Despite all of their flashy clothes and braggadocios music, rappers are people too. And they like to play video games just like the rest of us. Both rap and video games rose to prominence in the 1970s, and neither show any sign of slowing down. Sometimes their love for video games crosses over into their music!
Kanye West- "Facts" and "Pt. 2"
If you haven't listened to Kanye's new album "The Life of Pablo" yet, do yourself a favor: crawl out from whatever rock you've been hiding under and download it right away. Apparently, Yeezy is a big Street Fighter fan, because both of these songs sample the 1991 classic Street Fighter 2. In both songs, the announcer from SF2 can be heard yelling "PERFECT!" which is what he says in game when a player wins a round without taking any damage. In "Facts," you can also hear Guile screaming "Sonic boom!" as well as Dhalsim screaming "Yoga fire!" For your added viewing pleasure, here's Lupe Fiasco beating Street Fighter legend Daigo at Street Fighter V.
Childish Gambino- "Eat Your Vegetables"
Childish Gambino is definitely known as one of the nerdier rappers. He frequently raps about old cartoons, video games and comics. In "Eat Your Vegetables," Gambino samples David Wise's legendary soundtrack to 1994's "Donkey Kong Country." Specifically, he samples "Aquatic Ambiance," the song that plays during the infamously difficult underwater levels. He's not the only rapper who's sampled "Donkey Kong Country" either.
Drake- "6 God" and "Hotline Bling"
Like Gambino, our boy Drizzy sampled "Donkey Kong Country." This time, Drake sampled "Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest," which is one of yours truly's favorite games of all time. The song he samples is called "Haunted Chase," which is one of the most stressful video game levels I've ever played in my life. Those mine cart levels give me the video game equivalent of PTSD. In addition, Drake's megahit "Hotline Bling" not only features the greatest music video of all time, but samples Star Road from Super Mario World. Being the first video game I ever played, Super Mario World holds a very special place in my heart. Apparently it has a place in Drake's too!
Wiz Khalifa- "Never Been"
Wiz Khalifa is known for his mellow demeanor and his dank lyrics. In "Never Been," Wiz samples the Super Nintendo time-hopping JRPG adventure, Chrono Trigger. The song from the game is called "Schala's Theme," and sounds like the soundtrack to an atmospheric snowscape. I don't know the actual context, because unfortunately I've never played Chrono Trigger. However, it's frequently recognized as one of the greatest RPG's of all time, so I'll get around to it someday.