WTF Island

10 More '90s Rap Oddities Worthy of the Texans' Halftime Show

Well, it's been three days now, and it hasn't all been revealed as just another elaborate Jimmy Kimmel Live! prank. It's true, then: apparently Vanilla Ice -- white rapper, DIY renovator and Ninja Turtle ally -- will be performing at halftime Sunday at the Texans' game against Tennessee at Reliant Stadium.

It's going to be... odd. Once reviled and lampooned as the clueless face of commercialized hip-hop whitewashing, Vanilla's legacy has come to be evaluated a tad more favorably by his post-gangsta peers in recent years. The Dallas native has won new admirers on reality shows, on the DIY Network and in Adam Sandler's low-brow chucklefest That's My Boy, apparently having grown comfortable enough in his own skin to fully embrace his strange place in pop culture. And now he's going to rap at the football game, y'all.

Here at Rocks Off, we're generally in favor of any musical performance that can ramp up an NFL game's surreality. But while Vanilla Ice is a terrific, mind-boggling choice to kick things off, there are plenty more rapping, one-hit weirdos from the '90s that could do just as well -- better, even! This could be the start of something big.

Because Bob McNair's a busy man (as far as anyone knows), I've pitched in to create this list for the Texans of ten more bitchin' has-beens to liven up the line for the bathroom. You're welcome, Uncle Bob... and word to your mother.

10. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch I realize this one might be pretty tough to swing. Mark Wahlberg is probably off filming a movie or 60 and the Funky Bunch keeps extremely busy these days starring in their own reality show, A&E's Duck Dynasty. Halftime might feel like a bit of a step down.

Luckily, the Texans are rich. With "Good Vibrations" sounding pretty good in the trailer to that Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie a couple of your friends are thinking about maybe seeing, maybe Wahlberg will shrewdly decide that now's the time to take back his musical legacy and earn a fat payday. Might Bob McNair be willing to shell out to see the first all-female crowd in Reliant Stadium history?

9. Wreckx-n-Effect What white people now call "twerking" for whatever reason ain't exactly a new phenomenon. Back in '92, we were calling it "dancing" thanks to the mass cultural acceptance of Wreckx-n-Effect's "Rump Shaker," perhaps the most nonsensically suggestive rap song of its era.

"All I wanna do is zoom a zoom zoom zoom and a boom-boom." Still not entirely sure what that entails, but all the crotch-thrusting going on in the music video seemed to indicate that it was a sexually aggressive sentiment. All that mattered was that this song once gave license for young ladies to rump-shake with incredible abandon, and I bet it still does. Let's get the Wreckx back in effect and set Reliant jiggling.

8. Joey Lawrence What do you mean, you forgot that Blossom's Joey Lawrence rapped? He totally rapped. Dude perfomed on Arsenio, MTV's Spring Break, the whole nine. Was he good at it? Who remembers! What people remember about Joey Lawrence is that he was an awfully cute boy, and he didn't have a lot of shirts -- the Miley Cyrus of his day, basically. That was his job back then. Maybe he could use a job now.

We're going to need at least a solid minute of novelty out of this halftime show, though, so he's going to have to throw in his catchphrase. What was it again?

Oh yeah: Whoa. Heh! The '90s.

7. P.M. Dawn There were smoother rap groups than PM Dawn, and more gentle rap groups, I guess. But name any other hip-hoppers more blissed the fuck out than P.M. Dawn. It wasn't just their breezy, jazzy hit "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," either. It was their whole cool, delighted countenance. Haven't heard from them since about '91, so I assume they simply achieved nirvana early on in life and drifted off into a different plane of existence.

If we can determine the right offering to lure them back for an afternoon, I think it could be a good thing for an NFL crowd to bliss the fuck out for three minutes in the middle of our violent spectacle. Just a quick, collective palate-cleanser of positive vibrations before we resume screaming for Jake Locker's scalp. P.M. Dawn still has so much to teach us.

6. Biz Markie There are few events that can't be measurably improved by a big group sing-along of Biz Markie's "Just a Friend." Preferably being led by Biz Markie himself. Once upon a time, that seemed an impossible occurrence at an NFL game, but now that Vanilla Ice has managed to shatter the very brick and mortar of reality, I'm starting to get a little pissed off that it hasn't already happened. At least let's have him beatbox the National Anthem.

Oh, we're just getting started.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith