Watch: Vanilla Ice Admits He’s a Directioner

Vanilla Ice got his start in the sometimes-hardcore ’90s hip-hop scene. But since his rise to stardom, the “Ice Ice Baby” rapper — real name Rob Van Winkle — has come to relish other genres.

“I like all kinds of music. I’m not some kind of hip hop dude that is just so bitter at everything,” Winkle told Celebuzz. “I’m open to all kinds of music. I’m simplified now. I used to dissect it and…take it too serious and too deep. Then I learned that a great song is just simply a great song. I don’t care how great your lyrics are…I don’t care about who, what or anything else. It’s either a great song or it’s not.”

That means you might even find Winkle rocking out to a record by British boy band, One Direction. “Love ’em. Heck yeah. No shame in my game,” said the self-proclaimed 1D fan. “The boy bands are back, man, with a vengeance. And they owe it to One Direction. Because it was dead in the water until One Direction came back. And then they were like, well what about 98 Degrees? Or what about N’ Sync? Or what about Backstreet Boys?”

Now many of those groups are making a comeback. Not only has Backstreet returned to the recording studio, but 98 Degrees is teaming up with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Menfor the summer Package Tour, a project that Winkle applauds. “Love it. I think it’s awesome,” he enthused when Celebuzz told him about the throwback tour. “I think it’s great. I think they should do it.”

But Winkle isn’t inclined to follow those boy bands’ lead. “I don’t really do throwback tours because I sell out stadiums the way I am right now,” he said, explaining that his “Ninja Rap” from 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze flick is a hit amongst his fans, closing in on the popularity of his chart-topping hit, “Ice Ice Baby.”

“When I go play concerts, I got people dressed up as Ninja Turtles and they jump on stage,” he said. “Because it’s that generation now, that age group is running the entire world. They grew up to that stuff [and] the Ninja Turtles are bigger than ever right now. So it’s amazing that I get out there and just marinate with all my fans. I’d rather get in the crowd with my fans instead of my fans mixed with all these other groups’ fans. I’d rather cater to my people. It’s more personal that way for me.”

While some may write him off as a one-hit wonder, Winkle is still making music till this day — and with success. “My records are selling. I have a number one record in the U.K,” he said of his sixth studio album, W.T.F. (Wisdom, Tenacity And Focus), which was released digitally in 2011. “It’s still hip hop, but it’s like techno house music.” And he still profits from his old-school hits after he “bought back all my publishing from back in the day,” which he explained was a “smart investment [because] the royalty checks come to me instead of someone else.”

But now that he’s shifted focus to The Vanilla Ice Project, his home-improvement series on the DIY Network, would Winkle ever leave music in the dust? “No way,” he proclaimed. “I love it and I’m never leaving it behind. I never planned any of this. I never planned [making music], I never planned finding another passion in renovating homes.”

“I stumbled up on these things and it’s just amazing…how the roller coaster goes,” he continued. “But [Music] is what led to everything I do and, to me, it’s very personal. It’s a musical adventure. It’s my diary, so I couldn’t leave it behind. I’d be empty.”

Tune in to The Vanilla Ice Project on Sundays at 10 PM ET/9C on the DIY Network.

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
No changes are to be made to this player