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How Ghostface Killah And Raekwon Made An Original Song For ‘TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge’

What comes to mind when you think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The Statue of Liberty, pizza, maybe the Manhattan skyline? All of these are defining traits of New York City, which doubles as the home to our favorite fictional group of reptiles. The Turtles have always embodied New York in a way that few other fictional characters in pop culture do.

With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge coming out, the publishers over at Dotemu knew early on they wanted one of the game’s many themes to be the Turtles’ love for the city. They also wanted tie something in that paid tribute to the era when the Ninja Turtles were at their peak. So, they looked around and quickly realized who they wanted to partner with the Wu-Tang Clan — specifically Ghostface Killah and Raekwon.

“We knew that, for the soundtrack of the Turtles, we wanted to have guests,” Dotemu’s Adrien Marie tells UPROXX. “We wanted to have big guest stars because it makes sense for the project and we wanted to raise the bar. Adding to what we have already been doing, we have a lot of different artists and guest stars, but we wanted to go further into mainstream music … we also were thinking about the fact that TMNT and hip-hop makes sense. A deep part of our perception is that it’s very anchored in there, it’s in the TMNT DNA, to have something hip-hop, and so we were thinking about hip-hop artists. And it’s New York, so we didn’t want to have any West Coast artists. So, our thought process was that we need to have East Coast hip-hop artists from the ’90s and the Wu-Tang Clan was at the top of the list.”

Of course, the Wu-Tang Clan was formed in Staten Island. There are few people in music that better represent New York than them, so having Ghostface Killah and Raekown involved in the game was an obvious decision. So much of Shredder’s Revenge is about capturing the original spirit of the Turtles that many people grew up with in the ’80s and ’90s. From having a new rendition of the original theme song playing in the opening cinematic, to the entire game’s style, it’s a trip down memory lane for everyone involved.

So how exactly did Dotemu and the developers over at Tribute Games involve them? The spoiler-free answer is that it does play in the game and it’s one of the best moments of the entire game, but there are some secrets to the song that we don’t want to reveal without a spoiler warning.

A disclaimer: If you plan on playing Shredder’s Revenge then be warned that the following few paragraphs will have spoilers for both the game and music.

The track that Ghostface Killah and Raekwon made plays during the boss fight with Shredder towards the end of the game. It’s a really cool moment, because Shredder joins in a little earlier than expected. It’s a fun fight and the best thing to do is blast the music and enjoy the moment to its fullest, but there’s a fun little secret that Marie told us about what the song is supposed to represent.

“So, the idea was to have a rap battle,” Marie says. “Cyrille [Lambert] wanted the first part to be Shredder’s, which is why the first part of the song is from the point of view of Shredder, and then the other side of the track is the reverse. It’s when, after all of the menacing lyrics from Shredder, you have the Turtles fighting back. This is why the second part of the track is the Turtles saying, ‘No, this is this is our fight and we’re going to win.’ Based on that, Cyrille worked with Kid Katana records, and Tee Lopes, the composer of the soundtrack of the game, Tee created a beat, then Raekown and Ghostface recorded their parts.”

The song is a delight, it’s reminiscent of the infamous “Go Ninja” scene from the second movie. If they ever decide to make another Ninja Turtles movie, please let them do a battle rap scene and bring back the Wu-Tang Clan to make a cameo.