In an interview with Vlad TV, the “Ice Ice Baby” recalled some of his wild hangout sessions with the notorious crime boss and his associates at his mansion in Star Island, Miami Beach, which involved racing boats and cars.
“I hung out with Pablo Escobar many, many times. And Juan Almeida, Pepe Nunez, Ralph [“Cabeza” Linero] and everybody from Cocaine Cowboys. We were all friends,” he said. “They would land helicopters in my house constantly on Star Island, come into my house, I had food just for them in the refrigerators.
“They would take me in the helicopter and we would go to all these great events, race boats and look at all the cool stuff that they were making. I never [asked] questions, we didn’t have Google, I don’t know who these people are. I thought they were businessmen. They liked to race boats like I did.”
Detailing what the cartel leader was like, Ice said: “Pablo was a great person in person — this sounds ridiculous! First of all, I had no Google. You don’t go up to people and go, ‘What do you do for a living?’
“I have no idea, bro. The guy’s loaded, he has a [Ferrari] Testarossa, I had a Porsche that’s smoking. We raced. I raced Pablo Escobar. I smoked him. We would go out and race boats. We were always on boats. They was always a bunch of bikinis floating around everywhere.”
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Vanilla Ice did not clarify when he hung out with Escobar, but the rapper did not become wealthy and famous until 1990 with the release of his smash hit “Ice Ice Baby” and the drug lord surrendered to the authorities in 1991.
Escobar’s public image has had a large influence on Hip Hop. One of the first notable references to him in a rap song was Wu-Tang Clan‘s “Protect Ya Neck” in 1992, while Nas‘ “Escobar” nickname is taken from the organized crime figure.
He has also been namedropped by artists such as Kanye West, Future and Gucci Mane. Kanye has said that he named his 2016 album The Life of Pablo after Escobar, as well as other notable Pablos such as Picasso and the Apostle Paul.