance
Why can't we give love
Cause love's
Such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to change our way
Of carring about ourselves

This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure, pressure