Music

The Grand Theft Auto IV Soundtrack is Fierce

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Gil Scott HeronNew York City

Femi KutiWater Get No Enemy (Live)

I loves me some Grand Theft Auto. There’s nothing like coming home from a long day at work and….well, you know what goes down. However, I’ll have a new reason to pick up Grand Theft this weekend. The soundtrack is off the chain.

If you don’t know, GTA has always pioneered the use of music in video games. Every car you enter has the ability to listen to different radio stations based on genre. Such acts like Agullah and Royce Da 5’9 started off the trend in GTA III, but the latest installment carries the largest video games soundtrack ever with over 200 songs. Most notably though, are the inclusion of more left field and below the radar artists in the playlist.

Case in point: Afrobeat artist Femi Kuti is hosting his own station, IF99, featuring music from himself and his father Fela, as well as Mandrill, Gil Scott Heron, and The Meters. Also featured in the game are such artists as Jill Scott, Milles Davis, Roy Ayers (who also hosts his own station), and Grover Washington, Jr. just to name a few. And lets not forget the Old School Hip-Hop station featuring MC Lyte, Marley Marl, and Special Ed as well as well as an exclusive track from Nas titled “War is Necessary.”

The most compelling thing about this playlist may not be the songs, but the fact that players can actually buy the music that they hear in the game by “marking” it with an in-game cell phone, which will send an email to your inbox with a link to download the song at Amazon.com. This is major. GTA IV in on track to be the biggest selling video game of all time, and these tracks will be pumped repeatedly to gamers all over the world. Forget someone like Kanye, who has millions of marketing dollars behind them. An artist like Femi Kuti or Gil Scott Heron just might as well be introduced to the national stage thanks to a video game.

Technology is a beautiful thing.