We all know that rap mogul Jay-Z is a baller on and off the court (that’s just facts for you), but now he’s taking it more literally, with news that he’ll partnering up with 2k sports, developer of the popular videogame basketball game series, to act as executive producer of the upcoming NBA 2K13; helping put together elements of the game as well as providing a killer soundtrack.
Hova, (that’s Shawn Carter to you) is a well-known basketball fanatic and can often be seen court-side with the babin’ Beyoncé at matches to see the Brooklyn Nets, the basketball team the rap entrepreneur part owns.
CNN reports that his involvement with the upcoming videogame as executive producer includes helping with the game’s presentation, involved with everything from the style of in-game menus, right down to the animations for crowd reactions.
“This has been a unique opportunity to collaborate with 2K Sports and be a part of one of the best sports video games in history,” Jay-Z said in a press statement. “NBA 2K13 will be the next evolution in sports and basketball culture, and I’m ready to usher in the new era of the franchise.”
Argent said the entertainment mogul worked with the development team on how to bring the entire entertainment presentation to the video game without affecting any of the gameplay. He said Jay-Z was highly engaged and understood the line between on-court and off-court experiences.
Vice president of games developer 2k Sports, Jason Argent, said that Hova worked closely with the development team on the video game, with his expertise of the basketball culture. “Jay-Z’s role represents a unique fusion of basketball, music, art and entertainment,” said Argent, “and illustrates the evolution of NBA 2K into something much bigger than simply the best basketball video game series ever made,” said Argent. “He was obsessed with authenticity and he really wanted to add his influence early on to make the experience better.”
Part of that experience is the soundtrack, a 24 song strong selection which Jigga has personally handpicked. Including cuts from his mates Kanye West and Coldplay, as well as big names like Puff Daddy, Daft Punk and U2. Indie fans will be happy with selections from Dirty Projectors and Santigold, while Jay-Z has also included a number of his own tunes alongside an all-star hip-hop lineup featuring Nas, Young Jeezy, Notroious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes and more.
It’s not the first 2K Sports have hit up a big-name hip-hop act for its series, their 2007 iteration of the series featured a soundtrack curated by producer Dan The Autmoator; with a score featuring the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def and A Tribe Called Quest.
Jay-Z executive producing NBA2K13 is the latest in a series of high-profile musicians who’ve delved into the world of digital entertainment. Following news that Trent Reznor will be lending his Oscar-winning expertise to the latest entry in the mega-hit Call of Duty series, writing the score for Black Ops 2.
Meanwhile the likes of Beck, Deadmau5 and composer Jim Guthrie will be contributing original music to an upcoming Playstation game called Sound Shapes, and Paul McCartney – last seen leading the London 2012 Olympics in a mass-sing-along of ‘Hey Jude’ – is working on music with Bungie, the makers of the blockbuster Halo videogames franchise.
You can have a listen to a sample of Jay-Z’s NBA2K13 in a special Spotify stream below, as well as check in on a trailer for the upcoming basketball videogame featuring Jigga’s ‘Public Service Announcement’ as the soundtrack: