How do you get P. Diddy to drop the f-bomb? Step on his shoes. And how do you get the original Batman Adam West to do it? It can't be done.
That's what the creators of graffiti-based video game "Getting Up" learned as they recorded voiceover sessions with a star-studded array of celebrities this summer at Soundelux Studios in Hollywood (see "Designer Marc Ecko Says Graffiti Game Mixes 'Star Wars,' 'Style Wars' ").
"Getting Up" is the brainchild of fashion designer Marc Ecko. In it, players control graffiti writer Trane, whose mission is to tag up the city of New Radius — initially for kicks, but ultimately to spark dissent against a controlling government.
Atari, the game's publisher, exclusively revealed to MTV News that the game's roster of voice talent will include Diddy, West, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy, Giovanni Ribisi, the RZA, George Hamilton and comedians Andy Dick and Charlie Murphy. Trane, as previously announced, will be voiced by rapper Talib Kweli.
Diddy provides the voice of Dip, a member of a rival graf crew the Vandals. Players get to fight Dip, though the game's creators say the only way to beat him is to mess up his sneakers. "He gets totally insane and goes into a berserker rage," said the game's executive producer, Peter Wyse. That's the time to make your move. Wyse said Dip's neat-freak nature was locked in before P. Diddy took the role, but added that the famously fashion-conscious Bad Boy mogul had great fun cursing a blue streak against such an imagined infraction.
A number of the actors who came in to do voice work showed some real gaming credentials, according to Wyse. "Sin City" star Dawson, who plays the girlfriend of the Vandals' leader, Gabe (voiced by rapper MC Serch), made sure to get some game time in during her session. Doing her one better was "Boiler Room" actor Ribisi, who told Wyse he's so into games that he's started taking computer animation and programming classes.
But the most gaming-savvy of all, said Wyse, was Wu-Tang Clan producer (and "Kill Bill" scorer) the RZA, who plays the role of Stake, the leader of the Wrong-Way Assassins.
"RZA was sort of the most culturally in tune to how important video games are to our culture," Wyse said. During his visit to the studio, the rap legend spontaneously spat the soundtrack to "Asteroids." "He recognizes that it's part of this generation's subconscious and realizes this is one of the most relevant things he could be doing."
RZA, for his part, said he appreciates the intimate relationship between "Getting Up" and hip-hop. "To see a game about graffiti, it's a true expression of hip-hop," he said. "Hip-hop's got a few faces to it. The music has definitely been exploited. Dance is somewhat exploited. But the graffiti is really considered the criminal part of hip-hop. But it's also part of the beauty."
Wyse said all of the voice actors had fun with their roles and many of them camped it up. But there was that one line that former Batman Adam West would not cross. ""It was funny to explore the rules with how far we could push him, to see what was cool for the former Batman to say and what was not," Wyse said. " 'F--- was off limits, but 'You little graffiti sh--s' was fine."
"Getting Up," which was developed by the Collective, hits the Xbox, PS2 and PC in the fall.