"I seem to be a prime suspect to be picked on, you know," he said finally. "I'm setting patterns here for other people to come along, bringing rap music into ears that never heard it before or never even considered buying rap music . . . and I'm white. A lot of people don't like that because rap music is black. Blacks did originate it, but rap also belongs to the streets and the street is where I came from.
Hard-core rap, with its steel-eyed politics on one end and raunchy humor on the other, may be a bit too radical for young fans. Ice's-and [Hammer, Quon]'s-tamer, pasteurized style enables the fans to relate more easily to the rap movement, which they see as hipper and more exotic than the timid mainstream pop.
If the rap community was split over Hammer, imagine the uproar over Vanilla Ice's "To the Extreme." Here was a white rapper whose music was also far from the creative intensity of the most compelling rap. Yet Ice's collection took over the No. 1 spot on the pop charts from "Please" in November and stayed there for four months.