Prince Helps Vanilla Ice Say ‘I Love You’ – 365 Prince Songs in a Year
To celebrate the incredibly prolific, influential and diverse body of work left behind by Prince, we will be exploring a different song of his each day for an entire year with the series 365 Prince Songs in a Year.
Vanilla Ice says the experience of working with Prince on what he otherwise considers his worst song ever ultimately turned a negative memory into a positive one.
In a 2017 interview, Ice says the track in question – the overly syrupy and formulaic ballad "I Love You," from his multi-platinum debut album To the Extreme – was only added to the record because he was pressured to follow a profitable trend.
"[That's] my worst song; I can't stand it," Ice explains. "I was talked into doing a song, and I don't believe in doing that. If a song has your name on it, it should be coming from you. I was persuaded financially to do it because MC Hammer had a slow song and LL Cool J had a slow song, so they figured 'with the girls and all that and Vanilla Ice, let's put a slow song out.' I just was against it the whole time, because it wasn't real; it was kind of artificial."
On the plus side, while recording the track at Paisley Park, Ice says he met with Prince, who apparently helped out in an unspecified (and uncredited) role: "He was there, too; he came in, he was helping out. It was great." He also reveals that Prince joined him onstage in the early '90s, during one of the two times Ice played First Avenue, the Minneapolis club his recording-studio host had made famous in the movie Purple Rain.
(As deftly pointed out on the Prince.org message board, the two artists also apparently shopped at the same store at least once: Note that they are both wearing identical shirts in the photo at the top of this article.)
Like many people, Prince's 2016 death hit Vanilla Ice hard. "It just shocked me so much," he told West Palm Beach's CBS12. ""He would sing with more passion than any singer I've known in my entire life. He had it. He had that fairy dust on him."
Nearly 30 years later, Ice (who continues to perform live and has just begun production on the eighth season of his popular home renovation series The Vanilla Ice Project) says he's made peace with being pressured into recording "I Love You." "That was my little learning curve there. But after thinking about it and the experience behind it, and working with Prince and all that, I love it now."