“Self Destruction” was a 1989 posse cut one-off that did what it could to curb gang violence in the black community. At the time, the song felt historic, since heavyweights like Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Kool Moe Dee, and MC Lyte had never been on the same song before. And this weekend, many of those original rappers will perform the song in Selma, Alabama, at a BET-sponsored concert that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Selma march. Also, Vanilla Ice will be there. No, it doesn’t make any sense.
Actually, nothing about the new performance of “Self Destruction” makes any sense. Flava Flav, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, and D-Nice were all on the original track, and they’ll be back to perform it. But this will be an “updated version” of the song, and it will also feature Rick Ross and Bel Biv DeVoe. And Vanilla Ice.
AL.com spoke to BET executive Paxton Baker, who more or less explained that Vanilla Ice keeps getting invited to things like this because Vanilla Ice is a nice guy who’s fun to work with: “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. 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.'”
Vanilla Ice is obviously not going to say no to something like this, and it would be absurd to expect him to have any level of self-consciousness. But shouldn’t BET know how this is going to look? This is a concert that’ll feature the reclusive legend Bill Withers, who almost never performs in public, as well as Cicely Tyson and Harry Belafonte. Does it really need Ice?
In any case, here’s the original “Self Destruction” video. See if you can spot Vanilla Ice in it.
You couldn’t spot Vanilla Ice in it. He wasn’t there.