Jensen Karp On Will.I.Am’s Original ‘Let’s Get It Started’ Dance And His Past Life As A White Rapper

06.10.16 3 years ago
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Crown/Jensen Karp

These days, Jensen Karp is best known for his popular Twitter account, several podcasts (including one about The Bachelorette with Karp’s former girlfriend Melissa Stetten), and the Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles — which hosts all kinds of pop culture art shows and exhibits for the like of Kevin Smith, Breaking Bad and Star Wars. However, during the early 2000s, Karp first made his debut under a different name. Around the time Eminem first burst forth from Detroit as a popular white rapper, Karp’s “Hot Karl” persona did the same on the West Coast.

Spotify and other streaming music services host Hot Karl’s old records and singles, but Karp doesn’t rap that much these days. He’s found his calling as a comedian and writer, so the 36-year-old author decided to tell Hot Karl’s story with his second book, Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big. As the title suggests, it contains all sorts of anecdotal goodies about celebrity rappers, musicians and personalities Karp knew before they were famous, but that’s not all the book’s about. Instead, he traces the origins of his love for the art form, how Hot Karl came to be, and why he left the business.

Karp talked to us about these and many other topics, like a story about the hilariously offensive dance will.i.am wanted to use for the uncensored version of “Let’s Get It Started.” However, first things first, at the time of the interview, the The Bachelorette hadn’t premiered yet, so we had to talk shop.

Will your The Bachelorette podcast continue?

Yes. It’ll have a nice new twist considering we’ve broken up, but we’re definitely going to try to keep it going. [Laughs.] That’s the goal. I think it will have a nice change of pace considering that we don’t have to like each other anymore, but it will be fun for two people going through their own relationship breakup to then watch people fall in love. It’ll be a nice twist.

The contestant bios are tremendous.

They’re insane. We’re going to do a preview episode this week for Monday, maybe get it done Friday, and go through those. It’s so crazy. On Twitter, I always do this thing called “Not an Occupation” in which I retweet their pictures and the information saying what their job is. They always put up three or four people whose entries aren’t real jobs. So this time, a “Hipster” is listed as a job, which is not an occupation. And then “Erectile Dysfunction Expert,” which is not an occupation. The third one was “Bachelor superfan.” Also not an occupation. There’s also a singer-songwriter on the show named James Taylor.

It makes our lives as writers easier, but it also kills us a little inside.

They are trying to be funny. That’s the one thing I hate about The Bachelor. It’s like, don’t wink with us. I want them to take it seriously because that’s what’s so stupid and great about the show. I don’t need comedy to come from them, but everybody who’s on it is trying and I hate it. But whatever. It’s why I have a love/hate relationship with that show.

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