Photo Credit: Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic
Right now, the hot question to ask famous musicians is "Do you have any advice for Justin Bieber?", followed closely by "What do you think of Miley Cyrus?" Sting and Elton John have both said their two cents about Justin, while Cher and Lady Gaga have weighed in on Miley. But the most insightful advice so far has come from a surprising source: Vanilla Ice.
The "Ice Ice Baby" rapper (real name: Rob Van Winkle) paid a visit to TMZ Live, where he talked about Cyrus and Bieber from the perspective of someone who's been there. Like, really been there. (Watch the interview below!)
These days, Vanilla Ice's name is shorthand for washed-up celebrities who have become punchlines. Miley herself recently referenced him as a cautionary tale in Rolling Stone. But once upon a time, Vanilla Ice wasn't so different from Justin Bieber: he wrote "Ice Ice Baby" when he was 16, topped the Billboard charts at 23, and dated Madonna. Then he did too many drugs, took a break from music, and was left trying to figure out who he really was.
"I wouldn't wish my life on my worst enemy, and to be honest with you, I wouldn't trade it with anybody today," Ice told TMZ.
As for Miley's Rolling Stone comments that nobody wants to become Vanilla Ice, the rapper agrees. "She's dead on -- and she might need to take some of that advice for herself, as well," he suggested.
He went on to explain the mindset that young pop stars get into when they're trying to change their image. "In their mind, they're trying to adapt to being an adult in reality, [but] live their artificial life with all their fans, to please them as well. So it's a confusing moment for them. If they make it and survive through, hopefully they can end up like I have. I'm very grateful for where I am today."
Enablers, according to Ice, are one of the most destructive parts of being famous. "They've got a lot of plastic friends around them that tell them anything they want to hear," he said of Miley and Justin. "It's an artificial life. And the only ones who are going to help them pull it through are family and friends."
These days, Vanilla Ice has a family, he has a home improvement show inspired by his house-flipping hobby, and he still makes music independently. He's sober and a vegetarian. He's no longer a big star, but he seems happy. And he says that Bieber will get there, too.
"There's gonna be a time when the music is gone, and he's gonna have to figure out what's his purpose in life. How does he fit into real reality, and being a real person, and not having the fans and the people around him that are fake," Ice told TMZ. "It's like a snowglobe, man. You shake it up and it all has to settle. And when it settles, he'll figure out who he is."
We never thought we'd say this to anybody, but Justin and Miley: You'd do well to heed the wisdom of Vanilla Ice.