PaRappa the Rapper
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PaRappa the Rapper is an 1996 rhythm video game for the PlayStation game console created by Masaya Matsuura and Rodney Greenblatt. In the game, players control an aspiring rapper PaRappa the Rapper, with the gameplay involving pressing matching buttons on the controller as they appear on screen. In August 2021, the character gained meme popularity, with PaRappa repeating humorous lines like he would in the game.
Development of PaRappa the Rapper began in 1994. At the time, the game's creator and lead designer Masaya Matsuura was a musician, not a video game developer. On the game's development, Matsuura said:
Upon completing PaRappa and gearing up for promotion, I had a discussion with the staff from Sony Computer Entertainment about how we should go about promoting the game. I remember that many of the staff at that time saying that, “this is not a game.” Even for me, it was not clear to me either if this was a game or not.
Two years later, on December 6th, 1996, Sony released PaRappa the Rapper in Japan (gameplay video shown below). The game was released in Europe on September 26th, 1997 and in North America on November 17th that year.
In 2007, the game was released for PlayStation Portable console.
Sequels and Remaster
On March 18th, 1999, spin-off video game Um Jammer Lammy was released for PlayStation. The game featured a similar gameplay to PaRappa the Rapper with focus on guitar playing (clip shown below, left).
On August 30th, 2001, sequel titled PaRappa the Rapper 2 was released for the PlayStation 2 console (video shown below, center).
On April 4th, 2017, a remastered version of the original game was released for PlayStation 4 console (gameplay video shown below, right).
On April 14th, 2001, first episode of PaRappa the Rapper anime television series aired in Japan. The show ran for 30 episodes across three seasons until cancelation in 2002 (clip shown below).
PaRappa the Rapper is a rhythm video game, with the gameplay involving precisely timing button presses in order to succeed. The game features a rap battles between PaRappa the Rapper and various characters, with PaRappa's opponents rapping and PaRappa singing along by repeating words from his opponents' songs.
The original PaRappa the Rapper game received positive reviews upon its release. On the review aggregator Metacritic, the game holds a score of 92 and a user score of 7.5. The 2001 sequel has critic score of 67 and a user score of 7.5.
The 2017 remaster of the game maintains a 61 user score and a 5.2 user score.
Use in Memes
On October 29, 2012, YouTube user TAS Rats posted a humorous video titled "chinese" in which they intentionally misplayed the game. The video received over 4.8 million views in nine years (shown below).
PaRappa the Rapper achieved major popularity in memes in August and September 2021 after on August 18th, 2021, Twitter user @ebola_granola posted an I Thlammed My Penith in the Car Door meme in which PaRappa repeats the phrase in the same way he would in the game (post shown below, left). The post gained over 2,900 retweets and 14,900 likes in one month. On the same day, Twitter user @KoltJolt voiced the meme (340,000 views, 12,600 retweets and 40,200 likes), with animator Sol Scribbles posting a fan animation created in the style of PaRappa the Rapper on August 24th, 2021. The animation (shown below, right) received over 290,000 views on Twitter and 8.5 million views on YouTube in one month.
On September 1st, 2021, Twitter user @Vecderg posted a This Is Where I Watched My Parents Die, Raphael meme in which PaRappa repeated Batman's line in the same fashion he would in the game (shown below). The post became viral, gaining over 8,600 retweets and 52,200 likes in three weeks and being widely circulated in that period.
On September 2th, Twitter user @bradois posted a voiced version of the meme in the style of the game, with the post gaining over 586,000 views, 18,800 retweets and 65,200 likes in three weeks (shown below). On September 4th, 2021, Twitter user @RedBirdRabbit posted an animated version of the meme that gained over 183,000 views, 6,800 retweets and 23,900 likes.
— ‼️BRADOIS‼️ (@bradois) September 2, 2021
In September 2021, the format gained major popularity on Twitter and YouTube, with users creating PaRappa the Rapper-styled videos referencing memes and traumatic scenes from pop culture. For example, on September 16th, 2021, YouTuber Gameghoul posted a Breaking Bad meme that gained over 1.1 million views in five days.
 PlayStation – Interview: The Untold Story of PaRappa the Rapper
 IMDB – Unjammer Lammy
 The Cutting Room Floor – PaRappa the Rapper
 Wikipedia – PaRappa the Rapper
 IMDB – PaRappa the Rappa TV Series
 Metacritic – PaRappa the Rapper
 Metacritic – PaRappa the Rapper 2
 Metacritic – PaRappa the Rapper Remastered
 Twitter – @ebola_granola
 Twitter – @solscribbles
 YouTube – i thlammed my penith in the car door
 Twitter – @RedBirdRabbit
 YouTube – this is where i watched hank die parappa
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Feb 07, 2017 at 05:06AM EST
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