Words by Jesse Serwer
Photo by Varun Baker
You can always count on Mr. Vegas to say what needs to be said. Throughout his two-decade-long career, the versatile, underrated and frequently-criticized dancehall artist has called it as he sees it, taking on topics he feels needs to be addressed — whether it’s men buying out all of the women’s clothes from J.C. Penney, or Drake plundering from Jamaican culture — no matter how unpopular his opinion may be, or how obscure the topic.
If you’re a grown-ass adult going about your life, you’ve probably had to scratch your head a few times recently when confronted with the phenomenon of Pokémon Go. Ostensibly, this app inspired by the cartoon series, is for kids, but the craze has spread to a growing number of adults. Right now, somewhere near you, a full-fledged grown-up is walking (or possibly running) around, chasing after fictional cartoon characters instead of, say, working or attending to their children. Jamaica hasn’t been immune. Recently Olympic Bronze medalist Warren Weir was seen searching for Pokémon in Sovereign, the mall in Kingston’s Mona Heights. And this dude’s already made three webisodes on his Pokémon exploits in JA.
Mr. Vegas, for one, doesn’t see the appeal. And he’s taken a stand, recording a track called “Nuh Play Pokémon” on Riva Nile and Vegas’ Hero riddim.
“I don’t get the whole Pokémon craze,” Vegas tells LargeUp. “I can understand the phenomenon with the kids, but I have seen some grown ass men running around, searching for Pokémon…I wrote and recorded the song late one night after I saw the news where three kids drowned in Ohio, trying to find Pokémon. I asked my friend, ‘What kind of stupid game is this?’ She tried to explain but I was so troubled I got up and went straight to the studio at 1am.”
Besides passing on the game himself, Vegas isn’t keen on the idea of his kids playing, either. “Yes, I have kids and I think it’s a kids game, but my kids ain’t gonna be chasing Pokemon all over the place. I don’t want this game to lead them to the wrong person’s door. Maybe the makers of this app should pay you 100k to find Pokemon, so at least you can pay your bills and buy back a car if you run it off a bridge and get out alive.”
Listen to the track below, and look out for Vegas’ upcoming album — his last, he says — This is Dancehall, out September 23rd.