During an exclusive interview back in 1996 with ABC, Robert Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice.
Vanilla debut his album Hook back in 1989 with Ichiban Records. It was before he signed with SBK Records, a label of the EMI Group… EMI was the label who released the album To the Extreme back in the 1990’s that had Vanilla Ice’s had a hit song, “Ice Ice Baby.”
“Ice Ice Baby” was single, but it topped the Billboard charts fast and a hit!!!
During his interview with ABC, Vanilla Ice says, “The first time I met Suge Knight was at the restaurant in LA called, Palm, Palm Restaurant… and uh I was sitting there eating a nice meal and all of a sudden these huge guys who looked like a football team showed up.
You know, it was very intimidating see these guys who were bigger than my bodyguards you know and a bunch of them. They pretty much grabbed my bodyguard and pulled him out and sat down there right next to me, ‘How you doing.'”
Vanilla Ice said that Suge and the men that were with Suge were uninvited to his table, but after that first encounter, they just kept showing up where he would go.
ABC did a jailhouse interview with Suge too and they asked him about the Vanilla Ice incident and Suge’s answer was before he knew that ABC already had Vanilla Ice’s version. Suge said, “He agreed to everything, it was no problem. He said the guy wrote the song, he didn’t have a problem with it”
To continue with the interview with Vanilla Ice, “I had my bodyguards who had guns and they had their people which had guns and they had us outpoured and out numbered.”
That night at the Beverly Hill’s Bel Age Hotel suite that Vanilla Ice was in, Suge Knight showed up unannounced and once again, uninvited. This time, Suge had six big guys with him.
Vanilla Ice said, “Roughed one of my bodyguards up, they roughed everybody else in my entourage up. Sure took me out on the balcony and started talking to me personally.”
It was there that Vanilla Ice was given the impression that it was sign or go over the balcony where he was 15 floors up. Why is that? He said that Suge made it a point to show Vanilla Ice exactly how high up they were.
Vanilla Ice said, “I needed to wear a diaper that day, I was very scared.”
It was on the balcony that night that Suge handed him a legal document and told him to sign over his points for “Ice Ice Baby.”
He was signing over his points to a man that Vanilla Ice calls an acquaintance of his, Mario La Vell Johnson.
Vanilla rightfully was frustrated during this point when he was talking about Mario. Mario never had anything to do with writing of the song.
He signed his points over so that “Suge could get paid” as Vanilla Ice says. Those points were worth around 3-4 Million dollars at the time too.
When he was asked about that figure, he said, “I signed them and I walked away alive.”
During Suge’s interview, he laughs at Vanilla’s version and denies taking him to the balcony and giving him the impression that his signature would be on the paper or he would be going over the ledge.
ABC did their own research and found out that Suge is associated with a numerous court documents where he apparently plead guilt to. The charges varied, but they were all criminal charges, one was pistol whipping and others were beatings.
It sounds like Vanilla Ice escaped his encounter with Suge alive… better off than some of the other rappers that Suge came across.
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