Def Jam Rapstar To Be Published by Konami, Reveals Initial Tracks

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Today, Konami announced that they’ll be publishing in-development music game Def Jam Rapstar for Holiday 2010.

The opportunity here for Konami is get back a little bit of their swagger back in a genre that they actually helped create. Karaoke Revolution and the Beatmania series were early examples that helped create an audience for performance-based gameplay.

Also, as many music games as there have been on the market since the first Guitar Hero revolutionized the category, hip-hop music’s been vastly under-represented. The games that have come out with a strictly rapping focus have been terrible. (Yes, I’m looking right at you, Get on Da The Mic!)

Def Jam Rapstar wants to change all of that. Overseen by Def Jam Interactive, it’s being developed by 4MM Games, a New York City-based developer founded by former partners in Rockstar Games, and Terminal Reality, whose most recent work was last year’s well-received Ghostbusters game. Of course, any music game lives or dies with its songlist. Today’s announcement reveals ten tracks from the upcoming game and it looks like a promising start:

2 Pac I Get Around
50 Cent I Get Money
Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang
Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx Gold Digger
Lil’ Wayne A Milli
Notorius B.I.G. Juicy
Slick Rick Children’s Story
T.I. featuring Rihanna Live Your Life
Wu Tang Clan C.R.E.A.M.
Young Jeezy featuring Kanye West Put On

Another way Rapstar will be different from other music games is by using social network tools along with the console experience. You can set up push notifications that alert you when friends’ videos get uploaded and will be able to challenge other players, too. I had a chance to play Rapstar at last year’s E3 and, though the game was very early in development, it was fun to play through some of my favorite hip-hop tracks. Look for more news on Def Jam Rapstar as we get it.