Vanilla Ice
Hard to Swallow


3.5
great

Review

by dontcallmeshirley383 USER (1 Reviews)
September 2nd, 2008 | 20 replies | 8,710 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Joint-rolling, head-banging Vanilla Ice? I was surprised, too.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

I hate the kind of rap being constantly played on the radio these days. Some might blame the likes of today's snap-hyphy-crunking booty-swingers on the negative influence of pop music on hip-hop. But I happened to have got into hip-hop through immensely catchy pop hits of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. What I didn't know at the time was that Vanilla was not, in fact, a pop musician, but had been performing for black crowds in the early days of his career, opening for the likes of Public Enemy and Ice-T. Vanilla--whose real name is Rob Van Winkle--was surprised when, after having signed to a major label, his audience changed from the largely-black faces he was used to performing in front of, to pimply-faced white teens.

After efforts to abandon his label and recapture his former audience failed, Van Winkle retired from hip-hop to concentrate on another one of his interests, rock music, playing in a Miami grunge band for several years, trying to find a way to capture a unique sound he had wanted to perform -- a fusion of punk, heavy metal and hip-hop. He eventually hooked up with Korn producer Ross Robinson, who was able to help him develop the sound he was looking for. The result was 1998's Hard to Swallow, an underrated "skate rock" effort with a dense groove-oriented rap fusion that is truly unique and will shock many listeners only familiar with that catchy, Queen-fused hit. This is not a hip-hop album. This is a rock album.

"Living" opens up with a lean bassline and a nice, fat beat before kicking into its sludgy groove. Sharp, raw riffs and pounding rythms compliment the lyrics of "Scars", describing Rob's troubled childhood:

"Father!
Whoever you are
Beat my mother down, all I see is scars
And memories - what about me?
Throw me through a window for watching tv
Where did I get this anger?
Where did I get this hate?
And where did I get my temper?
Now I’m gonna show my faith"

"*** Me" sees Rob snapping back at his critics ("Vanilla Ice sucks? Hope you got more *** than that."), while "Zig Zag Stories" is a trippy, stoned tribute to the sticky-icky. "Too Cold" successfully revisits Rob's biggest hit as a stomping metal anthem, "S.N.A.F.U." breezes along at a fast pace before Rob slows things down a bit for "A.D.D." It is appropriate that "Stompin' Through the Bayou" would take a horror movie theme, as who would show up on the album's final track, the funky hip-hop "Freestyle", but Insane Poetry frontman Cyco? Cyco's former group was the first "horrorcore" rap group, preceding similarly-themed efforts from Flatlinerz and Gravediggaz. This appearance serves as a tribute to one of the most underrated underground groups out there, and is a fine conclusion to an entertaining rock album.

While many will be quick to dismiss this one because of its performer, I would strongly advise against being too judgmental. This album features a different style and many listeners should fine this one far more entertaining than Vanilla's previous efforts. Hard to Swallow successfully proves that Rob Van Winkle is more than just "Ice Ice Baby".


user ratings (94)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Karl V.H. (1)
To spit or swallow, that is the question....


Comments:Add a Comment 
botb
September 2nd 2008



9284 Comments


Everyone loves ice ice baby, whether they admit it or not.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

Tyler
Emeritus
September 2nd 2008



7924 Comments


No, everybody loves Under Pressure.

DimeoFlame
September 2nd 2008



35 Comments


Under Pressure is way better

Epilogue
September 2nd 2008



1555 Comments


'Surley, you must be joking?'
'No, I'm not, and don't call me Shirley.'

chickenfish
September 2nd 2008



1008 Comments


Vanilla Ice, 3.5 I don't think so.

AtavanHalen
September 2nd 2008



17927 Comments


Better than hiprockrules, but still...
I think the reviewer needs to stop, collaborate and listen.

marksellsuswallets
September 2nd 2008



4848 Comments


He could just as easily check out the hook while his d.j. revolves it...

AtavanHalen
September 2nd 2008



17927 Comments


Of course.
Word up to his mother as well?

marksellsuswallets
September 2nd 2008



4848 Comments


Definitely

Anyways, decent review, and kudos to you for being brave enough to give a Vanilla Ice album higher than a 2.This Message Edited On 09.02.08

AtavanHalen
September 2nd 2008



17927 Comments


I feel like doing the Ninja Rap.

Poet
September 2nd 2008



5910 Comments


lol I can't believe he has a song called Prozac.

badtaste
September 2nd 2008



824 Comments


I can't believe 52 people have listened to and rated this album.

Wizard
October 8th 2008



18784 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

One of the worst nu-metal albums EVER! I can't believe I bought this a long time ago. Oh, I love my nu metal days! Review was ok. Needs more work describing the music.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Platonism
October 8th 2008



168 Comments


This is Nu-Metal?

Phatwoodz
January 2nd 2009



7 Comments


yeah this album is actually pretty heavy, i never was really into Vanilla Ice. Till I heard this album.
but the Con thing about this album is he recycled some of his lyrics off Mind blowin and off that song "Boom" with The Bloodhound Gang.

kygermo
January 2nd 2009



994 Comments


does he still cook up mc's like a pound of bacon?

Asiatic667
January 3rd 2009



4647 Comments


Of course he does, cause Ice is back with a brand new invention.

earwormbuckle
December 26th 2009



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

And Chuck D of Public Enemy has a spot on Ice's "Bi-Polar" album.

Nytro
January 27th 2011



91 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

When a career can't sink any lower.

intotheshit
August 28th 2012



3421 Comments


I think this album killed the reviewer's brain like a poisonous mushroom.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy