One of more somber parts about growing up is watching the artists you grew up with age as well. Today [Thursday, July 28] Soulja Boy passed the halfway mark from his twenties to his thirties. At 26 years old, Soulja still remains the fun and relatable guy we love. His career has displayed extended levels of success, ranging from being the pioneer of the “internet viral rap fame” path to still working and being one of the richest rappers in the game even to this day.
I had to let go of the hurt I have been holding onto from when Soulja curved my phone call when I dialed the infamous six-seven-eight, triple-nine, eight-two-one-two (from “Kiss Me Thru the Phone”) back in 2008, so I could sit down and ask him how in the world he got a Pikachu to sit on his Rolex in Pokemon Go. Here’s what the legend himself had to say about his favorite pastime from back in the Limewire days: video gaming.
What are your thoughts on this whole Pokemon Go phenomenon, this augmented reality thing that is a spin on a classic childhood game. Do you think it’s worth the hype?
Growing up as a kid, I played Pokemon. I think it’s tight. I had a GameBoy and we played at school with the Pokemon cards and everything. I think (Pokemon Go) is dope. I think it’s fire. At first I was like “What? You have to actually move around?”, but yeah now I think it’s definitely worth the hype. If you liked the old game of course you’re gonna like this 2016 version ’cause you remember Jigglypuff, you know what I’m saying? I can play in the airport and when I’m touring. I love it.
Do you remember that wire thing that connected two GameBoy’s for Pokemon?
Yeah! Yeah, I did all of that.
If you could pick one game console to exist and the rest never were invented, which one would you pick and why?
Only one console? Damn, that’s hard. It would probably be the XBOX 1. I could probably keep that forever.
I hate asking fave questions, but I really gotta know your favorite video game of all time.
Grand Theft Auto.
That’s tight. Fave Pokemon?
I haven’t caught one yet.
Nah, you ain’t gon’ catch that one. We gonna have to work together or something for that one. (laughs)
You tweeted back in 2011: “Yes, I play Pokemon on Nintendo DS and I don’t want to lose any swag behind that, don’t judge me!” In recent months, no one has made any effort to hide their love for Pokemon, even grown men and women. Do you think playing Pokemon, and other video games, is considered “swaggy” now? Or being a gamer is a nerdy thing still?
Nope, nope. It’s still lame. Everybody think it’s lame still. I’m the coolest guy. I can do whatever I want, you know? But when I’m with the crowd they still laugh like “You play Pokemon?” and I’m like “F*ck y’all! This s*it hard!” More people have opened up to it but, nah people are still hating. Like you heard Charlamagne talk bad about Pokemon Go on The Breakfast Club? Man, I was playing right when he said that s*it! But I’m gonna be the one to change that. I’m gonna have everyone in the ‘hood, the club, playing Pokemon and ain’t nobody gonna say nothing.
You could do that, because you’re a trendsetter. Basically, people follow what you do. I say this all the time. These kids whipping and dabbing, it’s because you paved the way for these types of (online) trends, as well as many other things. How do you feel about being regarded as the pioneer of that?
I love it. It’s definitely an accomplishment. People look up to me. The younger generation and even these new rappers, they tell me “you were the first one to have that YouTube poppin’ and have the internet going crazy. We doing what you doing.” It definitely makes me feel like I have a significant place in this rap game.
What’s Soulja Boy’s “One Golden Rule of Gaming”?
When you’re playing against somebody, have confidence. Just have fun. Video games can f*ck your whole day up. Always, always have confidence. If you lose, have confidence in that L. Don’t be stressed out over a game. Even if you suck, on some “I ain’t ever played this before!”, you just gotta have confidence.
Listen to Soulja Boy’s latest track “Rockstar” and look out for Soulja on the Rich Gang album with Birdman.