HipHopWired Featured Video

Vanilla Ice is just the person that comes to mind when one makes mention of the Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama, right? All jokes aside, the “Ice Ice Baby” artist will be one of many performers in Selma this weekend at a three-hour BET concert crafted to honor the 50th anniversary of the historic event.

As reported by, the 47-year-old Vanilla Ice joins several big names such as Rick Ross, Doug E. Fresh, Bill Withers, and Cicely Tyson among others. However, Ice’s inclusion in this event is indeed a curious one but it appears the rapper-turned-unscripted television host has forged quite the bond with BET officials.

More from

Paxton Baker, general manager and executive vice president of Centric TV and president of BET Event Productions (the outfit that is leading the organization and roll-out of the Sunday show), spoke with on Wednesday about how the performers were chosen.

BET only first got involved in the event on Feb. 19 after Selma representatives asked them for help setting up a concert. The network tapped Baker and Belafonte to serve as co-artistic directors, whose duties included selecting talent among other tasks. The two of them had just over two weeks to put together a three-hour extravaganza, for which Vanilla Ice was a natural fit, according to Baker.

“Vanilla Ice was in the Soul Train Awards two years ago and he’s a really cool person. When we call him for things he likes working with us and we like working with him,” Baker said. “He’s one of the people we call to participate in things with us, and if he can do it he absolutely will. I sent him a text and within two minutes his response was two words: ‘I’m in.'”

In 1989, rapper KRS-One began his Stop The Violence Movement and culminated the launch of the campaign with the hit all-star posse cut, “Self Destruction.”

Vanilla Ice will be one of several performers rapping on an updated version of the song after a symbolic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, which was the site of the horrific “Bloody Sunday” event on March 7, 1965.

Photo: JLN Photography/