Hip-Hop Songs that Mention Videogames

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fishinwithguns

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#1  Edited By fishinwithguns

I have a question: does Giant Bomb already have a wiki page about games that were mentioned in rap songs? I find it hard to believe that that doesn't already exist (or at least something similar) on Giant Bomb.

I was not going to limit this to one genre of music at first, but then I couldn't think of video game references in any genre that wasn't rap. EDM is probably second in line for video game references but I just don't listen to much of that at all.

The first time I had heard Wu-Tang mention Shinobi and Mortal Kombat in their song "Triumph" when I was like 8 or something, I lost my shit. I've loved martial arts movies and rap basically my whole life, so Wu had already checked several boxes that made it impossible for me to not like them. But when they started mentioning video games as well, that like turned immediately into unconditional love.

I think the most recent hip-hop artist I've heard mentioning video games in a song was Logic. Think about how many rappers have been in video games either as themselves or an original character. I can go on and on but needless to say, hip-hop for whatever reason is and always has been linked to the world of video games. Sometimes that means Snoop Dogg actually physically appears in a Tekken Tag 2 stage, where virtual Snoop is watching the fight listening to real Snoop provide the song for the stage.

Sometimes it means 50 Cent gets his own game entirely. Sometimes it means a good portion of Wu-Tang are in a fighting game franchise with the Def Jam namesake, and also Redman and Comp and Jim Jones and...okay it's been so long since I played Fight for NY, but I played the SHIT out of that game...what I'm saying is sometimes a whole rap record label gets three games where all the playable characters are rappers...and Henry Rollins...and Danny Trejo...and I think at one point Anthony Anderson...wait that was in ICON so scratch that (with the analog sticks).

What are your favorite songs that mention video games (or have sound effects/music from games sampled in the beat) in one form or another?

Why do you think this seemingly inextricable link between rap (music and/or the artists themselves) and games exists? Tour buses maybe?

Oh yeah, and my original question:

Is there some sort of record in the wiki that addresses any aspect of this? Is there a page that maybe lists any games or series mentioned in rap songs and which song(s) they may have been referenced in?

If not, then my last question will be: Why not?

Thanks everyone!

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jeff

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#2  Edited By jeff

This is a wiki page I've thought about creating for years but haven't had the time to get it going! Seems like the sort of thing that'd need a good table, like Song Title, Artist, Game Thing References, Relevant Lyrics or something.

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BabyChooChoo

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#3  Edited By BabyChooChoo

My personal fav:

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Lenient_Lasagna

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My favorite, "Proto Culture" by Del already got posted. Fun fact: the beat in that song is a sample of Morrigan's Victory Theme from Darkstalkers . I realized this while watching the Darkstalkers episode of Ranking of Fighters. Also does it have to be just rap? Would tribute bands like The Protomen count? Cause they talk A LOT about Mega Man. If the page doesn't exist, nothing wrong with making it yourself, duder!

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AlKusanagi

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#6  Edited By AlKusanagi

I present Ice Cube's "Street Fighter," from the Jean Claude Van Damme classic film's soundtrack.

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bongchilla

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#7  Edited By bongchilla

I can’t remember if it was a Wu-Tang song or a Method Man song but there was a line where he mentioned Jet Moto. When I remember it I’ll edit this post.

Edit: It was a Method Man song called “Shaolin What” from Tical 2000

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secondhands

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"...and if you play Defender I could be your hyperspace, so..."
At about 2:30 in the track. Good thread. Cheers.

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fishinwithguns

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@alkusanagi: Damn...how did I not know about that one? I grew up playing so much damn Street Fighter and listening to Ice Cube, I saw that movie in the theater and think I even owned the game based on the movie on Saturn.

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fishinwithguns

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@secondhands: Yes! Thanks, man. Interestingly enough, my brothers and I would always play Beastie Boys albums on repeat when we were playing games. Usually it was a fighting game, like Soul Calibur, or anything competitive really.

But yeah, we owned all their albums but Hello Nasty had just come out at the time so that one probably got played the most for sure.

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fishinwithguns

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@jeff said:

needforswede marked this as the best answer

This is a wiki page I've thought about creating for years but haven't had the time to get it going! Seems like the sort of thing that'd need a good table, like Song Title, Artist, Game Thing References, Relevant Lyrics or something.

Jeff, we could make this happen. Granted, I myself haven't had a ton of experience with the wiki editing tools on the site but I wanna get it started as well. These fine folks are already contributing to it with their knowledge. I'd be all over this, ha.

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fishinwithguns

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@lenient_lasagna: Yeah I think I may end up creating it myself, I was just making absolutely sure it didn't already exist. I searched for it on the site and didn't see it, but at the same time I didn't know exactly what to search for/how to phrase it when searching.

I love the Protomen, and I love Mega Man, but I think they are in a category of their own. Some bands only do covers of songs from games, and some bands like the Protomen create all original music but their whole concept is based on a video game series.

In my mind that's just its own thing. I am more intrigued by the link between hip-hop and video games, and I think it's because most of the time the artists' whole persona is based around things completely separate from games, yet they will often tie it into or compare their (normally hardcore/dangerous) persona to a video game.

I don't really have a reason to just limit it to the rap genre, though, except for the fact that I can't really think of another genre that makes game references so frequently. I mean, I can think of like one-offs like HORSE the Band where they had songs about Mega Man, Mario 2, Super Mario, etc. but for some reason that's also different to me because they weren't referencing them by name. I dunno, I know it's kind of a silly distinction to make, but this whole thing is kinda silly which is why I love it!

Let me know if that makes sense to you, though. I mean, now I'm considering maybe doing a page for each genre...if it's a genre with a significant amount of references which would necessitate its own page. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure there are tons of metal bands that have songs about games, or only sing about video games just without being as overt about it...or at least have song titles that are taken from games. I think the Black Dahlia Murder had at least one song about Castlevania on their first album.

I'm rambling now.

But hey, thanks to all of you guys for your responses! I just assumed this post got overlooked until I saw it on the community spotlight just now.

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Milkman

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#13  Edited By Milkman

“Blowjobs from model twins, doing drugs with acronyms

So many lines, thought this shit was Busch Gardens

Party starting monster with the hair like Blanka

Hotel room like a hair metal concert

This blonde made the dick do the spray outta Contra

You disrespect I hit you with the slap of Tatanka”

There’s a double video game reference with a wrestling reference to top it off from Danny Brown, who also has a cat named Chie.

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shivermetimbers

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"Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, when I was dead broke dawg, I couldn't picture this!"

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Nodima

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#15  Edited By Nodima

"'Sace's keep me cold, slide like M.Bison / Broke these hoes off, concealed a hand gun license" © RiFF RaFF, "Larry Bird"

"I'm trapped in a deadly video game, with just one man / So I don't only watch my back, I watch my front" © GZA/Genius, "I Gotcha Back"

"Listenin' to Nature talk about Sega Dreamcast / NBA 2K until the plane land" © Curren$y, "Still Ridin'"

"XBox web browser, download an updated NBA roster / Play an 82 game season / Condo full of snacks, Spitta not leaving" © Curren$y, "Breakfast"

Freddie Gibbs' "Bugatti Bullet Holes" doesn't directly reference games in the lyrics, but the music video is a reskin of River City Ransom.

Here's a listicle from Complex that'll take you, as usual, an hour to click through.

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fishinwithguns

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@milkman: That would make sense, because Danny Brown is the fucking shit!

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fishinwithguns

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@nodima: Thanks, dude! Oddly enough, I googled for a list like that and bookmarked that one before I even saw you put it here already.

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fishinwithguns

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I just remembered a big one from 2008 that I actually first heard on Giant Bomb!


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jewunit

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#19  Edited By jewunit

"My dress code is all black when I'm making the moves. Similar to the new Playstation 2." - Redman, Let's Get Dirty

I only played Def Jam: Fight for NY out of that series, but it was a ton of fun. Nothing beats a big David Banner beatdown. As for why rap and video games fit together, I think the tour bus idea is a good one. When you are on the road, gaming is a way you can relax by yourself or with a group.

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sjaak

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@shivermetimbers: Biggie right? Yesterday watched a docu about hip-hop in the early days and heard this sick rhyme and my ears started tinkling. Funny how words like super and genesis can do that. From what I remember Wu Tang was also spitting some words about Street Fighter or whatever. I’m not that much into hip hop, but as an European I love the history, because it tells you much about the cities in the west and east coast of the 90s.

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BallsLeon

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Pusha T mentions "Ghouls, ghosts, n goblins" in "Drug Dealers Anonymous"

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Meltac

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#22  Edited By Meltac

Lupe Fiasco has tons of video game references as well, but he's a big fighting game fan.

You might want to give this list a look as well.

https://genius.com/Rap-genius-video-game-references-in-rap-music-annotated

It's by no means complete, but it's thorough enough

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SSully

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#23  Edited By SSully

Pull up on your block, then break it down, we playin Tetris - Humble - Kendrick Lamar

I think there's multiple PGA Tour 2 references on Beastie Boys Ill Communication, but the one I always remember is on B Boys Makin With The Freak Freak: https://genius.com/1653097

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hunterob

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In my opinion the best Pac-Man reference that will ever be is during Push's verse on Mercy "I'm bill droppin', Ms. Pac-Man, this pill poppin' ass ho."

I listen to a lot of A Tribe Called Quest and unfortunately the only mention of theirs that I recall is when Consequence says "While I be trying to get star status like Shinobi" on Stressed Out. I say unfortunately because Consequence is Q-Tip's cousin who is on their fourth album randomly & way too often, kind of ruining it. Shinobi is the shit though so props to him for that at least.

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monetarydread

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#25  Edited By monetarydread

This might be stretching the limits of being on-topic with this thread...but “Never Been” by Wiz Khalifa is just straight up reusing Schala’s Theme from Chrono Trigger.

Plus the song “Madonna” by PBZ and Gucci Mane samples the Kingdom Trial from Chrono Trigger as well.

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UncleJam23

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A more recent example from JPEGMAFIA's "Baby I'm Bleeding": "Tell your bitch "Come here" like I work for Midway *WORD I WILL NOT PRINT FOR I AM CAUCASIAN AND I KNOW THE RULES FOR BEING A GOOD PERSON*"

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I can probably think of some more when I'm more awake, but I relistened to this album on the plane and it's one of my favorites of the year. Not for everybody, but if you like a shot of weirdness in your hip-hop, give it a shot. There's video game references not only in the lyrics, but in the samples and even the song names as well.

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hnke

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Nobody's mentioned the obvious which is it being on like the arcade classic Donkey Kong so I'll be the one to do it. You know you won, G?

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dragmagpuff

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" Blowing on the endo Game Cube Nintendo" - Slim Thug's verse in in the Houston rap classic Still Tippin' featuring Mike Jones (who?), Slim Thug, and Paul Wall

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liquiddragon

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"I love Street Fighter 2, I just really hate Zangief

Only Ken and Ryu I find it hard to beat Blanka" - Gold Watch - Lupe Fiasco

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ace33625

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfNe-g45T5U

"Here to save the game just like a memory card

Memory loss to cali dro"

"Thick white bitch slurp a n*gga like kirby" has always been the weirdest video game reference for me in a song

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SaturdayNightSpecials

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Common maintains that he can "whip anybody ass at NBA Live" (though he's careful to specify a best-of-5 scenario, which is awesome). Not a very famous track (the insensitive dig at Greg Louganis probably didn't help), but one of my all-time favorites from an all-time classic album:

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winterking

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This is the best video game themed hip-hop song. This the best one. This one.

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Fistoh

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Like a stampede of nothing but Zangiefs / I'm leading with arms swinging...

...I hit em still they start seeing the cartoon cardinals / Mario starts spinning...

Both from Year of the Ox's Seven Rings

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foeaminute

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Wyclef Jean: Guantanamera - "Pac Woman better yet Space Invader, If your name was Chun-Li, we'd be playin' Street Fighter"

Also, Madvillainy (probably the greatest rap album of all time) had a song that was essentially non stop Street Fighter 2 samples.

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Autechresaint

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cLOUDEAD (of which featured Doseone who now does a lot of video game sound tracks) used video game imagery and samples in their music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H43ZE8_v5I

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gocthulhugo

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#38  Edited By gocthulhugo
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waterlogged

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A more recent example from JPEGMAFIA's "Baby I'm Bleeding": "Tell your bitch "Come here" like I work for Midway *WORD I WILL NOT PRINT FOR I AM CAUCASIAN AND I KNOW THE RULES FOR BEING A GOOD PERSON*"

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I can probably think of some more when I'm more awake, but I relistened to this album on the plane and it's one of my favorites of the year. Not for everybody, but if you like a shot of weirdness in your hip-hop, give it a shot. There's video game references not only in the lyrics, but in the samples and even the song names as well.

Was about to say this one. Such a full on track as well.

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bryngylf

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#40  Edited By bryngylf

A few video game references in this phat beat =) (the best being "Blow on the cassette let motherf*ckers know the --game's on--"), and a very video gamey music video.

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grandCurator

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@waterlogged: Would there be debate on 'My Thoughts on Neogaf Dying' being applicable? Technically video game adjacent and not in the lyrics, but it's video games and hip hop. Maybe as a footnote?

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hunterob

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" Blowing on the endo Game Cube Nintendo" - Slim Thug's verse in in the Houston rap classic Still Tippin' featuring Mike Jones (who?), Slim Thug, and Paul Wall

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TreeTrunk

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'Nintendo' is referenced in the chorus for this one but not a specific game, but seems worthy of maybe a side-inclusion in such a wiki page.

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superjoe

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#44  Edited By superjoe

Styles of Beyond - Killer Instinct (1998)

Moving target victim

Back em in the corner, let Sabrewulf sic em

With a Ultra Combo hit, 97 megabit

Then I strangle with the cord, joystick: Genesis

Eminem - So Far (2013)

Hell with a Playstation, I'm still on my first manual from Zelda

Nintendo, bitch, run, jump, punch, stab and I melt the

Lupe Fiasco - Mural (2015)

Polarize envy of the older guys

Black obi Shinobi hitting Ken Oh in the face with all my throwing knives

Sub-Zero, Gaiden, Hidan, Raiden in the pack as well

Sound village, Leaf village, wolf spirit, magic spells

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bored_and_agitated

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Ain't no new rap in my ear, too many depressed niggas

Emotional every song, deserve to have breast niggas

Crying 'bout my old girl, funny how I left niggas

Trying to get my ex boxed, Red Ring of Death niggas

-King Mez in “Talk About It” by Dr. Dre

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wmoyer83

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Method Man did a rap song about Sour Patch kids. Sour Patch Kids is a video game.

I rest my case.

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fledeye

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Acura_Max

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Kendrick Lamar very briefly mentions Nintendo when he raps about robbing a house.

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