Kanye West Owes Me $300 by Jensen Karp
And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big

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Synopsis

“Kanye West Owes Me $300 might be the funniest rap memoir ever.” –LA Weekly

After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.
 
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of. 

On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory. 

Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.

 

About Jensen Karp

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JENSEN KARP, formerly known as rapper “Hot Karl,” is an LA-based writer, comedian, and co-owner of Gallery 1988, the nation’s leading destination for pop-culture themed artwork. He hosts the Get Up On This podcast on the Wolfpop Network, co-hosts the web series “Baby Talk,” and has written and produced for Funny or Die, the MTV VMAs, HelloGiggles, Rolling Stone, WWE Raw, The Hundreds, and the ESPYs. As an actor, he’s appeared on VH1’s Barely Famous and Candidly Nicole.
Author Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Author Hometown: Calabasas, CA
 
Published June 7, 2016 by Crown Archetype. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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