Dr. Dre is officially set to make “a ton” of unreleased tracks available to Grand Theft Auto Online players as part of the popular video game’s upcoming “The Contract” story update.
Rockstar Games just recently announced the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show headliner’s role in GTA Online, which has reportedly attracted north of 34 million players to date. In a 57-second-long clip posted to the Take-Two Interactive subsidiary’s website, Franklin Clinton, one of three main characters from GTA V’s single-player mode, declares that he’s “made it” and now works with wealthier clients who are having trouble addressing their “rich-folk problems.”
Next, Franklin shows off the scope of this operation and says, “One big client, one A-list name, and we straight,” at which point Dr. Dre’s character enters the scene – and, quite appropriately, the recording studio.
Dr. Dre, through his (realistic-looking) digital depiction, then indicates that he’s “trying to work,” and after executing a quick control-surface adjustment, the 56-year-old does just that, performing a track alongside Anderson .Paak (with support from Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg).
Of course, Dr. Dre’s spoken lines make clear that he’s done more than create music for Grand Theft Auto, with Ray Liotta and Samuel L. Jackson having previously lent their voices to the bestselling franchise. In a formal release, Rockstar Games elaborated that the update’s story centers on Dr. Dre’s phone, which contains “new, unreleased music” and “isn’t just missing — it’s in the wrong hands.”
(The plot is certainly based in reality, for multiple artists have made headlines during the last year for losing ultra-valuable hard drives that stored a substantial number of unreleased songs.)
GTA Online’s “The Contract” is set to release next Wednesday, December 15th, and partial lyrics of the track that Dr. Dre raps in the trailer, “ETA,” are already live on Genius.com.
Lastly, regarding the seemingly far-reaching update’s content, Rockstar has also teased “an eclectic new radio station from some very special guest hosts” and “huge first-of-their-kind updates to existing radio stations including a ton of new and unreleased exclusive tracks from Dr. Dre and a heavy-hitting line-up of artists.” Additional details will arrive “in the coming days,” execs said.
Given the high-volume playing schedules associated with frequently updated multiplayer offerings like GTA Online, the digital world looks to be an excellent place to release music, and it’ll be worth following the commercial performance of the involved tracks moving forward.
On Rockstar’s end, the exclusive-music effort should prevent licensing-related headaches down the line. Certain songs didn’t make their way into the remastered editions of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and these omissions were presumably preceded by extensive efforts to ink deals with the involved teams.
From launch parties to virtual concerts and much in between, artists are becoming increasingly involved in gaming. And Warner Music – which has invested heavily in the space in 2021 – previously emphasized the perceived potential associated with having creators’ likenesses and music appear in AAA titles.