“The rap battle game genre is an untapped goldmine”: Kendrick Lamar’s Juneteenth Pop Out Show Has Gamers Hungry for a PaRappa the Rapper Return

Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake has to be one of the biggest public beef that’s taken the internet by storm recently. It’s a testament to how big rap and hip-hop culture has gotten in the mainstream, and how disses have also evolved alongside the internet to deliver sick burns in forms previously never thought of.


With such a gigantic spotlight on the world of rap battles and disses, there’s no better time to bring back a classic franchise that puts a unique spin on the genre: PaRappa the Rapper.

The Kendrick Lamar to PaRappa the Rapper Pipeline

Kendrick Lamar isn't the only rapper that spits mad bars.
Kendrick Lamar isn’t the only rapper that spits mad bars.

Pop Out: Ken & Friends, Lamar’s special concert to celebrate Juneteenth, made headlines almost everywhere after the rapper performed his Drake diss track, Not Like Us, not once, not twice, but five times in a row. A stadium of 18,000 fans sang along with Lamar, rubbing salt in a wound.


The beef between Lamar and Drake has been going on for years, but things took an explosive turn after the former took huge shots at Drake and J. Cole on Future and Metro Boomin’s Like That, from their collaborative album WE DON’T TRUST YOU.

This kickstarted a back-and-forth diss battle with each rapper taking shorts at the other. Although, in many an eye, there’s a clear winner. While there has been major beef between popular artists before, the publicity on this took to an unprecedented level.

You could get your hands full just trying to understand the entire history between the two rappers and their associates from almost a decade ago. Or, you could do what some X/Twitter users did, and capitalize on the momentum to suggest a genius idea.


That’s right—now is the perfect time to announce or drop a new entry into the PaRappa the Rapper franchise. It’s been over two decades since we’ve had a brand-new game for the franchise, so what is studio NanaOn-Sha waiting for?

We Almost Had a Spiritual Successor to PaRappa

Story-driven music games are a dying genre in the industry.
Story-driven music games are a dying genre in the industry.

Turns out, NanaOn-Sha has a legitimate reason for not dropping any more PaRappa games. As the title indicates, it, unfortunately, was never realized. And, no, this isn’t about Friday Night Funkin’.

NanaOn-Sha and studio iNiS J attempted to create a new story-based rhythm game, like PaRappa and Gitaroo Man, titled Project Rap Rabbit. It would’ve featured rap battle gameplay mixed with Japanese culture.


The developers set up a Kickstarter to fund the game, as it was difficult to find a publisher willing to fund a game in such a niche genre, i.e., story-led music games. They hoped to receive enough funding to work on essentially what would’ve been the music game of everyone’s dreams.

Sadly, plans fell through, as the Kickstarter never reached its goal. With the platform filled with so many promising projects, it’s difficult to get seen. If, by a bizarre coincidence, PaRappa gained enough traction with all of the discourse around rap battles, NanaOn-Sha may have another chance at fulfilling its dream.

Would you want to play a modern-gen PaRappa game? Let us know in the comments below!


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