Today, EA Sports has unveiled the NBA LIVE 16 Spotify Playlist on their newly launched NBA LIVE Spotify Profile. The 13 song playlist, curated by world-renowned DJ and cultural tastemaker, MICK, includes well-known artists like Travi$ Scott, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz and Busta Rhymes, as well as, rising artists like Hudson Mohawke, Nick Catchdubs and Hoodboi. MICK gave ESPN Music the inside scoop on how the NBA LIVE 16 soundtrack was born and the importance of music in the realm of gaming.
MICK is deemed one of the most in-demand DJ talents in the world having spun exclusive events for celebrities and bands including Lebron James, Rihanna, Spotify, Adidas, Twitter, Beyonce, Entertainment Weekly and of course, EA Sports. The Ohio native, Brooklyn-based, Celtics mega fan, is a lover of all things NBA. So much so, that the NBA recognized MICK as an official Social Influencer and invited him to Game 4 of the NBA Finals last year. While MICK's general involvement with NBA LIVE comes as no surprise, his rise to become EA Sports' go-to Music Curator for the game was and is quite the accomplishment.
"Over the years of my career, the EA brand and the MICK brand have intersected at various times. Throughout those intersections, it became an actual real collaboration and there's a mutual respect for what both of us do in our own worlds." MICK continued, "the vibe of my personal music taste, as well as my knowledge of what the gamer fanbase likes, plays really well with what we try to do with NBA LIVE."
The Spotify playlist gives fans a taste of what's to come for the NBA LIVE 16 soundtrack. The in-game soundtrack will debut exclusive tracks from Kill The Noise & Madsonik, Your Old Droog, OverDoz, R. City and Shirt. MICK stressed the importance of working with artists who understand what he and EA Sports is trying to do. NBA Live is such a tremendous platform to introduce new music, they try to align their efforts with those of the artists in order to cross-promote as much as possible. MICK went on to tell ESPN Music:
"A lot of the artists on the soundtrack are people who I have professional and personal relationships with and have really had significant growth in their careers. I've known Skyzoo forever and for him to still be relevant and do what he's doing is awesome, so I wanted to make sure we had him in the game. I love Shirt. He's a fantastic dude and his buzz is great. I've been trying to get him in the game for the past few years and this year we finally made it happen. I've known Illa J, J Dilla's brother, for a really long time and he's done a really nice reinvention of himself as a solo artist so i'm really excited to have him in the game. 'All Good, Pt. 2' is actually one of my favorite songs on the soundtrack."
For MICK, who grew up a gamer, things have come full circle with NBA LIVE. Music plays an integral part of the overall gameplay experience and Mick made sure to stay true to that as he crafted the NBA LIVE 16 soundtrack.
"In my opinion, besides the graphics and gameplay, music is one of the most important parts of a game because we live in a media-entrenched, 360 society. Everything is all media, all sensory, all the time. So we have to make sure that when people are playing, they're hearing stuff they like, stuff the want, stuff that ties into their sensibility" said Mick. "We strive to make sure every time you play that game, there's something going on whether it's the music, the graphics, a player, a team. There's something going on visually and sonically that really keeps you involved in the game."
The soundtrack seamlessly fits in this edition of the game. MICK was accurately able to reflect the current music landscape and hip-hop association with the game of basketball.
"The synergy between music and sports is very tied-in, it's very much two sides of the same coin. With basketball and hip-hip, it's like a true, super synergy. Everyone chooses to express themselves creatively, whether it's athletically or artistically. They want to listen to music while they're playing basketball, it really inspires them and really gets them to perform at their best... whether they're on the couch with a controller in their hand or they're on a court. That's why music is so important. It's our job to make sure we're staying really authentic to that and picking music that's energetic and keeps you in the game. It has to be stuff that's real and true. It can't be some corny, Top 40 stuff that we know Russell Westbrook isn't listening to when he's warming up. It has to be something real and that's what I strive for with my curation." - MICK
Fans will be able to hear the full soundtrack on September 15th when the free demo is released on Playstation Network and Xbox Live, as well as, when the game launches on September 29th.