Back in 1994, the Notorious B.I.G. said “You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far.” In 2023, as hip-hop has celebrated its 50th anniversary, it’s a dominant force not just in American culture, but all over the world. It’s everywhere you look and listen, including (and especially) in video games.
Hip-hop and video games have had a long relationship. At first, hip-hop’s contribution was only to the soundtrack of popular video games. Games such as Need For Speed, Grand Theft Auto, and the NBA 2K series, have always put hip-hop first. Many songs are heard during the virtual high-speed chases or hitting that three-pointer in a basketball game.
The video game industry is obviously a huge business. It’s a billion-dollar industry having “estimated at almost 347 billion U.S. dollars, with the mobile gaming market generating an estimated 248 billion U.S. dollars of the total” in 2022, according to Statista.
Video Games and Creator Influence
The industry is not short of content creators either. With the rise of Twitch, a video game streaming platform, and influencers like Kai Cenat, the industry has rapidly changed. Content creators in the video game space are not just marketing action, sports, or adventure games. “Cozy games” have also gained a lot of popularity. They are virtual games that are slower-paced and relaxing and are heavily targeted to the female audience. Video games such as Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, Coffee Talk, and more have generated a lot of buzz on social media and are now a viable genre in their own right. These types of games also rose in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So whether you’re an adventure gamer or a “cozy game” gamer, the video game space continues to expand and support every kind of gamer and music lover. Take a look below at seven rappers who have appeared in video games: