Happy Pokémon Day, everybody!
Every year on February 27, fans of the popular anime series worldwide commemorate the anniversary of those very first releases for Game Boy: the 1996 Japan-only drops Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green. While the latter edition turned into Pokémon Blue when the United States received both games two years later, the series nonetheless became a cultural phenomenon. By the time everyone’s favorite Pokémon Yellow: Pikachu Edition dropped — 1998 for Japan; 1999 and 2000 for the US and Europe, respectively — the franchise had developed into everything you could possibly imagine — a television series dubbed over in every language imaginable, plush toys, action figures, cosplay conventions, animated films and a wildly-popular collectible card game all became mainstays in America. Even today, people everywhere are still on their “Gotta catch ’em all” wave with the Pokémon GO mobile AR game that launched in 2016. Basically, Pokémon is one of those phenomenons that will never truly die down, and we don’t think anyone is complaining.
Here at The Source, of course we had to make the Hip-Hop connection throughout it all. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t that hard at all! From Pikachu’s hip-hop Christmas song to the OG “Pokérap” that we all heard at the end of every episode, the creators of Pokémon might’ve been the biggest rap heads of all time.
Keep scrolling to revisit some of the best moments when rap popped up in the world of Pokémon:
10. The rapping brother duo Nico & Chester
The ‘yo-yo’-ing siblings that arrived in the season 17 episode “Breaking Titles at the Chateau!” were even dressed for the part, complete with clout goggles, overalls, snapbacks and baggy hoodies. Too fresh! See the full episode below:
9. The introduction of Hoppip
Unless you consider its niche for “weeds,” there is literally nothing that reminds you of rap when it comes to Jigglypuff-ripoff Hoppip. However, you can’t knock the obvious inspiration that the name comes from. Respect..
8. That time Pikachu channeled “Christmas In Hollis” vibes in the 2000 home movie Pikachu’s Winter Vacation 2.
Of course Pikachu is lit! Who else is channeling Run DMC for a VHS special? Definitely the flyest of ’em all.
7. Scraggy’s baggy “pants”
Scraggy was a pretty cool critter, complete with his signature mean-mug and saggy swag overall. However, it is a little off-putting that his “pants” are actually a sort of foreskin-esque protective body armor. Then again, baggy pants are in the rapper’s style manual. Carry on, Scrag.
6. ….and his evolved form Scrafty, “hoodie” and all!
By level 39, Scraggy becomes Scrafty, now rocking a mohawk, hoodie-skin and even a darker skintone. It’s easy to see how Hip-Hop culture inspired the style of this Pokémon.
5. Pichu’s “Hip-Hop & Bop!” Kids WB online game
The only rap connection here is in the game’s title, but it’s still a fun & nostalgic play nonetheless. You can even still play it over on GamesLoon.
4. “What Kind of Pokemon Are You?” off the 1999 Pokémon 2.B.A. Master album.
It seems like they always had a cipher going on in the Pokéworld! This one is from the first soundtrack album that’s managed to sell three million copies since it dropped. Actually, it was the top album of 1999 on the US Billboard Kid Albums chart.
3. That time Meowth invented sing-rap with “Meowth’s Party”
Meowth is easily one of the best Pokémon in the history of the show, even if he was a pretty sinister feline. While the song itself could be considered more alt rock than anything, you can’t deny that Meowth is spitting a few bars here. Drake owes this cat big time.
2. Ash Ketchum’s style throughout the series
As the most recognizable character in the series outside of his sidekick Pikachu, Ash will forever be remembered for his non-wavering swag. The cap, the vest, the big baggy blues and most importantly his kicks — no matter how the colorway may have changed, he always kept it b-boy fly.
1. The original “Pokérap”
How they managed to fit all the original Pokémon in a rap that’s under five minutes long, and somehow made it all rhyme, is a feat that deserves proper recognition. Rest in peace to Babi Floyd, the rapper on the song who passed away on June 11, 2013.
Enjoy Pokémon Day! Let us know some of your favorite memories of the franchise over on our Facebook and Twitter!