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‘Rapstar’ Video Game Gives Fans a Shot at the Big Time

It looks like the next wave of video gaming might be upon us. In a new release expected this fall called ‘Def Jam Rapstar,’ gamers can enter a Guitar Hero-esque world that actually let’s you make a video recording of your own raps or favorite covers and then upload to the Internet for others to challenge and vote on your skills. The game includes more than 40 songs, including recent classics like Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger,’ 50 Cent’s ‘I Get Money’ and a number of fan-favorite beats that gamers can freestyle over.

“It can go to everything from a record just released in 2010 back to Pete Rock & CL Smooth,Wu Tang Clan to a Run-D.M.C. to Public Enemy,” explained Def Jam Enterprises CEO Kevin Liles to USA Today. “It can spin at the middle time from Dr. Dre and NWA to an Onyx, Redman, Method Man or LL Cool J. We haven’t had anybody say, ‘I don’t want to be in the first hip-hop game.’ This has been a dream for us because we have been able to partner with every single one of the labels and do something that is very exciting. They know with me that I understand licensing, culture, branding, and how a song should be placed in a format like (this game).”

The game, developed by 4mm Games, Terminal Reality Interaction and Def Jam Interactive, is unique because it lets users display their skills in real life. Hip-hop has always been based on competition, and with the prevalence of social media, things could really catch on.

“This is about your notifying people how good you are and not just seeing yourself in the top 10 but being alerted that somebody just beat your score,” said Liles. “So this brings out everything that came from hip-hop culture — you, the culture, expressing yourself, the competitiveness, the cipher, the battle. All of those things. It brings the game alive.”

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