Many children are obsessed with video game franchise Angry Birds, but Sidney Max, son of Black Sheep‘s Andres “Dres” Titus, took his infatuation to a whole new level. After falling in love with the franchise, Max began creating rhymes about the game and showcasing them to his father in his spare time. Dres filmed a video of his son performing an Angry Birds tribute, which garnered Max a social media following. Dres then called up his buddy DJ Premier to discuss the possibility of him producing the track. Premier said yes. The trio then teamed up with a contact at Rovio, the mastermind behind the famous game, and Angry Birds signed on to go hip-hop.
On July 1, Angry Birds took over the streets of New York to film a music video for Max’s track “Here Come The Birds.” “It’s a really cool track,” says producer DJ Premier of the track that made him want to work with Max. “He has the cutest little voice. It’s pre-puberty!” The video features Angry Birds graffiti, green screen animations, as well as DJ Premier, Max, and his Dres. “Sidney even gets to pull out a bow and arrow and yell ‘the birds are coming’ and shoot the pigs and things,” explains Premier. “It really was a fun shoot!”
Angry Birds will drop the video on Aug. 17, which will kick off an official weeklong hip-hop-themed tournament on Angry Birds Friends. “You can play this on Facebook or on the mobile game and the beauty of it is that you are competing against your friends,” says Rovio Entertainment’s marketing director, Kai Torstila. This particular tournament will center upon the culture of old school hip-hop. “It will have special graphics that are inspired by Max, Dres and Premier’s contribution to the genre,” Torstila adds. “We wanted to do little nods towards Angry Birds in a visual style and wanted to achieve something that is stylistic, a little bit retro, and pays homage to the hip-hop culture, but with a lot of modern twists to it.”
Once the video is released, it will provide gamers with instructions on how to enroll in the tournament. Rovio will also be providing links where people can download the exclusive track. “It’s not the first time that we’ve dabbled in music,” says Torstila. “But this is certainly the first time we’ve done a custom collaboration at this level and a video to kick off a social gaming campaign,” he adds. Going forward, Rovio says they absolutely intend to keep working with high profile artists and fusing their take on the Angry Birds world into upcoming projects.
Meanwhile, Premier has found a whole new area calling. “Now the video has taken place, we are talking about possibly doing a whole soundtrack with kids and I’ll produce it. That hasn’t materialized yet but it would be dope if it does,” he tells Billboard. The famed DJ/producer also revealed that the game has grown on him quite a bit since becoming involved with the campaign. “I was in the studio with my artist Khaleel and his son’s mother when [she] grabbed my phone and put the game on it.” And after months of sneaking in gaming sessions in between recording time, Premier is an Angry Birds mastermind at this point. “It took a minute but I got it down. I can get to all the high levels now,” he says with a laugh.