Jay-Z exec producing videogame 'NBA 2K13,' but what does that mean?

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Image Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

There are already too many hyphenates affixed to Jay-Z’s already hyphenated name to reasonably list here, but that isn’t stopping the music superstar and NBA franchise co-owner from adding one more: Videogame executive producer. Over the course of this year, Jay-Z has been working with 2K Sports on the latest annual iteration of their bestselling NBA series, NBA 2K13, and when the game hits shelves on Oct. 2 (for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and PSP), “Executive Produced by JAY Z” will appear prominently on the packaging.

But what does that ultimately mean? Is this simply a vanity project? “Jay is so obsessed with authenticity,” says Jason Argent, VP of marketing at 2K Sports. “He really didn’t want to just put his name on a product. Neither did we. We wanted a true collaboration with him.” While Jay-Z’s involvement with the gameplay itself was indirect, Argent says he directly oversaw “everything off the court in the game.” That included the graphical flow of the game, as well as its intro and outro videos. “It’s much more music [and] cultural oriented,” he says. “There are visuals of musicians and him interwoven with game play. It’s really basketball within an entertainment and music package.” 

And, of course, Jay-Z selected all 24 songs on the game’s soundtrack, including a few tracks that Argent admits the company would not have been able to secure without him. Not surprisingly, Argent is tight-lipped on which tracks those are, but check out the full track listing below and try to see if you can sleuth it out on your own.

• The Hours, “Ali in the Jungle”
• Too Short, “Blow the Whistle (Main)”
• Eric B. and Rakim, “I Ain’t No Joke”
• Phoenix, “1901”
• JAY Z, “Pump it Up (Freestyle)”
• Puff Daddy and the Family, “Victory (feat. Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes)”
• Daft Punk, “Around The World (Radio Edit)”
• Santigold, “Shove It (feat. Spank Rock)”
• Kanye West, “Amazing”
• JAY Z, “Run This Town”
• The Dirty Projectors, “Stillness is the Move”
• Nas, “The World is Yours”
• Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”
• Roy Ayers, “We Live in Brooklyn, Baby”
• Justice, “Stress”
• JAY Z, “The Bounce”
• Kanye West, “We Major (feat. Nas & Really Doe)”
• Mobb Deep, “Shook Ones, Pt. II”
• Meek Mill, “Ima Boss – Instrumental”
• Kanye West, Mercy (feat. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz)”
• U2, “Elevation”
• JAY Z, “On To The Next One”
• JAY Z, “Public Service Announcement”
• JAY Z, “H.A.M. (Instrumental)”

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