Started gaming in kindergarten, when the most advanced piece of hardware I could get my hands on was a black plastic handle and an orange button attached to a brick. I used it to blow up little squares on a black and white television screen. A couple years later, I was molested by the girl next door after beating her copy of The Legend of Zelda. I have mixed feelings about the experience.
Unfortunately, over the years, my ability to maintain a passion for games has waned (as in being able to play through them start-to-finish). This is due to various reasons and issues that would be too emo to get into at this juncture. But suffice to say, though my passion has waned, my interest in them has not, as evidenced by my being here.
Nihil (or Nils) is the pseudonym I currently use for writing and gaming on the internet. I came across the Destructoid website by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic pretty much has the most comprehensive coverage on it I've seen anywhere. And for that, and the other thing, I thank him.
I briefly mentioned in my 10 Things entry that I lost my negro-cred, as it were, to "white" music and I didn't bother looking for it. I already had video game music to appreciate, along with whatever angsty headbanger shit I got into. That doesn't necessarily mean I wasn't able to appreciate stuff MTV played that also got a bunch of radio time. If something is catchy, then it's catchy. But luckily, my tastes in gaming were diverse enough for me to be exposed to more that weren't up to radio standards, I suppose. Life bleeds into art, and video games are no exception.
I present to you, my n-word's, my three favorite rap tracks used in games (ranked from ill to illest).
Phat beats abound. Or whatever.
First up: Tony Touch - G'z Up
^ clicky clicky ^
Dude, when this started up at the beginning of that race in MC2, I got pumped right the hell up, and I think the reason is simple. The first verse of the chorus says it there: Put up or shut up. Perfect for street racing mentality, without the risk. Or the stupidity. I must've restarted that mission a dozen or more times just to listen to this song, and I don't remember any other music on the game's soundtrack sticking out as much, besides the menu screen music.
Not much more to it than that. A smooth beat with creative lyrics and tight flow, for your city-cruising pleasure.
Actually, the next track on the list is not too dissimilar, yet considerably more chill. A much needed respite from all the double-crossing and killing and maiming and tom-foolery.
Sean Price ft. Agallah - Rising To The Top
Bitch, it ain't there just fo' show. Click dat shit!
I must've spent hours rollin' 'round Liberty City to this. And maybe running over hookers and old ladies here 'n there, but mostly just rollin'. Well, there was KJah on the radio, which is probably as chill as you can get when it comes to music, but I have a funny story about that.
I usually don't listen to music when I drive IRL, because I'm an asshole or something. When I do, it's with KEarth oldies, or KJazz and blues, or rarely, KRoq. But I remember a time during my playthrough of San Andreas, where I was listening to reggae from the in-game radio, a lot, as I was running red lights and generally wreaking havoc with cars I stole. I fucking love the irony in that, by the way. Anywho, I remember coming home from hanging out one night and I was scanning through stations when I fell upon some reggae.
"Nice," I thought. "I've been listening to reggae lately while playing SA. Can't wait to get home and play some more."
It wasn't long after that, that I had to consciously stop myself from mindlessly running through a couple red lights on the way home. After stomping the breaks at the third red light, I turned off the radio and vowed never to listen to reggae again while driving in real life. Ever.
I believe that instance is among the most potent of memories, insofar as video games having an effect on the way my brain works. I wasn't high or drunk or anything. Crazy shit, man. I can only imagine how violent games have gotten other law-abiding adults into freak accidents. And how fucking dumb they must have felt afterward. So yeah, rap music in games. I never listen to rap while I'm driving, so I'm pretty safe there. Thank Buddha.
I like this track mostly for the instrumentals. Price's verses are cool and Agallah's are amusing, but I definitely can see myself just cruising on my way to work or Del Taco, just bumping the shit at an appropriate level w/o the vocals. Yeah, good times with this track during my time with GTA 3.
Which brings us to the final, and illest, track up in this motherfucker.
Bad Azz - Tha Truth
You know what to do.
Well, I guess it's subjective how ill it is, as with the other tracks listed, since it's a very different experience listening to them, by themselves, as opposed to hearing them while you're street racing for glory, running over prostitutes for money, or gunning down and beating the living shit out of hardened criminals for great justice. But if you've played True Crime LA, and you remember the moment when this track burst through the speakers, you are going to fucking agree with me.
Kinda like how you only get the full effect of HEALTH's "Tears" when you play the scene in Max Payne 3 where it starts blaring, to get you friggin' pumped to take out an entire army standing in between you and your target (spoilers for every scene in every Max Payne ever?). Not exactly the same in emotion... but similar in effect.
And the effect here is to make you wanna run into a building and cap almost everyone in it, in bullet-time. Or watch a Jet Li movie. I don't know if I'd feel the same way about it if I had heard the song before I played the game, but I think you have a winner when there's a line saying you're going to die in your neighborhood like Mr. Rogers.
I dunno. Maybe that's just me.
I'm hoping that it is less of a natural predisposition to this particular type of music (which wouldn't even fucking make sense at this point) and more of a natural intuition of what could be universally considered "good" music. The juxtaposition between the flow and the rhythm of the beats/instrumentals works, sometimes in ways you don't expect it to. When I listen to music, I usually don't hear the lyrics first (I wouldn't be able to through all the screaming anyway). I'm listening to how it sounds when it all comes together. And in special instances, it comes together better in a video game than by itself.
Agree/disagree? Have your own favorite tracks to share? Fap or comment, nukka.
PS: And with the bot bitches gone, I can respond properly to Occams: I don't smoke Lucky Strikes.