The Song: Vanilla Ice “Ice Ice Baby” (1990)
The Plaintiff: Queen and David Bowie
The Case: Whether you consider him a fun, guilty pleasure or the antithesis of all that is good about hip hop, there’s no denying Robert Van Winkle’s signature tune was a major hit when it was released. There was also no denying that he sampled the signature bassline from “Under Pressure,” a 1981 hit by rockers Queen and David Bowie without paying the requisite licensing fee or crediting them. Well, actually he did deny it, claiming no royalties were due since he altered it slightly.
The Judgment: Despite his initial protestations, Ice quickly settled with the classic rockers out of court, giving all due credit and back royalties. It was also this song that infamous rap impresario Suge Knight supposedly shook Vanilla Ice down for on behalf of one of the producers though in fact all disputes were settled in court.