As any jaded consumer knows, if there’s something that the kids like these days, it will be used to sell anything under the sun, including movies. That’s how in the 90’s we ended up with a slew of films that, good or bad, just had to cram rap into them to try to be relevant.
Movies were inundated with rap over the beginning credits, rap over the ending credits, and full rap soundtracks. The most awkward, though, has to be those out-of-nowhere rap segments where one or more of the cast members would start bustin’ a rhyme. Especially if there are no songs anywhere else in the movie.
Here are the six most memorably jarring examples I could come up with:
6. Ninja Rap-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze
Stupid, cheesy, and ultra-90’s as it is I, and every other child in existence, loved this part of the movie. Mix one of the decade’s biggest acts (and by “decade” I mean “mid-1991 to late 1991”) with some of the most popular characters in existence and you have movie gold (even if that gold is incredibly weird).
As fun as it was, you can’t argue that this moment is not completely ridiculous. The TMNT are fighting Shredder’s mutant minions, Tokka and Rahzar, and getting their green butts slung against walls. Raphael ends up being tossed through a wall and into the middle of a crowd watching Vanilla Ice perform. The crowd gasps, the music stops, and T&R enter in for some more quality time. At this point, T&R start belching. Apparently the belch vibrations have the power to turn the drum machines back on, because quicker than you can say “indigestion” the music’s pumpin’ and the turtles start dance-fighting. ‘Nilla gets into the groove and throws together a stone cold (heh) Ninja Rap. Soon his epic groin thrusts have the crowd dancing and bobbing their heads while two spiked hell beasts battle four color-coordinated hell beasts behind them.
And Shredder was blown away by a keytar. This is one of the best scenes ever.
5. Care Bears in Wonderland
I adored this movie, especially the awkward raps that landed it on this list. When I was, you know, five or so the Chesire Cat rapping segments were so much fun. Flash forward about 22 years and I’m looking back at this and groaning.
To be fair, the randomness of the rap numbers, composed of lyrics helping the group succeed in their quest, fit Chesire’s character as unpredictable and strange. Secondly, the raps are at least coherent and help move the story along (which is a lot more than any of the others on this list can say). In fact, it wouldn’t be all that bad if there had only been the first one. Instead we got a grand total of three rap numbers, each one stranger than the last, topped off by the movie ending with Grumpy Bear rapping about how hungry he is. Braveheart pops up to make the same unfunny joke twice, and Chesire Cat eventually takes over the song to give us the typical “we had fun, didn’t we guys?” kids’ movie ending.
It’s the only end-credits rap song that gets a spot on this list, being more of a continuation of the last scene than an entirely separate track.
That just jackhammer-ed the movie’s already shaky rap credibility to dust.
Let’s play a game. See if you can guess the thing that Shaquille O’Neil did not say while filming his vanity vehicle Kazaam:
A. Get set for my teta-tet-tet
B. Don’t turn your butt on me
C. Let’s green egg and ham it
D. Guys, this movie is a complete waste of everyone’s time and, if released, people will make fun of me for decades in snarky online articles. Let’s just cut our losses and get out while we still can.
Hint: It’s the one that doesn’t sound like something a 7-year-old boy would say while he’s still high on the meds the dentist gave him.
Was there no person, anywhere, who tried to stop this mess before shameful amounts of money were blown on a man who acts as well as Scarlett Johansson sings?
3. My Name Is Batty-Fern Gully
Hey, kids! It’s time for more preachy, 90’s animation about the how we’re destroying the environment. You know, for fun! Today’s sampling is a special treat: a lovely stew of 90’s favorites like rapping, Robin Williams, and The Evils of Man, all mixed up in a neon-colored guilt cauldron.
“My Name Is Batty” was a song written by white people, ok’d by white people, and performed by white people’s favorite white comedian. The whole thing is erratic (potatoes in a jacket), rushed and creepy. At one point Batty hugs a fairy tight, gives her a pervert stare, and gets a lechy tone in his voice. So Fern Gully has: Batty’s bad-touch eyes; Tone Loc singing as a lizard that flaps its tongue about and wraps it around people; and Tim Curry’s sexually ambiguous, confusing moaning and huffing as Hexxus. There wasn’t a song in this movie that didn’t make my nine-year-old self feel icky.
Heck, my 27-year-old self feels icky after watching that.
2. Top That-Teen Witch
If this was supposed to be a joke, it is the least funny thing I have ever seen. Most people find it ironically hilarious, and I completely understand why, but watching this just makes me sick to my stomach with shame and regret that I share a species with the creatures responsible for this.
Things are bad enough, starting with a guy rapping with his homies about how he’s “hot and you’re not”. This being said while he’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt and striking poses like he started to do The Robot and forgot where he was. Then the song makes a confusing effort to be edgy by almost cursing; not with clever wordplay, inserting a kid-friendly term, or even substituting a sound, but by literally leaving out a whole word in favor of a pause. The result makes it sound as if someone didn’t finish writing the line.
And just when you think “Well…they’ve been badly rapping and flapping their arms around for the entire movie. I’m used to it by now”, the film ramps up the awkward by having a “rap battle” between the leader of the Sad Pack and the girl who has a crush on him.
You know, now that I’ve gone back and watched this a few times I have decided that the guy in the mint green shirt and suspenders has to be the biggest dork I have ever seen.
1. Party time-Titanic: The Animated Movie
And here we have it: The Double Down of children’s movie rap numbers. And it came out in 2001! This is the pure embodiment of “apropos of nothing”. The movie itself is Snooki levels of idiotic and painfully oblivious to its real purpose in life, but it’s this indescribably dreadful rap scene that really shows just how far the filmmakers missed their mark, whatever that was.
Titanic: The Legend Goes On is a horribly drawn, awfully scored, moronic attempt at telling the tragic story of the “unsinkable” cruise ship. As you can guess by its being on this list, the movie came nowhere near a comprehensible or accurate retelling.
Bull that pales in comparison to the aforementioned rap number that starts when a dog chases off a couple of pets that just entered the room half a second ago and decided to eat a mouse. The mouse then says one of the best lines in the history of terrible movie dialogue, which sends his rescuer into a rapileptic seizure, making sounds as if he’s barfing and laughing at the same time.
While the rap drags on there is a barrage of unrelated images and animals dancing and singing against a brick, graffiti-covered wall and a metropolitan skyline (you know, like they have on cruise ships) about how it’s “party time”. Why exactly is it party time, M.C. Fluffins? Oh, you guys are all part of some oddly specific cult that begins chanting and dancing like you’re in a fish-eye lens whenever a small creature is almost eaten by a fat orange cat and a chihuahua wearing a pearl necklace?
Pig Power in the House. I gave a lot of consideration to this one, but in the end t’s only 20 seconds long and is only heard on the radio, instead of involving any of the cast members. The hilarious badness of this Tag Team sellout, coupled with the sight of bodyguards conservatively shaking their groove thangs, tried really hard to get it this on the list.
“Oink oink sooey yippee yo kiyaaayyy!” mother !