It’s impossible to find a hip-hop superstar that didn’t grow up with love or affinity towards video games. Judging by lines like the iconic “Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis,” by the late Biggie Smalls as an allusion to "making it," it’s clear that even back in the early golden era, video game culture was booming. In fact, hip-hop and video games have been entwined for years; it wasn’t until the turn of the millennium, though, that the extent to which they co-existed was taken to the next level. Games like the Def Jam Trilogy, that included "Def Jam: Vendetta," "Def Jam: Fight For NY," and "Def Jam: Icon”—along with games like Marc Echo’s "Getting’ Up"—not only incorporated hip-hop culture (of the day) at every turn, but also introduced original video game soundtracks as a viable platform to break new music.

Hip-hop star power in video games has ranged from voice-overs, like that of Xzibit in the "Chronicles of Riddick" series, to random cameos like Redman in NBA 2k1, to full blown in your face games like 50 Cent’s two shoot-em-up releases. Hip-hop moguls have begun to see the potential brand expansion — and payday — that video games can bring about. The more recent rise of mobile gaming has seen many artists breaking into the market, like 2 Chainz with his "Dabbin’ Santa" game, or Slim Thug with his "Ridin’ Like a Boss" game.

We’ve taken the liberty of compiling a gallery of some of our fave rapper video game appearances that span the last 20 years. So grab your controller, take notes and plan a trip to Game Stop to stock up on some great titles you may have missed.

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