THE FOLLOWING STORY IS ALLEGED. Ya Dig?
By now you should know that Karlito’s Korner does not judge nor kick anyone while they’re down(unless you deserve it). Anyway, I felt that the following story is very publicly one-sided and needs clarity. Also, connoisseurs of Hip-Hop culture will appreciate the moral compass of this story. So here goes.
In 1991, Vanilla Ice dropped Ice Ice Baby as a B-Side to his Play That Funky Music. The song did not take off until the video premiered on BET. It became one of the biggest songs of the time, next to Can’t Touch This. On the other side of the culture, Suge Knight was coming up as a bodyguard for Bobby Brown and others, soaking up the ins and outs of the music game. Anyone who knows the industry knows the “fly on the wall” is probably one of the best positions to be in. You indirectly are affected by the meetings you attend, learning the business and being introduced to people such as Jimmy Lovine. While Ice Ice Baby was blowing up, there was a problem at hand. Songwriter/Artist Mario “Chocolate” Johnson claimed to have written Ice Ice Baby and a few other songs for Vanilla Ice. Johnson soon became Suge‘s new client in hopes to receive his writer’s credit for the single. Watch this video about how Suge “retrieved” the money from Vanilla Ice.
Let us take into account that this came out while Suge was in jail and was being attacked by every media platform. At the time his reputation as a music industry pit bull came back to bite him.
He was also blamed for the murder of Tupac Shakur, which made absolutely no sense. So while he’s in JAIL, Vanilla Ice grew balls to publicly revisit the situation at hand. He was still salty that he had to sign rights over to Chocolate and Suge. Those points were worth 3-4 Million dollars. Wouldn’t you be salty too?
In retrospect, Suge did Hip-Hop a favor. Early 90’s hip-hop was expanding and the mainstream outlets were taking advantage due to the belief that Hip-Hop would soon become extinct like Disco. Suge‘s initial moral was to get the artist what they deserved from the record labels who were robbing artist left,right, up, down and diagonally. Its so easy to criticize his methods and ways to go about collecting but imagine what these other executives did behind closed doors. Growing up, I always hated Ice Ice Baby. It reminded me of a Mentos commercial trying to Parody Kid N Play. The points and royalties from that song played a part in the formation of Death Row records. Hip-Hop culture shifted to the G-Funk sound once The Chronic came out and the rest is history. So thank you, Suge Knight, for getting Mario Chocolate his rightful credit and saving Hip-Hop from a possible commercial Meltdown.