In the journalism game, yelling “Breaking News” is akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater — it better be warranted. But to heck with that: Breaking News! MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice are joining forces for a one-night-only joint show. “Hammer Pants and Ice” goes down Friday, February 27, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. at the McKay Events Center in Orem, Utah.
We can’t possibly answer the inevitable “why” question, but here’s how it will all go down: Hammer is bringing 24 dancers and a full choir; Ice is bringing … himself as far as we can tell. It is evidently the pair’s first show together since the early 1990s, when both were whole-scale radio stars.
When Ice, or Robert Matthew Van Winkle, released To the Extreme in 1990, he actually knocked Hammer (we know him as Stanley Kirk Burrell) out of Number One on the charts: MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, released the same year, was a blockbuster thanks to the hit single “U Can’t Touch This.” Both rappers relied on samples for their biggest tracks: Vanilla Ice’s ubiquitous “Ice, Ice Baby” borrowed from David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure,” while Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” was built on Rick James’ “Super Freak.”
The two former chart-toppers share something else too: a harsh critical and cultural backlash that drove them from the spotlight. Both put out follow-up albums in 1991, but dropped out of the spotlight. Hammer turned to the church, and Ice turned to reality television.
So what will happen later this month in Utah? Anyone willing to shell out $29.50 for general admission floor or $35.50 for reserved seating will find out.