What one music genre has been most absent from music games? Acid jazz? Afrobeat? Reggae? You are all wrong, stop guessing. It's obviously hip hop. Today, Konami announced that they've signed on to publish 4mm Games' first title, Def Jam Rapstar
Whereas Def Jam: Icon
and last generation's Vendetta
and Fight for NY
were all fighting/wrestling games, utilising famous rappers as the playable characters, the upcoming Rapstar
is a singing (though I use that term loosely) game, bringing us "the the first true interactive Hip Hop music game experience."
Designed as the ultimate MC experience, Def Jam Rapstar is the only music game that focuses exclusively on Hip Hop. With a track list boasting over 40 of the greatest Hip Hop songs around, including region specific music for the UK and Europe, Def Jam Rapstar makes you the star. Using a mic controller, players rhyme, make videos using a compatible camera, and upload their efforts to the fully integrated Def Jam Rapstar community at www.defjamrapstar.com. Def Jam Rapstar also offers you the chance to freestyle over tracks by some of the world’s hottest Hip Hop producers and have members of the community vote on your uploaded videos.
“For 30 years, Hip Hop music has re-defined the sound, boundaries and culture of popular music,” said Kunio Neo, President, Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH. “We look to explore that ambition by pushing the boundaries of music games with Def Jam Rapstar. The combined power of 4mm Games and Def Jam Interactive will bring a music game experience like no other seen to date, and we are excited to be a part of such a unique game.”
“Hip Hop is a global phenomenon that has permeated pop culture to become the most important youth movement of our generation. We are proud to deliver the first authentic Hip Hop music experience to gamers that will undoubtedly change the way music games are played,” added Kevin Liles, President and CEO of Def Jam Enterprises. “It is an incredible opportunity to work with the Konami, 4mm Games and Terminal Reality teams in developing Def Jam Rapstar. Our partnership with Konami ensures that everyone around the world will have an opportunity to compete with the best of the best. So show us what you got!”
“4mm was founded with the intent of bringing the experience of Constantly Connected Gaming to the next generation of gamers,“ said Nick Perrett, CEO of 4mm Games. “We look forward to providing Hip Hop fans worldwide a powerful example of that vision this year with Def Jam Rapstar." Def Jam Rapstar is being co-published by Autumn Games, and represents the publishers' first major release as part of its ongoing efforts to provide a new way for top-flight developers to independently make and release games that challenge traditional boundaries.
The first quarter of the game's soundtrack has also been announced, seeing the game include the following singalong classics:
• 2 Pac - "I Get Around"
• 50 Cent - "I Get Money"
• Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg - "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang"
• Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx - "Gold Digger"
• Lil’ Wayne - "A Milli"
• Notorius B.I.G. - "Juicy"
• Slick Rick - "Children’s Story"
• T.I. featuring Rihanna - "Live Your Life"
• Wu Tang Clan - "C.R.E.A.M."
• Young Jeezy featuring Kanye West - "Put On"
As an incredibly nerdy honkey, I for one am super excited to spit some rhymes on the mic, dawg, fo reals. Though seriously, despite my scepticism, I'm sure there are plenty of hip hop fans who would really enjoy being able to emulate their idols and rap along to some awesome hip hop in the same way that we Rock Band/Guitar Hero
players can. Right? Riiiight...?
Let's at least hope for two things: one, that the game doesn't enforce the same negative stereotypes and general misogyny/ignorance that littered the previous Def Jam games; and two, the lyrics aren't butchered for censorships sake. It's easy enough not to worry too much about the censorship while playing, for example, a Metallica or Pearl Jam song, but trying to rap along with the "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" with censors placed all over it's expletive-ridden lyrics would be awful. Def Jam Rapstar
is set to be released this Autumn (also know as Fall, you crazy Americans).