Art dealer Jensen Karp formerly went by the rap moniker Hot Karl, and at one time, landed a million dollar record deal with Interscope Records at the age of 19… which didn’t exactly pan out.
Now, he returns with a new memoir, detailing his failed rap career and recalling stories of his near brush with fame, called Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big.
In addition to stories of working with the likes of Redman, Fabolous, Mya and will.i.am, he also details his past interactions with Kanye West.
In an interview with the L.A. Weekly, Karp compares Kanye to the movie character Bowfinger.
“He was basically Bowfinger,” Karp explains. “I obviously didn’t know he’d become what he became, otherwise I would’ve let him rap on my album like he wanted to… People are always like, ‘Is he going to be mad?’ And I don’t know why he would. The book is nice to him; Kanye knows people laughed when he left the room.”
Karl has an interesting story. He first garnered attention as a battle rapper on a Los Angeles radio contest called “The Roll Call”, where he eventually became the long-running champ on the show. Before signing to Interscope, he was approached by West Coast rap veteran Mack 10, who showed up to his house with $50,000 in cash… which he told us about in a past interview.
“Mack actually came to my parents’ house when I was living at home. He found out my home address, came through with $50,000 in cash,” Karp told us in a 2005 interview. “[He was like] ‘I’ll sign you right now.’ I was like ‘Umm, this is awkward and very Suge Knight-like,’ so I wasn’t really feeling it at the time. But luckily, even though I didn’t sign with him and ended up going with Interscope, he has been nice to me ever since.”
It’s probably in the book, lol. Karp’s Kanye West Owes Me $300 is available now at Amazon.