Vanilla Ice to Perform “Self-Destruction” at Concert for Selma
With the 50th Anniversary of the Selma March approaching, BET is putting together a 3-hour concert to commemorate this historic event but its one performer that's on the list (a list that includes Bebe Winans, Harry Belafonte, and others) that has folks looking at the network kind of crazy.
Vanilla Ice (of "Ice Ice Baby" fame) has been added to list of 90's rappers and artists to help perform the "Stop The Violence" anthem "Self-Destruction". If you're unfamiliar with the song, in 1988, KRS-ONE banded together some of the east coast's best rappers in an attempt to address violence in hip and african american communities. The result was this classic protest song.
Now we all know Vanilla Ice and "civil rights" don't go hand and hand, but when questioned about the decision, BET General Manager and executive vice president Paxton Baker explained to AL.com:
"Vanilla Ice was in the Soul Train Awards two years ago and he's a really cool person. When we call him for things he likes working with us and we like working with him," Baker said. "He's one of the people we call to participate in things with us, and if he can do it he absolutely will. I sent him a text and within two minutes his response was two words: 'I'm in.'"
He went on to note that BET was asked to get involved on Feb. 19th which put them on a "very short notice" to book acts for the March 8th show.
Now if you're familiar with Vanilla Ice's career, you would know that this booking seems "tone-deaf" to many in the hip hop and civil rights community. Instead of the song's original lineup which featured BDP, Public Enemy, MC Lyte, and Doug E. Fresh (most of whom are still alive and performing) the network chose, essentially, a "one-hit wonder" to perform one of hip-hop's most iconic songs. It just seems lazy and not well thought to me in my opinion.
What do you think?