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Latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rap Doesn't Melt Vanilla Ice

Aug 10 2014, 10:55pm CDT | by , in News | Latest TV News

Latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rap Doesn't Melt Vanilla Ice
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Vanilla Ice made "go ninja, go" a catchphrase that's lasted over two decades, but he remains completely unimpressed with Wiz Khalifa's "Shell Shocked."

Michael Bay's latest production Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles borrows one element from the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze: there's rap. Vanilla Ice owned the 1991 movie with the "Ninja Rap."

Pretty sure everyone knows that line. And who can forget that hair?


But Bay's betting on a little more current star by having Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Ty Dolla $ign rap "Shell Shocked," an updated song that manages to include the plot and characters in almost 4 minutes. Horns blare throughout, a very studio production, whereas Ice's version was completely cheesy and fit the movies perfectly.

Like most of Nickelodeon products in the early 1990s. (Hey Dude, anyone?) Different times, different markets.

Vanilla Ice opened up to GQ magazine, saying, "With respect to all of the artists, the song doesn't really do it for me. It feels a little artificial—what I mean by that is that it sounds like a bunch of executives in the corporate world put it together."

Not completely inaccurate since Bay's film is definitely produced on a higher budget, bigger plot, and more money invested in making the turtles look almost creepy with human features. (Let's not mention the strange Transformer looking Shredder.)


That's not to say Ice's ego was missing, either. "I think you have to understand, and be a true Ninja, to possess the Magic to really pull off the secret sound." The lyrics, especially hook, weren't that complicated, though.

Go Ninja, go Ninja go, go Ninja, go Ninja go
Go Ninja, go Ninja go, go Ninja, go Ninja go
Go, go, go, go

MTV spoke to Robert Matthew Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) about what got him involved in the rap. Turns out that the rapper was "a huge Ninja Turtles fan before I was approached to do the movie."

Who wouldn't be excited to write for a bunch break-dancing turtles? And the producers gave him "full run of the mill" to create the song.

So how did he come up with the beat and rhythm? "I wrote the song in a hotel room using an SP-1200," which is "an old-school drum machine” that’s portable.


Must have taken a long time to create, right? "It took me maybe 30 minutes to write it and the rest we completed in the studio."

Again: not the most complex lyrics, but certainly catchy.

And it did earn incorporation into the film, "so I got to film for three weeks on set and learn the true meaning of the Ninja Turtles." Not a bad moment, right? Even better was celebrating on set for his birthday. (Insert a lot of millennial 12-year-old selves being just a little jealous.)

So how'd it work out for Mr. Van Winkle? "When I go to Russia, China and Europe, I see fans dressed up as Ninja Turtles everywhere.  It’s amazing to see the song have such a gigantic impact."


Okay, so may be that's a little hubris, Mr. DIY. But still, can't really blame him for not expecting the huge response. And apparently “'Ninja Rap' is bigger than ever right now."

And Rob's not above poking fun at his own fame, either. Gamezone breaks down the scene for the readers.

With the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marketing campaign running overtime, the rapper plays a store clerk in a Kraft "Mac & Cheese" ad. In it, he's dressed out in green clothes, stocking the shelves and softly singing the "Ninja Rap."


When a mom and her kid bypass him, looking for "Mac & Cheese", she sings and dances along beside him. Guaranteed to embarrass any kid, the mom and singer are promptly cut off when the son throws the box into the cart and turns around.

 

For all his arrogance, there's a kind of interesting awareness of his own fame and fan geekiness, really.

So let's recap: Vanilla Ice hates the latest version by finding it rather uninspired, still gets noticed for the "Ninja Rap," and doesn't mind poking fun at himself. He definitely has a lot of feels about a song about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Word to your mother.

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