With the NBA season still up in the air, one thing can be certain: 2k Sports critically acclaimed NBA2K series will be coming to a video game system near you. TheGrio was on hand at the NBA2k12 launch party and had the opportunity to talk to rap icon (and seasoned gamer) Busta Rhymes to talk to him about the partnership between music and hip-hop, old school video games and who’s the greatest team of all time.
theGrio: Busta Rhymes, you’ve been in the game for 20 plus years…
Busta: No, no, only 20! Just 20.
You just performed at the NBA2k12 launch party here at The Hudson Hotel here in New York City. There’s a certain type of connection between music and sports. Is there anything that you find similar between what goes down on the hard wood and what goes down on the mic?
The competitive nature. I think what makes hip-hop just as exciting as sports are that it involves challenge. There’s not a soul in the world, no matter your place in life, when you are challenged you still wanna win. The spirit of being a winner is what drives me.
The fact that we as artists have to win the love of the crowd is the thrill that can’t really be explained. It makes you dig down deep for the ability that you didn’t know you had before. You can’t even put a price tag on that.
You mention competition. Last year with NBA 2K11 there was an emphasis on ‘His Airness’ where you played through the greatest moments in his careers. Now that mode has been expanded to other legends and teams. Being from the basketball Mecca, is there a team that stick s out in your eyes as the most dominant of all time?
I think within my existence the most dominate team of all time had to the Chicago Bulls when Jordan and Scottie and them were all together, because they exemplified what it meant to be a unified force. That hasn’t been rivaled to this very day.
There’s still not a team in this era that has won 3 times consecutively twice, you know what I’m saying? I don’t think anyone can argue that. I give it up to the homey, well I can’t call him the homey (laughs), to Phil Jackson for being the architecture in that dynasty.
Gameplay aside, the thing that always sticks out to me was the music. As an avid gamer like yourself, do you have a certain soundtrack that sticks out in your mind to something that you’ve played?
Nah because I’m from a different time where it wasn’t about the soundtrack it was about the game! I came from an era the design and the way the game handled kept you interested over the music. Sometimes the music that comes with video game, it ain’t the music that I want to hear. If I’m playing Call Of Duty and I’m poppin’ off all crazy, I may throw on some Onyx Bacdaf**up classic shit, because a lot of ignorance is going on right now! It could be Ready to Die by BIG. That’s not suitable for children. I listen to the 90’s era boom bap when I play now.
Speaking of the 90’s is there any video game beat from that era that you would ever bless or spit on?
Well to be perfectly honest, I did an entire mixtape/album with the legendary DJ Scratch from EPMD before I dropped Back on My BS in 2009. He chopped up sounds from the game Galaxians and made it into a beat. It was me and Lil Fame from MOP. It was personal for me because when I was growing up when I stayed in east Flatbush I used to go to the bodega where they had the Galaxians arcade. The 5 Percenters that I looked up to would also give me bread to play the games as well.
So being on the track was more than anything nostalgic to your childhood…
Yeah, no doubt.
I’m a gamer. You were in a video game a few years ago call Def Jam Fight For NY, which in all honesty is one of the dopest games I’ve ever played. I’m a fighting game fan to the core.
I love those too. No question.
If the opportunity comes along again, would you lend your likeness to a video game?
Of course I would. I got kids…at the end of the day I got involved with that project for them. And they’re serious gamers. I do it for the thrill of seeing them smile big. They see their pops and playing with their pop in the game bustin’ a** and theirs nothing ‘iller than that. That’s just another avenue to connect with my fans. Entertainment is something that I will always and continue to do.