Break out your finest Zubaz and don your finest neon slap bracelets, because we’re about to time-travel backward two decades to a simpler time, before the Internet, social media or snarky music blogs. That’s right! This Saturday, March 5, at the Microsoft Theater, the I Love the ’90s festival goes down, featuring Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Young MC, All-4-One, Color Me Badd, Rob Base and Kid ’n Play!
For those of you who want to catch up on what the artists have been up to over the past two decades, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what the I Love the’ 90s headliners have been doing since they were the soundtrack to your childhood bedroom.
They say life is about balance, but for Rob Van Winkle, better know as Vanilla Ice, he’s had his greatest success doing things “To the Extreme.” Following the success of “Ice Ice Baby” and his cameo appearance in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze, Ice’s attempts to reinvent himself as a brooding, weed-obsessed, darker Ice on Mind Blowin’ and with the Ross Robinson–produced, proto–nü metal on Hard to Swallow didn’t quite connect with audiences the same way. After getting back on his feet thanks to a sudden influx of popularity among Juggalos at the start of the millennium, Ice successfully put his anger issues behind him and embraced his legacy by joining the cast of The Surreal Life. Along with continuing to make music and turning his successful house-flipping business into a reality show of its own, The Vanilla Ice Project, Ice has become one of Adam Sandler's favorite go-to cameo actors, most recently playing Mark Twain in The Ridiculous 6.
While he’s perhaps most known musically for his ’80s hits “Funky Cold Medina” and “Wild Thing,” Tone Loc’s appearance in iconic ’90s films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Surf Ninjas, as well as his unforgettable voice-over work in Fox Kids’ beloved C-Bear and Jamal, is more than enough of a ’90s legacy to justify his place on this lineup. Loc continues to work mostly as a voice actor, most recently lending his iconic voice to the animated show Uncle Grandpa.
Young MC’s “Bust a Move” is worth a slot in any true party playlist, especially if you’re including the music video, which featured a cameo from a young Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A USC alumni discovered by local label Delicious Vinyl, Young MC's later albums featured such self-aware titles as Return of the 1 Hit Wonder and Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That. He later found success in the game show world, winning a hip-hop edition of The Weakest Link and losing the most weight on season three of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club. He also made a memorable cameo in the 2009 George Clooney film Up In the Air.
Who didn’t slow dance to the unforgettable single “I Swear?” Grammy winners All-4-One changed the way we pledged promises and continued to put out great music, including the best holiday album you’ve never heard, 1995’s An All-4-One Christmas. They impacted the ’90s in other ways you might not have noticed; for example, did you know that Christina Aguilera's 2000 hit single “I Turn to You” was a cover of their 1996 contribution to the Space Jam soundtrack? More recently, they released a live album, 2013’s S.O.U.L., as well as an album of original material marking two decades together, Twenty+. But perhaps nothing immortalized All-4-One more than when the Minions sang “I Swear” in Despicable Me 2.
Color Me Badd
Celebrating a quarter-century of sexing you up this year, Color Me Badd’s music has aged surprisingly well compared with the vast majority of their ’90s contemporaries. The pride of Oklahoma City, Color Me Badd made us swoon with tracks like “I Adore Mi Amor” and “All 4 Love.” In 2007, member Bryan Abrams appeared in the VH1 reality series/experiment Mission: Man Band, which attempted to create a new pop group out of former boy-band members. That group, Sureshot, never got off the ground, but Color Me Badd reunited in 2010 and surprised many with a 2012 collaboration with Insane Clown Posse, “Ghetto Rainbows.” Now a trio of Abrams, Mark Calderon and Kevin Thornton, they look to paint the town Badd this Saturday.
“It takes two to make a thing go right,” declared Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s landmark 1988 single, “It Takes Two.” And things sure went right for the duo, as their track became one of the most iconic hip-hop songs of all time, appearing everywhere from movies to video games to a popular ’90s Burger King commercial (which may have been a tip of the hat to Rob for including a shout-out to the Whopper and a diss to the Big Mac in his lyrics). They had other hits like “Joy and Pain,” but a track like “It Takes Two” is an example of how just one song can bring immortality to any group. While his partner DJ E-Z Rock died in 2014 due to complications from diabetes, Rob has continued to tour heavily, becoming a show-stealing staple of ’80s and ’90s revival shows.
Kid ’n Play
A House Party ain’t a party without the classic Class Act duo Kid ’n Play. Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin stood (eraser)head-and-shoulders above any of their contemporaries in making the jump from party rap to partying on the silver screen. Since then, Reid was on just about every television show the ’90s had to offer, from Full House to Martin to Sister Sister, and more recently joined forces with Play as regular guest stars on shows in the Adult Swim universe. Reid also has dabbled in doing music for television, most notably composing the theme for HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher.
I Love the ’90s is at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, March 5. Tickets and more info.