20 years ago, *NSYNC performed a cover of the Pokémon Rap. The group was still about a year away from their huge commercial breakthrough with 2000's No Strings Attached when they made the video to help promote the ever-expanding world of Pokémon for the WB Network. Now, the video has once again resurfaced, because nothing ever really leaves the internet, and a lot of people can't help but laugh as the boyband struggles to get through some of the difficult names of the monsters.
The PokeRap played at the end of every Pokémon episode and was impressive because it was able to name 150 of the monsters in a way that was oddly coherent. The rap was written by R&B singer James "D-Train" Williams, who was responsible for the hook, and John Siegler, who was the music director at 4Kids Entertainment. The song was performed by the late Babi Floyd, who passed away in 2013. However, when 'NSync got their hands on it, they only performed around 20 seconds of it.
'NSync also appeared on Pokemon: The First Movie soundtrack, an album that sold over 2 million copies in the United States alone, going on to chart all over the world. That being said, the boyband version of the PokeRap is pretty embarrassing, maybe even more embarrassing than the time that Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears wore matching denim outfits. The band probably didn't really care all that much about recording their version of the rap, as they can be seen and heard flubbing the names of some of the most beloved Pokémon characters, though Timberlake seems to know his stuff.
The Pokémon rap got longer each week, adding more characters until there were 150. It's pretty amazing to think that James "D-Train" Williams and John Siegler were able to create something that pulled off that feat and kept it interesting and catchy. Kids and their parents more than likely at the very least knew the melody, with some hardcore fans taking down the entire rap and nailing every character in the process. The mysterious power of catching them all is still all the rage and will see another bump in popularity when Ryan Reynolds' Detective Pikachu hits theaters in May.
'NSync's days of dominating the airwaves are long-gone, but Pokémon is still at the top, gaining new generations of fans every decade. That's not to say that an 'NSync reunion with the original lineup wouldn't be a success, because it undoubtedly would be huge to see Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass take the stage again. But, should they do so, the group would be wise to leave the PokeRap out of their setlists. You can go back in time to 1999 to see 'NSync try the PokeRap below, thanks to the Dinosaur Dracula Twitter account.
Nothing says "1999" quite like NSYNC covering the PokéRap. pic.twitter.com/WU5SG2s4LY— Dinosaur Dracula (@DinosaurDracula) January 15, 2019