When gamers log in to NBA 2K20 — the next edition of the top-selling video game series — they’ll be treated to an expansive 50-song soundtrack featuring Drake, Meek Mill, Billie Eilish, Post Malone and the late Nipsey Hussle.
Helping curate that list is UnitedMasters, the independent artist services and digital distribution platform helmed by founder and CEO Steve Stoute. All songs have been chosen by game publisher 2K and validated by UnitedMasters, the companies announced at ComplexCon Chicago today (July 20), with new additions to the soundtrack coming throughout the year.
To that end, the partners are also kicking off a global contest to find 10 fresh songs to be added to the soundtrack. Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15, artists can submit their track through the brand-new UnitedMasters app, to be evaluated by Stoute, 2K and a panel of celebrity judges. The winning 10 songs will appear on the soundtrack in a later update.
“NBA 2K has become a centerpiece of culture and sports for the gaming community, with the soundtrack playing a significant role in its success,” said Stoute, who is also founder and CEO of ad agency Translation. “Artists can now get discovered and launch their careers by having a song featured. UnitedMasters will open that opportunity to independent artists and help curate the next generation of talent. This year’s soundtrack will be updated constantly with new exciting music from the next generation rising stars to give you something you never heard before.”
It’s not the first time UnitedMasters has dealt with the NBA. Last November, the two formed a global partnership allowing the league to license music exclusively from UnitedMasters-distributed artists across the NBA’s suite of digital properties.
The full tracklist for this year’s NBA 2K20 soundtrack was unveiled over the weekend at ComplexCon. There, 2K hosted a panel with rapper and UnitedMasters client NLE Choppa, Stoute and others touching on the intersection of music and the basketball community.
“Music is at the core of the NBA 2K experience, and each year, we work hard to deliver a soundtrack that reflects basketball culture and inspires 2K players,” said Alfie Brody, vp of marketing for NBA 2K. “We wanted NBA 2K20 to showcase the best of the next generation of up-and-coming artists, and our global search with UnitedMasters gives these musicians a platform to reach the 2K community.”
Fans can listen to the soundtrack on Spotify here.