DENVER (Billboard) - Hip-hop DJ Green Lantern produced a custom radio station for Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto IV,” which comes out on Tuesday.
Rather than simply stringing together a group of licensed tracks, the New York DJ, producer and label owner developed about 10 new songs.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE “GTA” SOUNDTRACK?
They reached out sometime last year when they were putting together the in-game radio shows. They wanted me to do what I do with making songs and mixing them up as a DJ and producer. They got a couple of people over there that are really in tune to what’s going on and they understand I both play music as a DJ and also make music. So they had the idea to give me my own show and create all brand-new music, so it could be a first.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE INVOLVED?
Three words -- “Grand Theft Auto.” It’s just a no-brainer. It’s such a big platform, first of all, (and) the chance to do something that’s a first. It’s based in a New York-type of setting, so I can use my artist relationships and go make songs for this particular mood that I’m trying to achieve.
DID YOU GO ABOUT IT DIFFERENTLY THAN ANY OTHER MIXTAPE OR
Yeah. There’s a lot of clearance issues with these types of things. So, No. 1, no samples. If you use a sample, you might as well give it all away. I have relationships with huge artists who didn’t want to be a part of the videogame.
SO WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE WITH THE “GTA” RADIO
Definitely to break some new music. I have a few new artists that are signed to me that I put in there. At this stage of the game I have to go to that next level and promote my stuff. And also to give the people the artists they love on top of that. You have to balance all that out.
But really what it’s about is stepping into the world of music supervision and doing something for arguably the biggest title of the game world and see what else I can do next. The next step would probably be me being hands-on and either developing something for a game or just developing a game period. We’ll see what comes along. I’ve got a few offers I’m feeling out just from the publicity I’ve received from this.
HOW DOES PRODUCING MUSIC FOR VIDEOGAMES COMPARE WITH THE
OTHER ACTIVITIES YOU HAVE?
The 12 million people that are probably going to buy this -- that’s a big difference. I’m always interested in branching out. I got new artists I’m working with. I’m always open for anything changing and challenging.
(And) I can’t let (videogame music production) take over because I have a lot of responsibilities, but it’s something I’m definitely going to carve out more time for. We’re living in a new age. It’s not all about record sales anymore. In this day and age you really have to understand that people are consuming certain things and videogames are one of them.
WHERE ELSE CAN WE HEAR THESE NEW TRACKS?
Look out for the soundtrack (release). It’s music from and inspired by “GTA IV” mixed by me and featuring both the in-game songs and eight new songs that weren’t in the game. It’s all exclusive and it’s all produced by me. It’s coming out in conjunction with Rockstar on May 19. We’re working it out right now. The game is being used to almost advertise it.