It's established that rap, video games, and professional wrestling (of the contemporary WWE variety) all came up together.
All three mediums were cultivated in the same petri dish of high school gymnasiums, basements, and other people's garages. From the Chilly Kids sampling Space Invaders in 1983's "Ice Arcade," to the McMahon family's establishment of the Golden Age of the WWF in 1979; to Method Man and The Rock's 2007 "Know Your Role," the intersecting Venn Diagram of rap, video games, and professional wrestling are well documented.
It's no surprise that these overlapping modes of expression were so perfectly crystalized with the release of 2003's Def Jam Vendetta. A widely panned critical failure, the game's engine was originally meant to be used as a sequel to EA's WCW Mayhem, but EA lost the WCW license, and Def Jam Records saw the chance to diversify their holdings by licensing out their roster of hip hop performers. DMX, Method Man, N.O.R.E, Keith Murray, and Funkmaster Flex were a small sampling of the rappers featured in the rushed EA title. The fact that the game was a commercial flop didn't stop EA games from releasing two sequels: the more generally favored Def Jam: Fight for NY (memorable for the inclusion of Carmen Electra as a playable fighter) and the most recent Def Jam: Icon (which was visually engaging, but an overall lackluster release thanks to an almost non-existent level of consistency in the game's mechanics).
2013 marks the ten-year anniversary of the release of Def Jam Vendetta and we deserve better. Here are 20 current rappers who should be fitted for tights immediately for our imagined Def Jam Vendetta Reboot. Tell us who else you think should have made our list of 20 Current Rappers We Want to See in a "Def Jam Vendetta" Reboot