It's hammer time for Vanilla Ice. The '90s rapper (a.k.a. Robert Van Winkle) is the unlikely star of a new DIY Network show, The Vanilla Ice Project, premiering Oct. 14, in which he leads the room-by-room renovation of a 7,000-sq.-ft. (650 sq m) Palm Beach mansion.
When you pitched this show to networks, did they ask if you were joking?
I didn't pitch this to no networks. I've been doing real estate for about 13 years. The network called me. I said, "I'm doing this house whether you guys are filming or not."
Did you pimp the crib?
We pimped the crib, but it's pimped in a way that has class. I have to sell this house. It cannot be purple walls and shag carpets. It's all done with earth tones. But there's this awesome Ferrari-colored yellow-and-red garage to show off your cars. I put my Ferraris and Rolls-Royces in there to make it look cool for the show.
Are you hanging up the mike for a work belt?
This is not a job change. I'm still doing music.
Have other rappers talked to you about your building gig?
A lot of people don't know that I do this. It's like Where Are They Now? I was talking to Chuck D from Public Enemy and asked, "Where is Terminator X?" And he said he has a farm and sells ostrich meat. Apparently he makes good money doing this.
You bought a lot of bling at the beginning of your real estate career.
I bought a lot of houses rock star--style. I was like, If I'm going to go skiing, I need to have my own cabin in Snowbird, Utah. When you're young and dumb, you don't think, I'm not even going to be here. But I sold them and made hundreds of thousands of dollars on each. I sat back and said, "It cannot be that easy."