Soulja Boy has his hand pretty much everywhere in pop culture, even when they’re not visible. From his business ventures (like the infamous line of hoverboards) to his appearances on Love and Hip Hop (to say nothing of his music itself), he’s low key one of the most influential artists of the past decade—paving the way for the likes of Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert. But don’t let his projects trick you into thinking Soulja Boy doesn’t have time for games. Soulja Boy loves games—so much that the rapper took a break from clearing out his label lineup and promoting his latest single “Max Payne” to his latest obsession: Pokémon Go.
When do you play Pokémon Go?
I play Pokémon Go mainly if I’m on the road, or a tour bus to another city, that’s a good way to catch a lot of Pokémon. Maybe if I’m at the airport, right before the plane takes off or after the plane lands. I caught a Pikachu one day when I was shopping at the mall in Los Angeles. I was just shopping, and took a picture of this Pikachu I caught on my Rolex and put it on Instagram and shit went viral. Everyone was like, “Damn Soulja Boy, you caught the Pikachu!” My favorite one is Mewtwo, though.
I don’t think they have that in the game yet.
I’m gonna be the first one with it, though.
What are your main Pokémon?
My number one is Growlithe. That one was one of my dope catches for me. I was on the way to Las Vegas and it just randomly popped up and I was like, “Oh, snap!” I caught it, but it took me a long time to catch it—I had to be like, “Stop the car, stop the car.” That’s my main one. Of course, my Pikachu, my Pidgeotto, my Geodude, and probably my—I’m looking at them now–and oh, you know what? It’s my Charizard.
Where’d you get that?
I got it off of Charmanders. Homies were like, “How’d you get your level up?” Because my second day I was like, level eight. I caught the Charmander and kept going hard, you know, power up power up power up, evolve evolve evolve. When I got the Charizard, I changed its name to Swagizard.
Do the rest of your Pokémon have nicknames?
I got Souljachu, I got Souljeotto, and I got Swagizard. Those are the only ones that got nicknames. But they got the hardest, though. Swagizard is at 302 right now.
What team are you on?
Why that one?
‘Cause it was just like savage. They’re the underdogs, the people from the bottom of the box. Most people I hang with, my homies, they play Pokémon, but a lot of people don’t. So when we first got it, it was my and my homies going to gyms, just walking around, walking from my house, looking to catch Pokémon. And I asked what team he wanted to do, and he told me he was team Instinct. Every time we’re in the car, we pull over to hit gyms. The other day, I told my driver to stop and pull over.
It’s crazy though, all my fans love it. Any time I say something about Pokémon, they love it. Every time I’m on Twitter and I post something, my fans go crazy. I had tweeted something and Niantic Labs, the people who made Pokémon Go, tweeted me. They ain’t tweeted at nobody else. And all my fans went crazy, and that just goes to show you how hip-hop has crossed over. It’s all the music, it’s part of the swag, it’s the culture. If you ain’t down with Pokémon, you tripping.
What are your favorite Pokémon cities?
Las Vegas had a lot of crazy Pokémon, and all through California–Beverly Hills, I go to the Valley, I go Downtown. Miami got all the water Pokémon. They got Squirtles. I just got back from an overseas run, but I haven’t been overseas yet since Pokémon was released. It’s probably pretty crazy. Like, there are flash mobs with all these people trying to catch the same Pokémon.
They should give you a Zapdos, since it’s the yellow legendary bird.
They should just put me up to level 100 and give me all the Pokémon.