In honor of Black Music Month and the awesome trailer for the upcoming Mortal Kombat game, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight some Hip Hop songs in our favorite video game trailers.
With the rise of Hip Hop’s popularity, there has been an increase in the use of hip hop music and artists in the promotion of other media types. The music that accompanies the visuals in a trailer are extremely important. The beat, the lyrics, the energy have to convey the same emotions that the game does. Being a fan of both hip hop and video games, I sat down with other hip hop fans at The Game Fanatics and came up with a list of our top 5 video game trailers that used hip hop songs, and used them well.
5. Power – Kanye West (Saints Row: The Third)
This isn’t our first rodeo, nor our first Saints Row. We all know that this game is full of ostentatious and over-the-top game play. What better way to pair these characters than Kanye West’s Power. One of the lines in the song, “Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it. I guess every superhero need his theme music.” When you think of over the top rappers Kanye definitely comes to mind, he is a complex genius who pulls out all of the bells and whistles on a record. Power apparently took him 5,000 hours to create. Hopefully it didn’t take you 5,000 hours to play Saints Row.
4. War is My Love – Kendrick Lamar (Ghost Recon: Future Soldier)
Unfortunately I only found gameplay videos of this collaboration between Ghost Recon and Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar was a name many people didn’t know of a few years ago. He has taken a quick path to the top by being a warrior. In this video he talks about his favorite parts of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and how he related it to his battle in the music industry. What does it take to be on top? Kendrick and Ubisoft made a fitting pair with this song and game.
3. Can’t be Stopped – Wiz Khalifa (Mortal Kombat)
This is a bit harder to judge on. I believe the music fits the visuals of the trailer perfectly. The beat is immaculate, it is daunting and suspenseful yet precise. It represents a calculated combo from any of the Mortal Kombat characters.”Cross me once that’s the end of you” Finish him! Wiz Khalifa may not be your favorite rapper but his song executes the message of Mortal Kombat. Also, this may be one of his best songs. What better to raise the stakes than a great game?
2. Survival – Eminem (Call of Duty: Ghosts)
Few game series’ have been able to garnish wins on multiple games. Few rappers have been able to garnish back to back success. Call of Duty is in many gamers top 5 and Eminem is in most rap fans top 5. Call of Duty and Eminem are cut from the same cloth. I mean what is Call of Duty really? Survival of the fittest! As cliche as it is, it works. Two thumbs up for Eminem and Activision!
1. Victory – Puff Daddy and The Family (NBA 2K13)
There is nothing like a classic rap song to get you hyped up, especially for the released of a sports game. It should come as no surprise that the only hip hop game trailer sports game is NBA 2K13. Jay-Z served as the executive producer for NBA2K13 and this trailer proves his influence. When you watch the amazing dunks, crossovers, and ankle breaking moments you can’t help but feel the energy from Notorious BIG and infamous hype man Puff Daddy. The news of Jay-Z’s role in the game came as a surprise to some but to no avail he fit perfectly with what the game needed aurally. Rap music provides the high intensity beats and lyrics that you would hear in any NBA stadium and 2K made sure you experienced the same effect playing the game.
What is your favorite hip hop song in a video game or video game trailer? If hip hop isn’t your music of choice, what music will get you excited for a game?