Yes, the man best known for rapping his way through "Ice Ice Baby" in the '90s, Vanilla Ice (aka Robert Van Winkle), hasn't simply become a Trivial Pursuit question. The second season premiere of his DIY Network show "The Vanilla Ice Project" (Sat. Jan 21 at 10 p.m.) will give fans of Ice (and home improvement) a chance to see one thing the rapper has been up to over the last 15 years -- house flipping. I had a chance to talk to Ice last week, and not only is he an old pro at plugging product, he knows his stuff when it comes to real estate. No, really.

With a crew of contractors (Wes, Handsome Dan, Rodney and Joey), Ice isn't afraid to get his hands dirty ripping out walls and planting flowers as he and his crew transform a gutted mega mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. For the musician (who is still recording, by the way), real estate and renovation aren't just a way to pull in some extra dough -- he's clearly passionate about his non-entertainment gig. While Jeff Lewis of "Flipping Out" fame had to leave house flipping after the market tanked, Ice seems to be going strong -- and apparently has the secret to making a profit in a down market. Nice, Ice. 


Liane Bonin Starr is an author, screenwriter and former writer for Her byline has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety and a lot of other places. Her last book was called "a scandalously catty, guilty pleasure" by Jane magazine. Expect the same from Starr Raving.