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This year’s Hip Hop & Gaming Panel at PAX East truly added to the previous experience being offered. In the following panel MC Frontalot, Random AKA MegaRan, and HipHopGamer take the audience on a trip through sound and gaming with the evolution of Hip Hop Music being the centerpiece of all discussion. Moving beyond a genre that relies on one thing and one thing only (street life) to please its fans and into a genre that is capable of telling a story from any walk of life or aspect of humanity seems to be a primary motivating factor. The obvious love for games was expressed constantly by the three hosts and audience with a great synergy taking place and many jokes and laughs reverberating throughout the convention center meeting room.
As HipHopGamer said at one moment, the people in this meeting room at PAX weren’t just here to learn, they were attending this panel out of the passion and loyalty to the video games and hip hop movement which has grown from a few isolated forums and artists shrouded in mystery (such as MC Frontalot before he revealed his identity to the public) into a medium potentially capable of supporting full time careers like that of MegaRan, MC Chris, and countless others.
Two very exciting projects were announced by Random (AKA MegaRan) and HipHopGamer during this panel as well.
1. “Untitled” (To Be Announced) – Random
Random AKA MegaRan is creating an instrumental project inspired by role playing games such as the Final Fantasy series, the newly released 3DS exclusive Bravely Default, and likely countless others throughout his gaming history. This project is meant to show the world how Random would score a major league role playing game if/when the opportunity comes.
Scoring a musical soundtrack to a video game experience is a lot different than creating hip hop instrumentals which are based less on the album’s overall flow (which is usually arranged later) and more of a track by track creation process which each track is individually invented.
Expect this project to be more of a full-on journey through sound that Random feels would be very fitting for the role playing game genre. If you can’t handle waiting, check out this Journey Instrumental EP for now (A Hip Hop Excursion), and stay tuned as we report more on this developing project.
2. (“There’s Levels To This Shit”) – HipHopGamer, Shade45, Statik Selektah, Slaughterhouse, And Potentially More
HipHopGamer announced, in response to my bonus question to the panel as to more hints and information about Hip Hop and Gaming colliding in the ways he mentioned earlier in the panel, “There’s Levels To This Shit” in which different entertainers and hip hop artists as levels to get to a boss.
So for example, Slaughterhouse members being levels that lead up to a boss. The boss of Slaughterhouse HHG reminds us all of course is none other than Slim Shady, Eminem, the highest selling emcee in the past decade at any given time. This alludes to more, and HHG tells us to stay tuned as the exact details to this project are still being worked out. Shouts out and thanks to HHG for revealing this teaser announcement!
Life Is An Open Challenge – The Barriers Broken Down By These Three Iconic Artists As They Grow Get Discussed
In the world of Hip Hop music and Video Games entertainment products, often times the two cultures are at a standoff and can’t vibe together. HipHopGamer noted this and talked as the panel spoke about games cashing in on Hip Hop culture with Random using examples such as Activision cashing in on the Hip Hop culture by networking with artists and making tons of money while doing it (both with some positive and sometimes negative side effects).
MC Frontalot, the man many consider the founding father of Nerdcore, spoke on what the origins of the genre and himself / his history show about the two cultures merging paths and having an overlap. HipHopGamer solidifies the point by stating that many Hip Hop artists play video games and have become accepting of it whereas in the past artists or fans of Hip Hop would often front in order not to expose their so-called ‘geek cred’. HHG speaks about his songs and how we was inspired to speak his voice by going against the the corporate grain and launching his indie career as a journalist / hip hop artist instead of just waiting for it to happen on its own.
Challenges faced being Hip Hop artists discussed by the panel included HHG’s explanation of the ‘Shots Fired’ journalism series that he says is a balance to unfair gaming coverage. HHG clearly sees these opportunities of controversy to be a learning moment for all parties involved and encourages debate and unity in the gaming community and hip hop industry as well. HHG also recalled a story about Sony’s PR team giving him a hard time getting into the PlayStation 4 Reveal Event despite their status of working together on various projects. HHG shows humility in relating to those up and coming sites and alongside Random gives some key advice.
Create First, Apologize Later – Advice On Using Popular Samples Or Gaming IPs In Indie Hip Hop Music
From Random sampling Mega Man which later led to appreciation and recognition from Capcom, even resulting in them granting a license for the music and having Ran come out to sign autographs at Comic Con, to HHG’s production of Get Twisted which plays at the end of the Twisted Metal (PS3) credits and was originally created by HHG on the strength that David Jaffey and his people would like it once they eventually heard it, the panel discusses a philosophy of “Create First, Apologize Later”.
Putting down a creative production that is thought provoking and pays tribute to a brand so large as Twisted Metal or Mega Man is encouraged. Once those parties involved see your work of art, and an audience has emerged to support that work, it’s likely they’ll favor allowing such art to thrive rather than trying to stomp it out. But of course, don’t try and make millions off of it before you get that blessing or you will probably get sued.
Random and HHG also tell aspiring artists thinking about attempting this method of music creation to keep their skills sharp, polish everything endlessly until it’s at an extremely high level of quality and as Ran put it “make sure it’s ready to go” in other words nearly flawless so DJs, music companies, and the game companies you sampled can be proud to show it off some day if they decide to recognize your work. Ran also mentions what HHG said about staying consistent. MC Frontalot adds in that it’s great to try this, but don’t just grab the stereotypical gaming instrumental and make standard, expectable raps. People want to see something creative and new and there’s no secret formula to what will stick when a person hears it. Truly, marrying verse to sound is something that should be done delicately and carefully with the best possible product as the target result.
The Next Frontier – A Discussion And Hints About The Future Partnerships Between Hip Hop And Gaming
“The potential is limitless,” said Random in regard to The Next Frontier of Hip Hop & Gaming.
HipHopGamer has brought his unique Gaming Personality experience as part of the HOT 97 crew after starting indie webshows on HipHopGamerShow, YouTube, PlayStation Home, and other platforms and believes that it won’t be long before we see a Dr. Dre beats headphones line marketed next to a PlayStation 3 or other similar tech meets hip hop meets gaming matchups.
During the History lesson presented in the panel (which we will release coverage for separately soon, and can be seen / heard in the Video Recaps linked at the bottom of this article) Random, MC Frontalot, and HHG talk about the ups and downs of gaming cashing in on Hip Hop and vice verca. Activision’s DJ Hero is a highlight in addition to the Eminem song that was dropped exclusively to promote Call of Duty: Ghosts and MegaRan PAX Prime 2013 being host to Keiji Inafune in the front row.
MegaRan and HHG also speak of their Xbox and Twisted Metal concerts respectively with industry highlights like Def Jam Rapstar, Parappa The Rapper, 50 Cent’s Bulletproof (and its sequel Blood In The Sand), Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked Soundtrack produced by Nujabes and Fat Jon in 2006, Wu Tang: Shao Lin Style, Def Jam Vendetta, and much more. Stay tuned for forthcoming coverage, and be sure to watch and listen to the Video Recaps yourself as well to really get a feel for The Next Frontier as presented by these panelists.
—– Speaking To The People – MC Frontalot, Random, and HipHopGamer Respond To Audience Questions + More
There were two ppl who mentioned their raps. HipHopGamer made them spit on the spot; AND THEY WERE GREAT! It was awesome. Stay Tuned to RealGamerNewz for the Video Recap Part #2 to see the full audience questions, audience freestyles, and more including HipHopGamer spitting an entire Infamous: Second Son rap.
Stay Tuned For Video Recap #2
#2 Includes Audience Freestyles and Hip Hop Gamer performing Infamous: Second Son rap song
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20140417 and was last modified on 20150208 .