To promote the video of his new single "Move That Dope," the rapper Future produced a fun little retro video game for everyone to play online. It's pretty fun! But let's not forget the many rappers who paved the way toward video game stardom, including Kanye, 50 Cent, and Wu-Tang Clan. Let's run down our favorite rapper-made or -sponsored video games, all of which are obviously must-plays.
Move That Doh
Future's new game has a decidedly retro feel, as you drive around in a difficult-to-control car to pick up that "doh," a less explicit version of dope (aka drugs). "It's collection time. Move that doh," the game reads, as you collect sacks of money, bricks, and that all-important respect. The game is part of the promotion for his new song "Move That Dope" featuring Pharrell and Pusha T, the video of which was just released. It got us talking, so nice job Future public relations team.
"Don't let me get in my zone," Kanye raps in his big hit song with Jay-Z, "In Paris." This game was a literal interpretation of that line; protect a quickly moving and rapidly reappearing Kanye head from entering the purple zone. This was likely the inspiration for Future's game, as it took off and was shared over 140,000 times. KanyeZone benefited from being completely impossible for more than a few seconds. He's definitely in his zone.
50 Cent: Bulletproof and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
In Bulletproof, our hero 50 Cent ventures to the streets to seek vengeance on those who shot him years before. His crew G-Unit features prominently, as does Dr. Dre as an arms dealer and Eminem as a dirty cop, but despite them, the game got pretty mediocre reviews after its 2005 release. Not so for Blood on the Sand, in which Fiddy takes down an unnamed Middle Eastern country with G-Unit, sans Eminem and Dre. Kill more bad guys, gain points, and talk trash along the way. Nothing makes you want to keep playing more than Fiddy's taunts of "Step up, pussies" and "Get it, bitch." As Complex writes, Blood on the Sand "manages to be both patently ridiculous and ridiculously awesome." Watch this trailer and tell me you disagree.
Def Jam: Icon
Icon was the third of the Def Jam series of video games, in which you help chosen characters build a hip hop label and lead them to riches. There are 28 playable characters in all, everyone from Lil' Jon to E-40 and back to Ludacris. The game's soundtrack was controllable and could influence the surroundings and situations. While the first two games had a strange wrestling-rap mashup, Icon turned it into a street-fighting brawler with less grappling and more blows to the head.
Ok, so Shaquille O'Neal isn't exactly a professional rapper. But it was a decent side job for him and he wasn't terrible. Naturally, as a rapper, he came out with a video game, Shaq-Fu, widely regarded as being completely terrible. And he's now back for more! Shaq is attempting to crowdsource funding for Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn, and he promises "this time we won't FU it up." Big words from a big man.
Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style
Martial arts seemed to be a common theme among rappers in the late 90s. The Wu-Tang Clan came together for a Mortal Combat-style fighting game, in which players could battle as nine members of the Clan, including RZA, GZA, and Raekwon. Up to four characters could battle in the same arena, and you could even use the awful-looking Wu-Tang controller.