5 Things I Learned At Jay-Z’s NBA 2K13 Launch Party
With the 2012-13 basketball season set to begin on October 30, it’s only fitting that the most anticipated title in the sports-gaming industry is 2K Sports’ NBA 2K13. Any die-hard b-ball fan who’s an ardent video-gamer is anxiously awaiting it’s October 2 release date. And with Jay-Z helmed as the executive producer, expectations are high.
When Jay’s appointment was announced back in January, critics questioned how much involvement the mega mogul would have in the product. Would he have any input in the game’s overall improvement? Absolutely. The brand partnership just had to reflect his artistic vision. So it should come as no surprise to find out that Hov signed on to curate the soundtrack. And while such news may not sound like a big deal to most, that’s pretty big pimpin’ considering fans are only used to seeing him executive produce albums.
But Jigga’s collaboration is much more than just music. It’s about transcending the culture -- from the game's presentation and entertainment elements away from the ball, such as crowd reactions and interactive in-game menus. My guess is while you’re playing, the experience will feel like you’re part of an actual basketball game. I’m also really digging is the inclusion of some of Blake Griffin’s dunks from last season. Not to mention the fact that the game’s cover features underdogs Kevin Durant and D. Rose as opposed to more estabished ballers like Kobe Bryant.
Having not yet played NBA 2K13, I can’t comment on the quality assurance or the graphics, but according to 2K Sports reps, Mr. Carter helped the game finish out its nostalgic 1992 Dream Team correctly, convincing Charles Barkley to include his likeness in the game. Additionally, reps have announced they are bringing a new skill dribbling style to the game called "freestyle control", similar to competitor EA Sports’ NBA Live series. One of the game’s components that I enjoy is its profound hip-hop vibe attributed by team player options such as Mac Miller and Meek Mill.
Speaking of which, on September 27, Meek was on hand to provide the soundtrack for Jigga’s ultra-exclusive launch party held at his 40/40 lounge and sports bar in NYC. I never realized how many bangers he had (his usual yell-into-the-mic-cadence often clouds my judgement) until I witnessed his 40-minute performance that included cuts off the Dreamchasers mixtape series, as well as Young & Gettin’ It off the forthcoming Dreams and Nightmares due out October 30.
While at the event, I learned a few things about the host with the most also during a brief encounter:
1) There’s a certain god-like aura about Hovito that makes a very strong impression and his presence is somewhat royal.
2) He’s definitely one of the coolest people on the planet, and everything he endorses has an added level of finesse to the equation. Seriously, which artist do you know that could bring Coldplay, Daft Punk and U2 together on a project and still make it relevant to hip-hop culture?
3) Not only does Mr. Carter make impeccable music, he also throws exquisite parties that boast an even more impressive guest list. Nas and Talib Kweli at the premiere? Check mate.
4) There’s a strong possibility that D'ussé might change the way women look at cognac. Generally, women tend to reach for sweeter alcoholic beverages, but one shot of this smooth-tasting spirit and I guarantee it’ll change your mind. I had the opportunity to down a few ounces, and it was it was enough to make me forget about my usual favorite, Hennessy.
5) Jay-Z is definitely living the American Dream, and I can’t argue with that sentiment. Proof can be found in Jay’s lyrics: “Ex d-boy, used to park my beamer, now look at me, I can park in my own arena.”
An arena he is sure to sell out with his eight-night residency beginning September 28 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. What’s next? Keep it locked…