Like many of us, El-P had the new mobile gaming sensation Pokémon Go on his mind this weekend. But the 41-year-old Run the Jewels rapper didn’t have as positive an outlook about the game as most. “I don’t actually care,” he tweeted Saturday evening. “But I will laugh the second one of you gets hit by a car. Or chuckle softly to myself. Sadly. Soft but sad.” El-P added that “someone is going to get accidentally maimed or killed off this Pokémon s—” — claims that, sadly, might have some merit — and refused to back down.
But El-P is notoriously committed to his online hijinks — this is the guy who turned a throwaway joke about a remix album comprised of cat noises into a reality, after all — so the Pokémon Go conversation didn’t stop there.
“Here’s the deal: If in one year someone doesn’t get seriously hurt playing this s— I’ll personally attempt to become a Pokemaster,” he tweeted. As criticism of his apparent distaste for the phenomenon rolled in on Twitter, the politically active rapper observed that he had “gotten more negative feedback from the Pokémon community [than he had] from Trump supporters” and jokingly noted that he would “be reaching out to leaders of the Pokémon community. Listening. Understanding. Improving myself and my capacity for empathy.”
El-P then joked he had been hacked, reaffirmed his support for Pokémon because “it’s fun and cute and fun,” and asked if his followers had “played that new Pokémon VHS.” From there, El-P dropped a tongue-in-cheek Pokémon rap on Instagram — the jury’s out on whether he knows the real Pokémon rap — and promised that whoever remixed it best would receive a free T-shirt and hoodie.