Hip-Hop

Exclusive: NBA Live 15 Soundtrack Unveiled, Cover Star Damian Lillard Discusses The Music

Photo: Joe Klamar, AFP

Damian Lillard

NBA Live 15, the latest incarnation of the best-selling basketball video game franchise, is due out on Oct. 28, but the soundtrack to the EA Sports game has been unveiled on Tuesday morning (Oct. 14). The 26-song track list is highlighted by hip-hop and R&B stars like Jeezy, Jeremih, G-Eazy and Flatbush Zombies, which sits well with NBA Live 15 cover star Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers.

“I really like old-school hip-hop,” Lillard tells Billboard exclusively. “Most of the time when I hear really new stuff, it’s because somebody else put me on to it. I don’t really go searching for a lot of new stuff, but it’s a lot of up-and-coming artists that are on this soundtrack, so it’ll be good to put on to some new artists, instead of being so tapped into the old-school like I am.” Lillard, who sank an epic buzzer beater to close out Portland’s first-round series against the Houston Rockets last year, name-checks songs like “Born and Raised” by Smif N Wessun and “Still Dipset” by Federal Reserve featuring Cam’ron, A-Trak and Juelz Santana as soundtrack highlights.

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The NBA Live 15 soundtrack also includes indie-pop mainstays Phantogram, rock newcomers Sir Sly and dubstep producer Rustie, to diversify this year’s track list.

“As music curator for NBA Live 15, I really tried to identify a unified sound and tone for the game,” says MICK (formerly MICK Boogie), the former DJ of the Cleveland Cavaliers who also helmed last year’s soundtrack. “In order to make a notable playlist, it’s all about the selection and vibe. It’s about finding artists other brands aren’t using. It's about finding the new songs before other people hear about them. It's about finding the songs from your favorite artists that people may have missed. There are lots of ways to go about it. I try to combine all of the above into one cohesive feel and sound.”

Head here to listen to the NBA Live 15 soundtrack playlist on Soundcloud, and check out the full track list below:

813, “Thank You”
Federal Reserve, “Still Dipset” feat. Cam'ron, A-Trak & Juelz Santana
A-Trak x Milo & Otis, “Out The Speakers” feat. Rich Kidz
Bas, “Charles De Gaulle To JFK”
Bishop Nehru, “You Stressin’” (Prod. by Disclosure)
Bodega Bamz, “Young And Livin”
Brooke Candy, “Opulence”
Chuck Inglish, “Gametime” feat. Action Bronson
Daytona, “Walk Around” (Prod. By Harry Fraud)
Deluka, “Black Magic”
Fashawn, “Letter F”
Flatbush Zombies, “My Team Supreme 2.0” feat. Bodega Bamz
G-Eazy, “Complete”
Gent & Jawns, “Fireball”
J. Sands feat. L.F. Daze, “Five To Get Live (NBA LIVE REMIX)”
Jeezy, “Me OK”
Jeremih, “Don’t Tell Em” feat. YG
K CAMP, “Money Baby” feat. Kwony Ca$h
Phantogram, “Black Out Days”
Raz Fresco, “Freshest Ever” feat. ChillxWill
Rustie, “Up Down” feat. D Double E
Sir Sly, “Inferno”
Smif N Wessun, “Born and Raised” feat. Junior Kelly
TeeFLii, “24 Hours” feat. 2 Chainz
Tuki Carter, “Yeah”
Yonas Michael, “Concrete Love (Live at the Velvet Room)”