Short Takes : Vanilla Ice’s Facade Is Melting
The glare of success has started to melt the mysterious facade of Dallas-based rapper Vanilla Ice, whose rap single “Ice Ice Baby” hit No. 1 on the pop chart.
The Dallas Morning News described numerous contradictions in Vanilla Ice’s record-company biography and interviews in a story in Sunday’s editions.
The 22-year-old white entertainer in a genre dominated by blacks has described a colorful teen-age background of gangs, motorcycles and rough-and-tumble street life in lower-class Miami neighborhoods.
But the newspaper quoted numerous sources as saying he was their classmate at R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton, an affluent Dallas suburb. The student is identified in yearbooks as Robert Van Winkle.
Vanilla Ice would not comment on whether his given name is Robert Van Winkle, but said he went to Turner in his junior and senior years.
He has said repeatedly that he won three national motocross championships for Team Honda in Florida. A Team Honda representative said there is no record of a team member named Robert Van Winkle or Vanilla Ice. A representative of the American Motorcycle Assn. said its records show a racer named Robert Van Winkle from Carrollton, but he never won a national title.
Asked if Vanilla Ice had embellished his biography, publicist Elaine Schock said: “Yeah, he may have exaggerated a little. . . . I’ve known artists who have done much worse. A lot of artists do this.”