For a short while, Soulja Boy was all over the video game news sphere, but not for the reasons you might expect. He wasn't starring in a new game and he wasn't producing some indie title to break into the industry. No, he was basically reselling Chinese knock-off consoles filled with unlicensed ROMs and calling them his own. Well, SNL figured it would make for a great skit.
The sketch was uploaded over on the Saturday Night Live YouTube channel, but it aired during the actual live broadcast of the show as part of the Weekend Update segment. It was a segue in from the topic of the 35 day government shut down taking place between Trump and the Democrats over getting funding for the wall. SNL satirized Soulja Boy by having him come on to talk about the government shut down, but instead he said he didn't know anything about that and began talking about running for President of the United States in 2020.
They finally got around to the video game controversy after debate about Trump being a tough opponent during the 2020 Presidential elections, to which Soulja Boy said that he was the original one to hustle to the top, bringing out the SouljaGame handheld device. Hilariously enough, they begin making fun of the fact that the SoulaGame devices were Chinese knock-offs, listing some of the games on the device -- such as Fork-Knife, instead of Epic Games' Fortnite, or Reg Dread Recession, instead of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption. There's also a riff on Nintendo's classic platformers called the Super Manjeno Bros., which is obviously supposed to be a parody of Super Mario Bros.
So there's a couple of things to get through that some of you may not be familiar with. First up, the entire skit is based around an interview that the real life Soulja Boy had on a morning radio show called The Breakfast Club. The interview went viral as Soulja Boy began to rip into other rappers for stealing his “bars," and saying that he was the originator of certain lines and beats. When the hosts mention rapper Drake, Soulja Boy got up from his chair and drawled out a long “Drake?!” in an indignant manner before going through a list of reasons why he was the progenitor of Drake's rapping style before Drake was popular.
SNL decided to parody Soulja Boy's Breakfast Club interview with his recent but somewhat short-lived foray into the wonderful world of video games. For those of you who haven't been keeping track, Soulja Boy released several gaming devices called the SouljaGame Consoles. This consisted of handheld devices and home consoles that were all priced above $99.
The devices came prepackaged with emulators containing hundreds of unlicensed ROMs from major video game publishers such as Sega, Capcom, SNK, and... Nintendo.
Now Nintendo is notorious for being litigious about its branding and copyrights. The company will even legally impose upon fan-made creations and projects, even if it's made for free, such as the Another Metroid 2 Remake that was made as a 30th anniversary celebration for the franchise, which was sent a cease and desist letter.
Many gamers tried to warn Soulja Boy that he should – on his own accord – cease and desist selling the consoles containing the unlicensed ROMs. But he persisted until Nintendo reportedly got involved, and then he pulled the devices from his store page. He didn't give up, though, he tried again with another Chinese knock-off console based on Sony's PlayStation Vita, which kept him in the video game news circuits just a little while longer.