When one contemplates the rap genre and the music that first made it a legitimate, influential genre of music, full of stories of urban youth and angst, there are a few songs that come to mind. I’d be willing to bet, however, that ANY Vanilla Ice song, much less Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!, his 1991 tribute to everyone’s favorite Ninja Turtles that was featured in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is nowhere on that list. However, while speaking with GQ, Vanilla (or Rob Van Winkle, depending on what mood his is in) has some criticism for Shell Shocked, the new Juicy J/Wiz Khalifa/Ty Dolla $ign song that will be featured in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot that hits theaters this weekend:
“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. It really does not fit the theme of the Ninja Turtles legend. I think you have to understand, and be a true Ninja, to possess the Magic to really pull off the secret sound.”
Before you think too heavily on this, let’s take a quick listen to the songs in question.
First, Shell Shocked:
Now, while I’m sure that most of you have Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go! all queued up on your iPods, here it is for easy reference:
It’s safe to say that while Go Ninja is chock full of 90’s awesomeness (including Vanilla Ice himself), it was not the greatest rap song in the history of hip-hop. Not that Shell Shocked fits that bill but this is a case of throwing rocks in a glass house. This is especially made clear when you notice that the new Shell Shocked video already has over 1.2 million views since its July 21, 2014 upload, compared to Go Ninja’s 690k views after years on the net. Vanilla Ice had a few hits back in the 90’s, including the earworm Ice Ice Baby, but his musical career came to a virtual end once it was discovered that he had been less than honest about his thug lifestyle. He continued to release albums, including Hard to Swallow, his unsuccessful foray into the rock/rap genre that was being led by the likes of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park at the time. Unfortunately, he was never able to recapture the same audience and faded into obscurity until recently, when he decided that being a reality television star is better than being no star at all. In other words, he hardly has the cred to call himself a real musician, much less criticize others’ music.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters this weekend, whether you like it or not, and the soundtrack may not be what people need to worry about at this point. Early reviews are calling the movie a disaster and even the trailers themselves aren’t giving fans much to be excited about. However, turtles are turtles, and who knows? Maybe the Bay produced reboot will be the best ride of the summer (don’t hold your breath). In the meanwhile, since it is in your head anyway, I leave you with this.