US rapper Vanilla Ice has landed himself in hot water after announcing plans to perform in a Fourth of July concert in pandemic-hit Texas.
The festival will take place at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill due to a legal loophole as the Austin-based venue is a restaurant and not performance venue and is protected by current coronavirus measures, according to the Austin Chronicle.
“I can’t wait to get back to this. The 90s were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers. We had 5.0's, blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne's World, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan ... Mortal Kombat is still better than Fortnight ... the last of the great decades," the artist posted on Instagram earlier this week.
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I can’t wait to get back to this. The 90s were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers. we had 5.0‘s, blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne’s world, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. And Mortal Kombat is still better than fortnight but we got out of the house, We danced, we invented house parties in the 90s. The last of the great decades #IMissThenineties
The Emerald Bar & Grill has begun selling 2,500 tickets for $25 for regular admission or $300 for VIP seats, with the latter being sold out, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Social media went up in flames, with many users brutally slagging off the hip hop persona.
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) July 2, 2020
Others joined in an online chorus to lampoon his hit classic.
— 𝕬𝖑𝖆𝖉𝖉𝖎𝖓𝕴𝖓𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖊 🌈🌟♿️🌊 (@aeirould) July 1, 2020
Of course, some 'die-hard' fans of the singer rushed to defend his good name.
— Some User (@AUser74459014) July 2, 2020
But Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle, responded to the criticisms by urging people to "practice social distancing and wear a mask" at the festival.
— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) July 2, 2020
"I take the coronavirus serious. But we can’t live in a bubble. I think at this point we all understand the severity of it. Practice social distancing and wear a mask. This is an outside venue, Fourth of July on the lake with fireworks. Plenty of room for distancing," he tweeted.
The news comes after Texas governor Greg Abbott took executive action to close some bars following a massive surge of coronavirus cases in the state. To date, 8,076 new cases in a single day were reported for the second-largest economy in the US, up from 4,283 on 29 July. Over 168,000 cases and 2,481 deaths have been reported in Texas to date, with the United States surpassing 2.6m cases and over 128,000 deaths, according to figures.