Whenever the internet latches onto a strange moment, it tends to get even stranger as more details emerge (and more racist, i.e. the “milkshake duck” effect, but thankfully, this isn’t about that). Case in point, the man who kidnapped the internet’s attention yesterday by tweeting about a bizarre discovery in his breakfast cereal turned out to have a truly fascinating past as a battle rapper — one that resulted in plenty of success outside of the music industry.
I was convinced to go back through the bag, since when I first noticed the shrimp tails, I freaked out and closed the box. Here’s all my findings, which also now includes a weird little string? pic.twitter.com/mRDUhqG3I8
— Jensen Karp (@JensenKarp) March 22, 2021
Jensen Karp, aka Hot Karl, may not be a household name to most, but in the LA battle rap scene — and in certain Hollywood television production circles — he’s kind of an underground legend. As Hot Karl, he was signed to Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate at just 11 years old, he entered Power 106’s Roll Call freestyle competition and held the title for 45 weeks while in college, and he signed to Interscope Records in the early 2000s, recording a debut with features from DJ Quik, Kanye West, Redman, and more which was never released. He wrote a memoir about it and shares his hip-hop knowledge as part of a trivia game. Oh, and he paid Chance The Rapper $5,000 to shoot a music video back in 2013.
UPDATE: my wife has a stronger stomach than me and checked the OTHER bag in the family pack. This one seems taped up (?) and also appears to include…(I don’t even want to say it)…dental floss. pic.twitter.com/yKPkpx7PWq
— Jensen Karp (@JensenKarp) March 23, 2021
Those experiences served him well in Hollywood, where after several gigs writing for WWE and VH1 and a truly fated radio hosting gig, he became executive producer of the short-lived celebrity rap battle show Drop The Mic, which famously featured battles between The Muppets’ Kermit and Miss Piggy, Randall Park and James Van Der Beek, and more, and helped launch the career of the white half of Blimes And Gab.
Users on Twitter were delighted to learn this info, but the “Hot Karl” trend was quickly taken over by teen fans of a gaming YouTuber named Karl Jacobs, who is apparently bad at taking selfies. I kid, teen girls, please do not murder me or perform witchcraft at me.
I like how the hot karl was trending for someone else but we made about KARL MOTHER FUCKING JACOBS pic.twitter.com/64qHKW1aBJ
— Auroraʚ❤︎ɞ (@BassicLove) March 24, 2021
i thought “Hot Karl” was trending because of karl jacobs. 😟 pic.twitter.com/NeHiEdOrQa
— lol (@_quackitty) March 24, 2021
mfs put hot karl as the hashtag and it isn’t even Karl Jacobs smh pic.twitter.com/UbP0P4Ddww
— Alexis misses El Rapids 🎰🎰 (Ifb) (@TanakanNoya) March 24, 2021
Karl Marx, the famed German philosopher who laid the groundwork for the modern conception of socialism, also got roped into the fun.
(briefly glancing at trending) today’s discourse, Hot Karl Marx pic.twitter.com/XpFXFdbsgJ
— Mike (@slipperipony) March 24, 2021
karl marx is trending with hot karl? pic.twitter.com/azkC3m375n
— fuck collegeboard (@te5s_) March 24, 2021
Knowing Karp, he’s likely enjoying all the shenanigans his tweets have caused because he’s a pretty funny guy, but hopefully, this thing doesn’t flatten his hard-won legacy down to just being “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Guy” or “Danielle Fishel’s husband.” Oh yeah, that’s right: He’s also married to Boy Meets World‘s Topanga. I guess you could say he’s the real winner here.
Check out the reactions to “Hot Karl”‘s unlikely comeback above.