During this past weekend at Dragon Con, rapper T-Pain showed up in a perfect cosplay of Leroy Smith from Tekken 7. He was joined by hundreds of other cosplayers in what has become one of the biggest annual conventions in the world.
Dragon Con was first established in 1987, and has been held every year since in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. It was one of the first conventions to pride itself on the mixing of different media and fandoms, which has now become the norm at most other conventions these days. Attendance has only gone up over the years, and Dragon Con 2019 boasted the largest and most staggering turnout ever with over 85,000 attendees. Naturally, a huge number of those attendees were in cosplay, and apparently that included at least a few celebrities too.
One great example was T-Pain, who attended Dragon Con in an excellent cosplay of Tekken 7's newly-announced fighter Leroy. As you can see on his Instagram, the well-known rapper went around the show floor getting photos of his cosplay. He even danced outside of one of the booths. At one point, he also met up with WWE superstar Xavier Woods and struck a few poses with him. T-Pain clearly put a lot of effort into the cosplay's detail, right down to the leopard-print shoes and hand tattoos.
Leroy Smith was only recently announced at Evo 2019 as an upcoming DLC fighter for Tekken 7, shortly after the game's grand finals concluded. With that in mind, one might suggest that T-Pain's cosplay could just be an impressive marketing stunt. On the other hand, it's certainly possible that he came up with the idea himself; T-Pain has been known to stream games on a regular basis, and has often talked about his love for the medium. It's unclear whether or not he plays Tekken, but he wouldn't be the first rapper to do so. Snoop Dogg heavily promoted Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and was prominently featured in the game, writing an original song for it and even getting his own stage.
Regardless of whether this is a marketing stunt or not, the cosplay is undeniably well done. This may sound somewhat depressing, but when celebrities dress up and show their affection for subculture like this, it helps further legitimize and de-stigmatize cosplay and fandom. Ultimately, it's a very good thing to have more people who are experiencing a sense of community through cosplay and fandom.