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Jay-Z Scores U2, Kanye West for ‘NBA 2K13’ Soundtrack

The hip-hop heavyweight curated the game's soundtrack as part of his executive producer role.

U2 will be rocking arenas in a whole new way this fall.

The band’s “Elevate” will make an appearance in “NBA 2k13,” the latest installment of the popular basketball gaming franchise — as part of a soundtrack curated by the game’s executive producer, Jay-Z.

“I’m not sure if they’ve ever been in a video game,” 2K Sport’s vice-president of marketing, Jason Argent, told Billboard.com. (The band came close in 2001, when the track made the soundtrack of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” — the game’s big-screen adaptation.)

Jay brought a number of diverse artists to the game soundtrack, ranging from indie rock (Phoenix, Dirty Projectors) to electro (Daft Punk, Justice) to hip-hop, with classics such as Nas’ “The World is Yours” and Eric B. and Rakim’s “I Ain’t No Joke” sharing time with a number of hits from Hov himself. The Throne collaborator Kanye West makes several appearances, with “Amazing,” “We Major” and recent track “Mercy” — and Coldplay adds to the arena-rock contingent with “Viva La Vida.” It’s the latest curatorial project for the MC, who is also directing the Philadelphia Made in America festival this September.


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But according to Argent, Jay’s involvement extended well beyond the music.

“Jay is completely obsessed with authenticity,” he said. “So right off the bat, he said ‘Look, I love this franchise and I love this game, but if you want me to be involved, I need to be truly involved. I want to actually help make this game.”

The hip-hop mogul gave input on what Argent dubbed “what happens off the court,” making his mark on intro and outro videos, game menus and more. Just don’t look for a digital Jay sitting in the stands, cheering on his Brooklyn Nets.

“We wanted him to truly be involved from a behind-the-scenes production standpoint,” Argent said. “[With] his involvement within the league, he brought such a level of understanding to what we were trying to accomplish… I think the final product will reflect that level of excitement that he had.”

The game is due Oct. 2 from 2K Sports. See the “NBA 2K13” track list below.

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 & 2 Chainz)
U2 – “Elevation”
Jay-Z – “On to the Next One”
Jay-Z – “Public Service Announcement”
Jay-Z – “H.A.M. (Instrumental)”