Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Legends and the state fair

Blogger's note:  This is my column for this week's newspaper.  I hope the local folks will still pay their 70 cents despite getting a sneak peek at this.  LOL.

I have a confession to make. On Sunday, I am going to see “Legends of Hip Hop featuring Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc” on a free stage at the Iowa State Fair.

There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don’t know where to start, but for you, dear readers, I will try.

First of all, let’s talk about this “legends” term. When I hear that word, I think of an artist who has been around for decades and has so many number one hits, they barely fit on one disc. I’m not sure Vanilla Ice or Tone Loc fit this description. Sure, they’ve lingered since the 90s, but I’m not sure they’ve maintained the presence required to earn the distinction of being “legends.” Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan – those are legends. If you want to get more recent, I think it’s safe to say U2 could be considered legends (if not now, then maybe someday). Perhaps the world of hip hop has different standards than I do, and that is how Vanilla and Tone fit. But I’m still not sold.

In terms of hits, I think the two combined have enough to make up a short EP. The only two songs I can recall from Vanilla Ice’s catalog are “Ice Ice Baby” and “Ninja Rap” (come on - that was the best part of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie). Tone Loc was responsible for “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina.” Yep, I think that’s pretty much it.

Also, if they’re truly “legends,” why are they on a free stage? When I was interning at the fair a few years ago, tickets for Bob Dylan were steep, yet they sold out. See, people will pay good money to see true “legends.” But if your show is covered under the cost of admission, it’s safe to say you’re not a “legend.”

One more thing on this “legends” concept – it implies old. I remember the first time I heard “Ice Ice Baby” on the radio. If Vanilla Ice is considered old, then what does that make me? Shut it. Don’t say it. Then again, a friend of mine told me she heard 80s music on the “oldies station” the other day. She nearly had to pull over to the side of the road and have a good cry over the reality that we are, in fact, getting older.

Now, let’s deal with the idea that I’m going to this show. Honestly, it’s a good excuse to spend a day at the fair with two of my college roommates. Also, it’s going to be an excellent opportunity to people watch, which is my second favorite thing about the Iowa State Fair (after the fried oreos, of course). There are so many different people who attend the Iowa State Fair, and I mean different as in varied and unique. It’s fun to see them, study them and try and figure out their story. It’s all part of the fair experience, in my opinion, just as big as eating a corndog and taking a peek at the butter cow.

Apparently, Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc are a part of the fair experience this year too. It should be entertaining at least, and perhaps my company will make it legendary.

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