A popular music video by Lil Yachty, Ski Mask the Slump God and Yung Bans is a tribute to one of the most popular games in the world—Fortnite. Top music producer Murda Beatz incorporated the game’s original theme into the rap version.
This is just part of the growing relationship between hip-hop and gaming, which makes perfect sense, according to expert Sherri L. Smith.
“Because it’s lucrative, you have cameos, you can provide a soundtrack, you can make your own video game,” Smith said. “And gaming is so mainstream in America you can reach so many more potential fans than you ever could on Spotify, iTunes or Tidal.”
In the new NBA2K19, hip-hop artists 2 Chainz and Rapsody join forces with LeBron James in a win-win for everyone. Industry powerhouse and champion player HipHopGamer said other artists are starting to pay attention.
“Cool factor played a big role in it, the money, the attention, the value and the engagement,” he said. “It’s beneficial for them, it’s also fun, and it also gives them an opportunity to grow their brand, and that right there helps them become sustainable no matter where they go in the form of entertainment.”
Murda Mook, the king of battle rap, grew up playing video games. He said sees similarities with his art form—both are about winning. “Video games is another way of the competitive aspect, and another way of getting your frustration out too,” he said.
Hip hop artists have even more incentive to tap into the trend. At a time when some have trouble filling large venues, gaming fans are packing the stands.
“Lego Legends, Counter Strike Go, which is also known as CSGo, all these arena-style games, they are selling out stadiums,” Smith said. “People are paying to watch these people play competitively.”
Evolving technology which transformed the music industry is also transforming gaming with the growing popularity of live gaming.
“If you look at music the way it was and the way it is now, you’re talking about how many streams you got, not how many albums you’re selling, so everything is different,” HipHopGamer said. “If you look at Twitch, YouTube, and Mixr, that’s backed by Microsoft, these new platforms allow you to engage with your audience in a whole new way.”
FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
HIPHOPGAMER, Video Gaming Champion and Gaming Journalist https://twitter.com/HipHopGamer
SHERRI L. SMITH, Games and Tech Journalist and Editor, Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide https://twitter.com/misssmith11
MURDA MOOK, King of Battle Rap and Video Gaming Enthusiast https://twitter.com/MurdaMookez