Playing Pokemon Go led Kevin Bennett to search for the game’s virtual creatures at Canalside, Delaware Park and Niagara Falls, among other places.
Now the game’s popularity has taken the North Tonawanda performer into a recording studio to produce a nearly 5-minute rap video that incorporates all 151 characters in order.
“This is the biggest reaction I’ve ever had music-wise,” Bennett, 22, said, after the video went on YouTube Thursday. “I’ve never seen so many people come out of the woodwork, and congratulate me for doing what I do.
“For a while, I had been trying to figure out what I can do to catch people’s attention, because there is so much attention in music in general,” Bennett said. “Pokemon is one of the biggest trends right now, and my girlfriend – who I had been playing Pokemon Go excessively with for several days – came up with the idea.”
Bennett is shown on a split-screen from the waist up, making his rhymes in rapid-fire fashion over the beat as the anime characters appear in the order they’re name-checked.
Bennett did everything from scratch, from the beat and the lyrics to mixing, mastering and editing the video.
“I take pride in that,” he said. “Ever since I was little, I wanted everything to be my own.”
Only four takes were needed to produce the final version. Now, Bennett hopes the video will increase his musical exposure.
“I want to get recognition for what I do, and build a big fan base,” Bennett said. “I’m just trying to get my name out there like anyone else. I figured it would catch everyone’s attention because it’s so hot right now.”
Reciting the Pokemon characters was a challenge, he said. So was rhyming with Exeggutor, Marowak, Squirtle, Clefairy and Meowth.
“I made it work just because you can do almost anything with words,” said Bennett, whose favorite subject at North Tonawanda High School was English, “especially when poetry was involved.”
Unlike some other projects, Bennett said producing the video was the most fun he’s had in the studio despite its length and challenges.
Bennett has performed and recorded with Nicky Trakks and Johnny Mack as the hip-hop trio Evident Truth. They have also opened for hip-hop and pop acts such as Chris Webby, Huey Mack, Aaron Carter and Three Six Mafia.
Bennett, who considers himself an entertainer, performs for people in another way, too – as a professional wrestler who has been on wrestling bills in the northeast and Canada. He will appear on the “Empire State Wresting Meltdown” program Aug. 20 in St. Johnsburg Fire Hall, North Tonawanda, under the name “the Remix of Professional Wrestling.”
Does Bennett think he could perform “Pokemon Go Rap,” which clocks in at 4 minutes 47 seconds, live?
“I’d probably have to go over it a few more times because it’s such a long song, but I could probably do it,” he said. “Yeah, no stress – if I had to, I would.”