In recent years, Take-Two Interactive and 2K Sports haven’t shied away from bringing in big musical names to curate their soundtracks as Jay-Z, Pharell Williams, and DJ Khaled have all lent their musical expertise to the NBA 2K series. While the soundtracks have been very hip-hop heavy and also have featured pure instrumentals due to songs being too expletive to be played fully, the idea of having legends curate the games’ soundtracks have been a hit with fans.
Now, the company’s WWE product is going the same route and is actually enlisting an old friend of Jay-Z’s to provide the best musical product possible.
Although the news may have been a bit surprising at first, especially because it may not seem like Diddy has much to do with World Wrestling Entertainment and there are people associated with the brand who might have made better picks (a John Cena soundtrack, anyone?), everything actually makes sense. Regardless of what name he wore, from P. Diddy to Puffy, Sean Combs has long been a WWE fan, performing at events in the past and even partnering with the company in an anti-bullying campaign.
Diddy, who has become the face of the popular Ciroc vodka brand in recent years, explained his desire to design WWE 2K17’s soundtrack, as well as what went into his musical choices, in an interview with Billboard.
“I am a huge WWE fan. I love the intensity and the competition and I wanted fans to feel that energy in the soundtrack for WWE 2K17. While prepping for the upcoming Bad Boy 20-Year Family Reunion Tour, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past and the artists that inspired me. I mixed some of my favorites with some of the best new acts in the game today to create something really special.”
That’s not all the “All About The Benjamins” rapper will be doing with WWE, as Diddy will also be making an appearance on tonight’s (August 8) episode of WWE’s Monday Night Raw, as Rolling Stone first reported. With the Bad Boy brand getting much publicity during the “Bad Boy Reunion Tour” that will kick off later this month, now was the time to strike for 2K.
Chris Snyder, the vice president of marketing at 2K, announced the decision to partner with Combs in a statement released Monday morning.
“After receiving overwhelmingly positive responses about past WWE 2K soundtracks, including the collaboration between WWE Superstar John Cena and Wiz Khalifa for WWE 2K15, we’re thrilled to partner with Puff Daddy, one of the biggest names in music and entertainment, and take things to the next level. Music is an essential part of WWE culture, and working with a legendary artist and producer to create the WWE 2K17 in-game soundtrack completes the premier entertainment experience we are committed to bringing fans year in and year out.”
Neil Lawl, the senior vice president and general manager of the WWE Music Group, added the following.
“WWE has a storied tradition of attracting the world’s most popular artists to the brand, and our long-standing relationship with Puff Daddy is no exception. Puff Daddy has been a close friend for many years, and it’s a true honor to watch his soundtrack selection take the WWE 2K franchise into new territory.”
Probably the biggest surprise about the soundtrack, ironically, is that Diddy is nearly nowhere to be found on something he’s curating. In fact, Combs only shows up on one song, “Bad Boy For Life,” and instead has a soundtrack that mixes rap (Yelawolf, French Montana, Action Bronson, and Joey Bada$$, among others) with metal (Travis Barker, Black Sabbath). While EA’s Madden NFL 17 struggled to find a true identity with their soundtrack, Combs seems to have found a perfect balance and tone with what we’ll be hearing in WWE 2K17.
WWE 2K17 is slated to make its worldwide debut on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 systems, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 on October 11, 2016.
[Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]