Friday, December 9, 2011

Vanilla Ice -- "Detonator" (2001)

Lettin' loose, it's the Detonator 
Setting off a time bomb, ring the alarm
I'm coming through with the wickedness

A few months, I wrote about Vanilla Ice's huge 1990 hit, "Ice Ice Baby," as part of my "Hip Hop 101" series.

Someone named Bjarni Gautur was kind enough to comment favorably on the post, and I responded by thanking him and inviting him to write about a favorite song for 2 or 3 lines.

Little did I know that Bjarni Gautur is a 22-year-old Icelandic filmmaker and co-author of a graphic novel.  He's also a big fan of Vanilla Ice.

Gautur on the set of his movie "Finni Vei (Mamma Eithvað)" with actress Guðný R. Hannesdóttira
According to Bjarni's Wikipedia page  -- he also has a page on IMDb and a website of his own, (which is temporarily down but should be up and running soon) -- he graduated from the Icelandic Film School in 2009.  His 40-minute short film, Transongeist, was shown at the Reykjavik International Film Festival that same year.  (Bjarni told me that "Transongeist" was Latin for "the speed of thought."  It's been a long time since I took Latin IV in high school, but that word does not look very Latin to me.)

Bjarni wrote, produced, directed, edited, and starred in his first feature-length film, Knight of the Living Dead, when he was only 15 years old.  The movie's title was inspired by George Romero's cult zombie film from 1968, Night of the Living Dead.  

Knight of the Living Dead is about a knight and a Viking who were killed by lightning while fighting hundreds of years ago, but return to life in 2005, and immediately continue their battle.  

In addition to the knight and the Viking, the movie features some relatively normal teenagers and some relatively abnormal characters, including "Gas Mask Man," (a Yoda-like hermit), "Guitar-Playing Dan" (who doesn't speak, but plays his guitar to communicate with his friends), and the "Shemale Mexican Mother."

Here's the movie's trailer:

The movie features songs by death metal bands like Doghorse, Changer, and Ultra Vomit.  Look for one or more of them to be featured on 2 or 3 lines in the future.

So how did Bjarni become a fan of Vanilla Ice?  You can give the credit to the second "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie:

I guess I first got introduced to Ice when I saw "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II" (1991) as a little kid.  I was a big Ninja Turtle fan, so "Ninja Rap" really got to me. 

[NOTE: At the end of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II," the heroes drop by a night club where Vanilla Ice just happens to be performing.  He immediately starts freestyling about the turtles.  "Ninja Rap" was the second-biggest hit of Vanilla Ice's  career.  Go to to learn more about it.]

My TMNT cereal bowls (circa 1990)
When I was entering 8th grade (2002), I was really interested in hearing more songs by Ice.  Living in Iceland, I had tried to get radio stations to play his songs, but they would only play "Ice Ice Baby" and only if I was lucky.  Using a primitive tool called AltaVista, I found Ice's official website, where I finally got introduced to his other songs. 

[NOTE: AltaVista was my Internet browser of choice in the late 1990s.  A company called CMGI paid $2.3 billion for an 83% stake in AltaVista in 1999, hoping to take the company public.  Unfortunately for them, Internet stocks collapsed in 2000 and a little company called Google came along and ate AltaVista's lunch.]

I watched his music videos there ("Roll 'Em Up" I thought was amazing -- I didn't even think they could be the same person) and saw a list of his albums and I got really interested.  Seeing that there was no way to download or buy these songs, I could only listen to the samples on, and they were amazing. 

I heard the first verses on his entire Bi-Polar album (including "Detonator") and I really wanted to buy it.  As the Internet developed, I was able to find more and more of his music and even found To the Extreme and the Cool As Ice soundtrack in shops in Reykjavik.  I also bought a comic book released in '91 about the guy.

The "Bi-Polar" album cover
Vanilla Ice just really interested me, especially since info on him wasn't already all over the place.  Everywhere I looked online, more and more relics were popping up and I'd continue to learn new and new things.  It's totally been a fun ride.  Especially finding other fans of Vanilla Ice all around the globe via YouTube and Facebook.  

I still don't understand how his fame fell the way it did.  Especially when I keep finding some of his unreleased stuff from '92 -- personally I think this should rival "Ice Ice Baby" in popularity:

As Bjarni notes above, "Detonator" is on Vanilla Ice's Bi-Polar album, which was released in 2001.  The album was given that name because half its songs are heavy metal and half are hip hop.
It's not surprising that Bjarni likes "Detonator."  The song's lyrics include references to a number of movies, including Predator, Hunt for Red October, The Bone Collector, Amityville Horror, The Shining, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Backdraft, and (last but not least) Clive Barker's 1987 horror classic, Hellraiser.

Bjarni liked "Detonator" so much that he put together a Youtube video featuring the song:

I thought the song was so good that I had to edit a music video for it using footage from throughout Ice's career.

I heard this first back in 2003 alongside the rest of Bi-Polar and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was one of the greatest musical experiences of my teenage life. That album kicked major ass.
While "Ice Ice Baby" will always be Ice's most known song, I think "Detonator" is his best.  He continues with his his fun lyrical wordplay and classic boasting which have been a part of his act since the mid 80's, but I think he really let's loose in this song.  He gives it his all.  I still think it's his best work.

I thank Bjarni for his contribution to 2 or 3 lines.   And excuse me while I bask in the glory of this post, which takes my wildly popular blog to new heights of cultural significance.  Some of the biggest names in the music business -- including Carl Wiser of and Mahbod Moghadam of -- are big fans of 2 or 3 lines, and it appears that we are becoming the darlings of the independent Scandinavian horror film community as well.

Here's Bjarni's "Detonator" music video:

Click here if you'd like to buy "Detonator" from Amazon:

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