The “Dogfather of Hip Hop” Snoop Dogg announced his partnership with NAMCO BANDAI on Tuesday (June 5) at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, putting his doggy-dizzle rap game and ubiquitous image in tune with the release of the company’s upcoming project, Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Introduced in true doggy fashion, Snoop emerged on the NAMCO big screen at the start of the show, stepping out of a graffiti-covered Tekken party van in a Rasta hat and Lakers jersey. He was then brought out live by Katsuhiro Harada, Series Director for the brand, and offered a few words of wisdom on why he chose to align forces with this particular video game.
“Tekken has always been a special game to me and some of my homeboys from the neighborhood,” Snoop said at the press conference. “It was always a game that represented the streets, like real martial arts and technique. We used to watch karate movies and Tekken was a beautiful game. So, when ya’ll called me to be a part of it, it was easy for me to do it.”
Snoop’s partnership with the entertainment company entails an exclusive Tekken track that produced by Supafly, “Knocc ‘Em Down,” and a music video trailer, both of which he premiered at the event and which were released online shortly after.
Additionally, the West Coast rap icon was granted his own official level of battleground in the new edition of the fighting game series, appropriately dubbed, The Snoop Dogg Stage.
As the rapper explained, “They got the Snoop Dogg stage with the fly girls and the low riders. Ya understand what I mean? Put that flavor in the building. They got a couple of new moves and you tag team. You can bring all the party. That’s what I like.”
Snoop worked with developers to produce original content for his level of the game, and also makes a special appearance as a non-playable character in his portion of the battle. The Snoop Dogg Stage will be a free addition to the game, as part of a special pre-order bonus available to those who get their dibs in early at retailers worldwide.
The new track “Knocc ‘Em Down” shows off the rapper’s classic bravado set to an arcade-like soundtrack, complete with intensifying electronic bass riffs, and intergalactic beats. In the accompanying video, Snoop takes his reign on the couch of a house party, overseeing a martial arts breakdown where two partygoers battle it out via jabs, kicks, and flips over the coffee table.
“NAMCO BANDAI Games America is making it a priority to bring fighting game fans a truly original experience,” said Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing at NAMCO BANDAI, in the company’s press release. “This is our first time partnering with Snoop Dogg and we couldn’t be happier with the results. He brings something completely unique to the Tekken franchise.”
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be out in September for PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.
Follow Courtney Garcia on Twitter at @courtgarcia