Hey guys! Welcome to the Rap Map, where we talk to rappers from every region of the world (North America is the whole world, right? Cool.) about their favorite videogames. We’re starting with the South, and first up, we’ve got SL Jones. SL Jones is a rapper from Little Rock, AK, who in the past has been down with Killer Mike’s Grind Time Rap Gang, but who’s since forged out on his own. He spoke with Kill Screen on the phone to discuss his childhood gaming habits, which cities were like which amusement parks, and the pseudo-sport of Kario Mart.
Do you plays games often?
A little bit—I used to, but when I started rapping, it kind of took me out of the loop. I’m a big fan of fighting games. Even, like, Halo. I’d stay up for days in a row playing it. If you get your weight up, you get the titles before everybody else do. We used to have a connect for getting Madden two weeks early, and you’d go to the barber shop and everybody’d be playing it on the big screen.
What’d you play when you were younger?
Nintendo. When we was little, we took the “N” off and called it “Intendo.” I don’t know why we did that in the projects.
My older cousins and my uncles really loved all the Marios and like, Stryder, Ninja Gaiden and Double Dragon. There was this arcade game called like Neo-Legion or something that was like this urban legend. Nobody ever saw one but everybody always heard about it. We played Pac-Man… seems like even kids today get introduced to Pac-Man. It’s timeless. Shit’s like Mickey Mouse or something.
What else… Contra! Yeah, that was my joint (laughs). What was that code? Up-up-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-select-start? When they brought that out, it was over. I really liked Tecmo Bowl, where you would be Bo Jackson and just be untackleable… Is “untackleable” a word?
Have you ever heard of Kario Mart?
Nah, what’s that?
It’s where you get Mario Kart and a bunch of beer, and the rule is you can’t finish the race without finishing your drink. You can only drink when you’re stationary. It makes the game a lot harder. My friends and I used to play it in college.
I ain’t gonna lie. That makes a videogame a lot more interesting. All my homies, they just bet money. I might see somebody lose a hundred on Madden, and they’ll be sick. That would be fun. Kario Mart…
Where are you right now?
I’m in Atlanta.
Atlanta is basically where you have to be if you want to do music in the South, right?
Yeah, basically. There’s really no other alternative, honestly. You go to New York and L.A. to handle business, but Atlanta is where everybody comes—it’s like a playground.
I heard that Miami is like a playground, too.
Think about it like this: Atlanta is like Six Flags, and Miami is like Disney World. People can come to Atlanta and have fun without no money. Miami you gotta have money to have fun.
I went there this spring and I was broke, but I got to watch people have fun.
Come to Atlanta. You’ll have a blast. You remember that game Altered Beast?
It was like an old Sega game, kind of like Double Dragon. You had two dudes and you’re walking around fighting these beasts, and then you got these power pellets. You get one pellet, and it turns you into like this Superman dude, kind of like Mario when he got big. So you were all buff, and you be beatin’ everybody up, then you get the second power pellet, and you get to be whatever beast matched that level. You’d be, like, a werewolf on one level, and then if you were swimming in the water it’d be like some type of water monster, a dude with a shark head, you know what I’m saying?
Gaming is the shit. Do you remember that 007 game? Golden Eye?
We used to play that shit with Killer Mike when he was working with the Cartoon Network people. And we’d be in this house where they’d work out of, and in every room they’d have multiple monitors for that game. Everybody would be in front of a monitor, and they’d just be shooting each other. It would have been better if there had been alcohol involved.
SL Jones’ excellent mixtape The Number 23 dropped in May. Download it here.