Vanilla Ice Not a Fan of New ‘TMNT’ Rap Song ‘Shell Shocked’

Published 9 months ago by

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Logo Vanilla Ice Not a Fan of New TMNT Rap Song Shell Shocked

After months of controversy, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot from producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman is about to hit theaters. Leading up to release, fans have weathered one question mark after another, including Megan Fox as April O’Neil, rumored changes to the Turtles’ origin story, as well as suspicions that William Fichtner’s Eric Sachs would suit up as Shredder – instead of Oroku Saki.

Select TMNT fans remain unconvinced that the reboot will deliver a worthwhile live-action adaptation, while others have been successfully wooed by the film’s numerous trailers – which appear to depict a brainless but entertaining action-adventure. After all, aside from a few gritty depictions in print, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are usually portrayed as wise-cracking goofballs that almost always go for the easiest laugh. Mixing campy gags with slick ninja action made the heroes a staple of pop culture for nearly thirty years and even though Paramount Pictures has employed significant cosmetic changes, the filmmakers maintain that actual spirit of the film and its Turtle heroes sticks very close to the established formula.

So close, in fact, that the studio even commissioned a new ninja rap for the TMNT reboot from Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign (and featuring Kill The Noise & Madsonik) titled “Shell Shocked - playing off of nostalgia for TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze and its infamous Vanilla Ice scene/dance number “Ninja Rap (Go Ninja Go!).” Unsurprisingly, many longtime Ninja Turtle fans rolled their eyes at the new song – and, apparently, they were not alone.

Vanilla Ice Ninja Rap TMNT Vanilla Ice Not a Fan of New TMNT Rap Song Shell Shocked

Speaking to GQ Magazine, Vanilla Ice said that he’s not a fan of the new TMNT rap song either – calling “Shell Shocked” an artificial cash grab:

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.

Without a doubt, Ice’s “Ninja Rap” remains a fun touchstone for pop music in the early 1990s but is the former rap icon really in a position to judge “Shell Shocked”? Fans of the original live-action movies will likely agree with Ice (on principle) but is the new song truly more artificial than “Ninja Rap” – especially considering Vanilla Ice was outright shoe-horned into The Secret of the Ooze film storyline? Wasn’t it probably “a bunch of executives in the corporate world” that came up with the idea of staging a TMNT vs. Foot Soldier dance battle MC’d by Vanilla Ice – rather than an artistic choice by director Michael Pressman?

Nevertheless, in spite of head-scratching comments like “I think you have to understand, and be a true Ninja, to possess the Magic to really pull off the secret sound,” Ice isn’t entirely wrong about “Shell Shocked.” Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Ty Dolla $ign have put together a catchy but ultimately hollow song for the new TMNT movie – a track that gets stuck in your head but is only recognizable as a TMNT theme thanks to a number of superficial references (example: “All this green in my pockets, you can call it Turtle Power” or “Bought the orange Lamborghini, call it Michelangelo“).

teenage mutant ninja turtles 2014 rap video Vanilla Ice Not a Fan of New TMNT Rap Song Shell Shocked

Of course, amidst all the “Ninja Rap” vs. “Shell Shocked” debate, most fans have entirely forgotten that before Vanilla Ice or Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Ty Dolla $ign rhymed about the Heroes in a Half Shell, Partners in Kryme was the first act to officially rap about the Ninja Turtles on a movie soundtrack with their track “Turtle Power” – which appeared in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film credits.

Which Ninja Turtles theme song is your favorite? Listen to “Turtle Power,” “Ninja Rap (Go Ninja Go!),” and “Shell Shocked” below:

It may be some time before we know whether or not “Ninja Rap” fits the “theme of the Ninja Turtles legend” better than “Shell Shocked.” Both are artificial attempts at mashing music with big screen branding but, despite a pretty thin veneer, Ice’s “Ninja Rap” debuted at a time when viewers were more open to tongue-in-cheek movie moments – imbuing the song with lasting (albeit cheesy) appeal.

Does “Shell Shocked” have the requisite Magic (and secret sound) to ensure that it too will become a nostalgic point of reference for the next generation of Ninja Turtle fans?

MORE: Will Bebop, Rocksteady, & Casey Jones Appear in TMNT 2?


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open in theaters on August 8th, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
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  1. I’m a fan of Wiz Khalifa, especially when he used to be affiliated with Wu-Tang way before he became popular. I still like him though. His verse wasn’t so bad in this “Shell Shocked” track and I respect that he did it because he’s always been a huge fan of the Turtles. He even has Donatello tattooed on his leg. Saying that, I think the hook is beyond cheesy and the beat is horrendously generic. Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” was the same exact thing though for the time that it came out. I would’ve said the same exact thing about his song if the internet existed back then. However, I would not say the same thing about Partners In Kryme’s “Turtle Power” song from the first TMNT movie. I loved that song when it came out. I was like 8 or 9 years old then, so I prob didn’t have the most advanced taste in music yet, but I would dance around my room playing that track over and over again. That and Bobby Browns Ghostbusters 2 song. In saying that, I just listened to Partners In Kryme’s “Turtle Power” track and guess what? I still like it. Maybe I’m just partial to it from having fond childhood memories of it but I cannot say the same for Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” and I was still young when that was released around two years later. Between the three of them, Partners In Kryme’s “Turtle Power” is the only track I’d actually listen to and enjoy in my free time.

  2. ‘Shell Shocked” is the biggest piece of trash Ive ever heard. there is no contest here it’s pretty obvious partners in kryme wins.