Sure, everyone’s talking about the “cool” new record releases this week–your Modest Mouses, your Ted Leos, etc. But there’s one album that everyone’s forgetting about, and it may prove to be the most important of the year: The soundtrack for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. And why does this under-the-radar release deserve more attention? Because if the history has taught us just one thing–and it probably has–it’s that every rapper, singer, and breakdancer associated with the Turtles franchise is forever doomed.
The first Turtles soundtrack–released in 1990–was a best-seller, with a lead-off track by M.C. Hammer; six years later, Hammer would declare bankruptcy, and none of the other musicians on the album (including Spunkadelic and “Turtle Power” providers Partners In Kryme) would ever be heard from again. The artists associated with 1991′s The Secret Of The Ooze hardly fared any better: Vanilla Ice wrote and performed “Ninja Rap” for the movie, which was released just as accusations about his falsified background sank his recording career; fellow soundtrack stars Magnificent Vii and Tribal House would be out of the public spotlight by the time of 1993′s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. That last installment featured two versions of “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora, who died just two years later. Coincidence?
The Turtles trouble raises several questions regarding the unlucky souls who contributed to the most recent movie: Will Cute Is What We Aim For’s “Rip It Up” prove to be the “Ninja Rap” of 2007? Can Cobra Starship avoid the fate of Ya Kid K? And, most importantly, shoud we expect that doof-a-doof from Gym Class Heroes on season thirteen of The Surreal Life?