While the first tipoff of the 2003-04 NBA season is still several days away, Sean Paul, the Clipse, Chingy, Jermaine Dupri, Outkast and Mobb Deep have already gotten themselves in the game.
Dupri's "Live Like Me" and the Clipse's "Game Time" lead the charge of tracks recorded exclusively for the in-game soundtrack to "NBA Live 2004," which hits stores this week. The 10th installment of the best selling basketball video game of all time features updated team rosters; a Dynasty Mode, which allows users to pilot a team over several seasons; and the Freestyle Control, so players can perform signature moves, make midair passes and move away from the ball, the trait Dupri likes best.
"If you can really control [the players], that changes the game a lot," Dupri said. "That puts more power in your hands. The best thing about 'Live' is the moves. It moves better than any other game."
Other songs specific to the game include Lil' Flip's "I'm the Greatest Player," Mobb Deep's "Another Victory," and "Can't Stop Me" by the Game, a recent signing to Dr. Dre's Aftermath imprint. Chicago rapper Twista provides the game's theme in "NBA Live."
Recent singles by Chingy, Da Brat, Freeway and Red Cafe have been remixed for the soundtrack, while Sean Paul, Black Eyed Peas and Outkast lend cuts from their latest albums.
"The game is pretty cool. ... Who wouldn't want to have a song on this video game?" asked Chingy, who noted that an illustrious cast including Snoop Dogg, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes and others has fueled soundtracks of previous editions.
And like last year's game, the current edition provides a sneak peek at a tune set for a future release. Dilated Peoples donated the lazy-eyed groove of "Love and War," which won't officially come out until their Neighborhood Watch hits stores in February.
"It's like being on the court without the sweat and the exercise," Dilated Peoples' Akaa said, dual analog controller firmly in hand. "It's nice because you see people playing away from the ball. So there's almost like two games going on. There's your game, and then the [rest of] the game is going crazy."
Further adding to the "I Love This Game" feel of "NBA Live" are the announcers, Marv Albert and Mike Fratello.
"NBA Live 2004" is available on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube and PC formats.
"NBA Live 2004" soundtrack, according to EA Sports:
- Black Eyed Peas - "Hands Up"
- Chingy - "Right Thurr (NBA Live Mix)"
- Da Brat - "I Got It Poppin' (NBA Live Mix)"
- Dilated Peoples - "Love and War"
- Jermaine Dupri - "Live Like Me"
- Lil' Flip - "I'm the Greatest Player"
- Mobb Deep - "Another Victory"
- Clipse - "Game Time"
- Outkast - "Ghetto Musick"
- Red Cafe - "Virus (NBA Live Mix)"
- Sean Paul - "Top of the Game"
- Twista - "NBA Live 2004"
- Freeway - "Flipside (NBA Live Mix)"
- The Game - "Can't Stop Me"