Unless you've been living inside the hollow Earth for the past year or so, you've undoubtedly heard of the popular online game Fortnite. Since it entered the zeitgeist in 2017, the multiplayer survival game (more specifically its Battle Royale edition) has become the most talked about game since the Pokemon Go craze a few years back. In that time, it has quickly elevated itself to cultural phenomenon status with the help of plugs from some of your favorite hip-hop artists.
The premise is pretty simple: Up to 100 customizable players at a time descend upon an ever-shrinking virtual world to scavenge for weapons and other assets, kill opponents and ultimately be the last man or woman standing.
Another hip-hop tie to the ever-evolving game is the ability to allow character emotes to do dance moves, some of which have been made famous in the hip-hop community, most notably BlocBoy JB’s “Shoot” dance. This has caused issues with rappers like Chance The Rapper and JB himself, who believe artists should be compensated in some way.
Time will tell if the game—currently in its sixth season—has staying power. But for now, it's definitely lit. And hip-hop has been along for the ride. So XXL compiled a a brief history of rap's connection to Fortnite.
Trippie Redd Crowns Himself "Fortnite God"
It didn't take long after Fortnite's September 2017 launch for Battle Royale to obtain a cult following. In 2018, things started reaching a fever pitch with more and more people catching on (rappers included) and publicly announcing their affection. In March, Trippie Redd crowned himself "Fortnite God" after racking up a reported 10 wins in one night.
Drake and Travis Scott Break Views Record With Ninja
An epic celebrity showdown took place in March 2018 when Drake, Travis Scott, famed gamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Pittsburgh Steelers star JuJu Smith-Schuster battled it out on Fortnite.
The live session drew in thousands of viewers, eventually reaching 607,000 and breaking the Twitch record for most concurrent viewers on a single stream.
Post Malone Reveals Hatred of 'Fortnite'
Not everyone in hip-hop is a big fan of Fortnite. Responding to a Drake and Josh spoof of the game posted on Twitter, Post Malone wrote, "I hate Fortnite but this is awesome."
Drake Promises $5,000 to Ninja After Winning 'Fortnite' Match
Following the record-breaking session, Drake hopped back online with Ninja for another highly-watched game. During the match, Drizzy offers Ninja $5,000 if he can win the match. Bag secured.
Drake Offers to Name-Drop 'Fortnite' in Exchange for Emote
Drake's cosigns helped pique interest in Fortnite and in April he made the producers, Epic Games, an offer to promote the game via song. But there was a catch. He wanted his own custom "Hotline Bling" emote in exchange.
"It has to happen, it's just got to be the right way," Drake tells Ninja in a recording of their Twitch session. "Someone's going to do it. Someone's going to pull it off. I say when Epic gives me the emote—when Epic gives me the 'Hotline Bling' emote—I'll do it. Until then, I'm on strike."
"God's Plan" 'Fortnite' Parody' Is Released
Social media personality Eian Beron put out a parody of Drake's "God's Plan" with a Fortnite twist. The hilarious spoof raked in more than 7 million views on YouTube.
03 Greedo Drops "Fortnite" Track
03 Greedo caught the wave with a track called "Fortnite," on which he name-drops the famous game.
"Just last week I was mentioned in the Forbes bitch/Young street nigga tryna make another fortune," he raps. "With my daughter, playin' Fortnite, PS4 bitch/Treat the projects like a motherfuckin' fortress, ayy."
He later released a visual for the track where he plays real-life Fortnite.
BlocBoy JB's "Shoot" Dance Is Available on 'Fortnite'
Ugly God is a frequent-Fortnite player. Over the summer, he randomly tried to get a Battle Royale session in with Beyoncé, inviting the singer play with the since-deleted tweet, "Aye hop on fortnite Beyonce." We're pretty sure Mrs. Carter didn't hop on the sticks.
Murda Beatz, Ski Mask The Slump God, Lil Yachty and Yung Bans Release "Fortnite" Song
Continuing the song homages, Murda Beatz, Ski Mask The Slump God, Lil Yachty and Yung Bans dropped their own "Fortnite" single.
"I got the SCAR (SCAR, yup)/Y'all niggas don't want war (pew, water!)," Bans raps on the chorus, referring to the Fortnite firearm. "Y'all niggas don't want war (war, war)/What you came here for? (war, yeah)/I'm in-I'm in Tilted Towers (ooh, Tilted Towers)/Look like Austin Powers (huh)."
Chance The Rapper Wants 'Fortnite' to Pay Rappers for Using Dances