There's nothing new about celebrities making cameos in video games but rarely do we see them as playable characters. In the third person action shooter, Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel, rappers Big Boi and B.o.B play major roles as mercenaries out to take out a deadly drug cartel in Mexico. It would be easy to assume that the two would jump on the title with an agenda to push their own projects or personal brand but the rap powerhouses have truly commited to complimenting the game instead of just being a promotional face. There was real motion capture and acting involved in the process and from what we've seen so far, these guys are dead serious about their love for the project.
Big Boi spoke with us about his thoughts on the latest Army of TWO video game and what it was like putting it all together. In addition to their acting, B.oB. and Big Boi recorded the game's theme song, "Double or Nothing" with a video you can check out below.
Look out for Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel March 26 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
There are a lot of celebrities that get into the video game world. But, mostly, they tend to to do sports games, music games or fighting games. What made you decide to get into an action shooter?
Actually, I’ve been a part of a few of them. I played a fighter on Def Jam: Icon. My song “Shutterbug” was on NBA 2K Live. With this one, I'm able to play a character in the game. I just wanted to get in there and wreck shop basically. The game is about two guys going against a cartel so an adventure game like this one has been something I’ve always been into, that and being able to supply the theme song to the game was dope as well.
"I had to wear a Jamaican bobsled bodysuit and it had my nuts in a sling all day long."
Tell us about the motion capture experience. Did it take a long time? Did you get tired of anything? What was that like?
No, it was cool. I had to wear a Jamaican bobsled bodysuit and it had my nuts in a sling all day long. You had a lot of little dots on your face. It was pretty cool hanging out with the other actors and watching it all come to life on a digital screen is cool as hell.
You’re playing an actual character, not Big Boi the recording artist. How did that come about, was that the plan from the beginning?
They said, “You get to play a mercenary by the name of Chuy, and y’all just get to be some head bussers". Its really cool because we’re actually in the story mode of the game. If you pre-ordered the game early from GameStop. You get to unlock me and B.o.B's characters, I think we got super powers so you might want to go ahead and get in early on that.
I know you’re no stranger to acting but was it weird at all doing the motion capture thing, did you have to visualize what you would be like in the actual scenarios?
Yes. You’ve got to put yourself in there. The most odd part about the whole thing is having your nuts to the side. Have your nuts in a sling all day in a Jamaican bobsled suit with some big ass tennis shoes on. It was funny about that but it was the moment of truth and we got the job done. It was real fun. The girls had on the suits too, so it was cool.
You and B.o.B have really good chemistry in the game. Did it take a while or were you already boys from awhile ago?
Actually, I know him from Atlanta, and he was on my last record on a song called “Night Night”. He’s one of the lyricist that I respect out here in Atlanta, you know its all A-Town. He’s an east side Decatur type guy. I’m an East Point veteran. When we got on set, we were just ourselves. The chemistry was automatic, especially when we got in the studio, it was really cool to trade bars and exchange energy with him and make the song.
I heard a snippet a while ago, and it was amazing. You’re not going the conventional route of just grabbing a throwaway track and spitting a couple bars on it. You guys conceptualized a song and made a real record. What was the inspiration behind you wanting to do that, instead of just putting anything out and collecting a check?
That’s the thing about it, I’m a perfectionist. Anything I do is Jedi related. I’m definitely on that Jedi rap shit. This song could have easily went on my record or on his album, at the same time.
When you do something, you want to put your best foot forward. Although the song is for a video game, you still want to personalize it and put your own touch on it so we don’t have to stick to one formula. You can mention what’s going on in the game and we were kind of fresh out of doing a scene so we were still in that space of the game so you can mention certain things. Its about taking down a drug cartel so that's fun. It’s like storytelling novels.
You’ve got to think, a video game may come out one day and sell half a billion worth of video games in one day. It’s all about branding. You have to have a strong brand. So with me being able to put out high caliber music, i’m in high demand and really just blessed to be here and humbled to be able to do what I love doing, and that's making music and having fun. Definitely.
Will the music video reflect any of that?
Yes. The video is crazy. The video is actually, me and him going to Mexico, shooting up shit, gun battles, all kind of crazy shit. I’m talking about tanks out there, .50 cal guns, and the whole nine yards just really having fun. We rescued the girls, and of course we got the performance scene out there in the mountains of Santa Clarita, California and just really having fun. It was cold as hell out there, i’ll tell you that much, but we pulled it off.
With your work schedule, how much time you really get to play video games these days and what were some of your favorites growing up?
Not usually, I might play on the [tour] bus. I might be at home playing with my kids. I used to be real good at Madden. My kids, they don’t play around. Them boys is dope on the game because they play all the time. Madden is the main game I’ve been playing for the longest and then I got introduced to this game right here and its super dope.
A lot of people kind of draw the parallels of the video game industry to the rap industry. Do you see some of those parallels connecting?
It's entertainment. Gaming and music goes hand in hand and because when you’re playing games you want to have that theme music playing in the background. That’s why you have games like Madden and NBA 2K. Its the soundtrack to you playing. I think it definitely goes hand in hand. It’s a monster industry compared to the music industry. It makes music look like a mouse in comparison.