“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, when I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this”
– The Notorious B.I.G.

Chrissy needed a quick shoot for her Hot Import Nights Miss Las Vegas title and hit me up. I headed to the used video game store in L.A. and picked up as many Hip-Hop inspired things as I could. Some of the other games and consoles are from my childhood and some borrowed from our Fam, Martin.

Hip-Hop and video games go hand in hand. Video game music has been sampled for Hip-Hop tracks such as the Super Mario Bros. theme for Cocoa Brovas “Super Brooklyn”, the Ms. Pac-Man theme for Lil Flip’s “Game Over”, and “The Thief’s Theme” from Golden Axe for JAY Z’s “Money, Cash, Hoes”. On flip side, Hip-Hop songs have appeared as soundtracks to popular video games.

The merging of both of these worlds have seen Hip-Hop personalities as playable characters within video games. One of the earliest Hip-Hop video game crossovers was Rap Jam: Volume One from Motown Games which was a street basketball game “with fisticuffs and no foul calls” (Wikipedia) with rappers: Coolio, House Of Pain, LL Cool J, Naughty By Nature, Onyx, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Warren G, Yo-Yo, and Flavor Flav. Hip-Hop label Def Jam entered the video game scene with fighting games Def Jam Vendetta, Fight for NY, and Icon, where you could play as your favorite Def Jam artists. Wu-Tang Clan released Wu-Tang Shaolin Style with a limited Wu-Tang logo shaped controller for the Playstation. 50 Cent stars in a pair of his own video games, Bulletproof and Blood On The Sand. Rappers have also popped up as secret characters in the popular EA 2K basketball series and NBA Street. DJs Grandmaster Flash, Jazzy Jeff, QBert, Z-Trip, AM, Shadow, and RZA, appear in the DJ Hero series from FreeStyleGames, a game with it’s own turntable and mixer controller. B-Boy, another game from FreeStyleGames features motion-captured dance moves of B-Boys such as Crazy Legs, Hong-10, Ruen, Ivan, and K-Mel. Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure from graffiti artist / Hip-Hop fashion Designer Marc Ecko features artists Cope2, Futura, Obey, Seen, and T Kid. The list goes on and on. How can we also not forget Playstation’s PaRappa the Rapper, the rhythm video game that follows the dog character rapping to his success. Play on player.

“Bust A Move” featuring Chrissy Lim, photography by eRecto.