A measly list of 10 punk rock songs make up the soundtrack for the very first Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. From its sequel onward, each game in the series not only received more songs, but also included music from the rap genre until we were finally able to kickflip to the sounds of KRS-One's "Hush" in THPS3. The fourth game in the series expanded its hip hop line up with superstar groups like Run-D.M.C. and Public Enemy but also introduced many of us to more obscure underground artists such as Eyedea & Abilities, Aesop Rock and Haiku d'Etat.

Tony Hawk's Underground, or THUG, took it to a new level with a nearly 80-song lineup, a full third of which was (appropriately underground) hip hop. From that point on, Tony's games would always offer a thoroughly eclectic mix of both mainstream and underground hip hop music to skate to.

The love affair goes both ways, but not without a little heartache. Lil Flip's "Game Over" borrows sound effects lifted directly from Pac-Man. Parent company Namco went on to sue him for it - they weren't happy their game was being associated with drug and gun references. I guess a disembodied yellow head that eats ghosts after swallowing a large pill-shaped object is as far as they wanted to take things.


If it's not a rapper borrowing from a game, then it's a game flat-out borrowing a rapper. Snoop Dogg was commissioned to grace Gran Turismo 3's soundtrack with "Dogg's Turismo 3" - a misleading title, since this song did not, in fact, have two prequels. Even though you're already playing the game, Snoop is proud to remind you, "PlayStation 2 taking you to a whole new dimension / Where the cars look fly and they got good suspension." Snoop was even set to star in his own game, Fear and Respect, but the plans fell through.

That's not the first time a hip hop artist has plugged a Sony console - far from it. A search on your favorite lyrics site for the word "PlayStation" will net you over 50 results, a staggering majority of which are rap songs. Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" mixes business with pleasure while warning us that "next to the PlayStation controller is a full clip in my pistola."

Guns and games also play a role in The Game's heartfelt single "Start From Scratch," where he drunkenly details the events that led to him getting shot by a rival gang member with his own gun. He was at home playing a game of Madden Football when it happened. The remorseful line, "Homey, if I could rewind the hands of time / I would've cut off the PS2 at 12:49," goes to show you that even gangsta rappers play videogames to unwind.

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