Culture

The Man Who Found Shrimp in His Cereal Was Hot Karl, an Obscure Rapper From the Early 2000s

Jensen Karp, formerly known as rapper Hot Karl, has gone viral for an unlikely reason.

On Monday, Twitter user @JensenKarp made headlines after he posted what appears to be two shrimp tails he found in a new box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The tweet has been shared over 23,000 times. The ensuing chaos between Karp and the brand has many Twitter users swearing off the cereal for good. By Tuesday, more details arose about Karp himself–and his history in the music business as the rapper Hot Karl.

 

 

As the story goes, Karp signed a million-dollar record deal at the age of 19 after a string of rap battles on Los Angeles’ 92.3 FM. As Hot Karl, he worked with artists like Kanye West, will.i.am, 9th Wonder, Fabolous, Redman, and even scored a placement on EA Sports’ NBA Live 2003. After retiring from the music industry, he married Danielle Fishel, also known as Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World. He also wrote a memoir about his time in the industry titled Kanye West Owes Me $300.

In a 2016 interview, Karp told Entertainment Weekly the experience was “a weird project where I could let my influences seep through and not just change because I [knew] what would sell better. I was just being myself. Even though it didn’t play out the way I really wanted it to, I still feel pretty good about it.”

As far as the tainted cereal goes, Karp took the box to a lab on Tuesday to be tested. Stay tuned for further updates on what exactly was in the box, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s damage control.

Hot Karl’s two albums, I Like to Read and The Great Escape are both available on all digital streaming platforms.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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