NBA2K13: Jay-Z's Epic Soundtrack Elevates Game to Another Level

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2012

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

With NBA2K13 now available for gamers around the world on virtually every platform possible (Nintendo WII U users have to wait until December 31, according to Gamestop,) something will become evident within seconds of popping the game into your console of choice.

Jay-Z’s blueprints, er, fingerprints, are all over this game.

2K Sports’ vice president of marketing, Jason Argent, explained to reporters the depth of Jay-Z’s role in the game (h/t Gamezone):

(His) artistic vision and style will permeate the experience, from the overall look and feel of the game, to the hand-picked soundtrack, interactive in-game menus and more.

We aren't content with just being the best, and we will continue to grow the NBA2K franchise into one of today's premier entertainment experiences. JAY Z's role in NBA 2K13 represents a unique fusion of basketball, music, art, and entertainment, and illustrates the evolution of NBA 2K into something much bigger than simply the best basketball video game series ever made.

Said Jay-Z:

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. 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.

While the soundtrack features a number of Jay-Z’s own music, from solo tracks like “Public Service Announcement (Interlude)” from The Black Album to collaborations like an amended version of "Run This Town" with Kanye West and Rhianna, the entertainer extraordinaire shows off a diverse taste and knowledge of music from a number of genres.

He covers rock music with U2’s “Elevation” and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and mixes in the jazz-funk stylings of Roy Ayers on “We Live In Brooklyn Baby,” which leaves little doubt as to what arena we’ll hear that tune played at.

Electronic music your thing? He’s got that covered with Phoenix’s “1901” and Daft Punk’s classic “Around the World.” Indie Rock? He’s got that covered with Brooklyn’s Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is the Move.”

Of course, there’s plenty of classic hip-hop to go around, from Mobb Deep’s epic “Shook Ones Pt. 2” to Eric B. and Rakim’s “I Ain’t No Joke.”

There is something for virtually everyone’s musical tastes in the game, and that’s not something that we have seen before. Often times, gamers would disable the music that accompanies a game so that they could listen to their own music.

That’s not the case with NBA2K13.

At no other time could a video game’s soundtrack be pointed to and have someone think that, were it released as an album, it had a legitimate shot of going gold or platinum.

This soundtrack could do just that, and it most raises the bar for all video games, not just sports titles.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as there is one downside to it all.

How on earth can 2K Sports and Jay-Z top this in NBA2K14?


You can listen to the soundtrack in it’s entirety on the NBA2K13 Facebook page.