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News Def Jam: Fight for NY

Ice-T's Unpaid Role in Def Jam: Fight for NY

Nathan Lees
Nathan Lees

In the golden era of early 2000s gaming, the Def Jam series stood out as a pinnacle of fighting games, merging the worlds of hip-hop and gaming in an unprecedented way. Built on the renowned AKI Engine, these games featured a roster of playable rappers, including Ice-T, DMX, Ludacris, Ghostface Killah, and Busta Rhymes, each bringing unique move sets and abilities to the virtual arena.

Despite the series' success, with the last game, Def Jam: Icon, released in 2007, fans have been left yearning for a revival or remake. However, 17 years later, such a revival seems unlikely. In a recent revelation on Twitter, Ice-T commented on the series' absence from newer consoles, hinting at potential issues with voice and music rights as a possible reason.


In a startling follow-up tweet, Ice-T disclosed that he wasn't compensated for his role in Def Jam: Fight for NY. He also expressed uncertainty about whether other licensed hip-hop artists received any payment. "I know I didn’t get any type of substantial money. It was a situation where you didn’t want to be left OUT of the game," he remarked, highlighting a possible trend of undercompensation in the industry during that era.


This revelation not only sheds light on the business practices of the early 2000s gaming industry but also sparks a conversation about the value and recognition of artists in video games. As Ice-T aptly puts it, "Yesterday’s price is not Today’s price," indicating a shift in how artist contributions are valued today.


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