As Call of Duty marks its 20th anniversary, we take a moment to acknowledge its longstanding connection with the world of Hip-Hop. The iconic franchise has not only been a powerhouse in the gaming industry but has also been a platform for celebrating Hip Hop culture. From featuring classic Hip-Hop tracks in trailers to enlisting Hip-Hop artists as playable characters, Call of Duty has made its mark on the genre.
The journey began with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009, coincidentally on Nov. 10th, which used Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” featuring Nate Dogg in its launch trailer. The game also incorporated four Hip Hop tracks playing on a Humvee radio during the campaign.
In subsequent releases, Call of Duty continued its embrace of Hip-Hop, featuring tracks such as Eminem’s “Won’t Back Down” in Black Ops, and LL COOL J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” in Warzone Reveal Trailer. The list of Hip Hop songs in the Call of Duty universe expanded over the years, adding to the game’s immersive experience.
Beyond the music, Call of Duty brought Hip Hop artists into the game as voice actors and playable characters. Ice Cube, who played Joseph Bowman in the original Black Ops, set the precedent, and Snoop Dog joined as his playable character in WWII-themed Vanguard and Modern Warfare II. Now, the tradition continues with the addition of 21 Savage and Nicki Minaj in Modern Warfare III, reinforcing the deep connection between Hip Hop and Call of Duty.
As Call of Duty celebrates its 20th anniversary, it not only pays homage to the world of gaming but also highlights the significant role hip-hop has played in the franchise’s history. This collaboration underscores the game’s influence on popular culture and its commitment to celebrating diversity and creativity.
You can catch a run of Hip-Hop songs included in the Call of Duty franchise over the years below:
“Just So You Remember” – by Pusha T, in the Makarov Reveal Trailer
“Till I Collapse (Feat. Nate Dogg)” – by Eminem, in the Multiplayer Reveal Trailer
“Run it” – by DJ Snake, Rick Ross, & Rich Brian, in the Vondel Reveal Trailer
“Notorious B.I.G” by Notorious B.I.G (feat. Lil’ Kim & Puff Daddy) (original song from Duran Duran) – During the Multiplayer Reveal Trailer.
“Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL COOL J – During the Warzone Reveal Trailer.
“One Shot One Kill” by Jon Connor
“King of Rock” by Run D.M.C.
“Till It’s Gone [CAMPFIRE REMIX]” by YelaWolf – During the Multiplayer Trailer.
“Survival” by Eminem – During the end credits.
“Won’t Back Down” by Eminem ft. P!nk – An Easter Egg on “Five”.
“Survival Skills” by KRS-One & Buckshot – Playing on a Humvee radio during S.S.D.D..
“Crime Wave” by 50 Cent – Playing on a Humvee radio during S.S.D.D..
“Danger” by Marco Polo & Torae
“New New” by Suga City ft. Maria V
“Tempo/Eye of the Tiger” by Lizzo/Survivor – During the Verdansk ’84 Trailer
War Tracks (In-Vehicle/Radio)
“What’s Poppin” – Jack Harlow
“Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” – DMX
“Grindin’” – Clipse
“Rapper’s Delight” – The Sugarhill Gang
“It’s Tricky” – Run D.M.C.
“Push It” – Salt-N-Pepa
“Fight The Power” – Public Enemy
“The Message” – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
“Microphone Fiend” – Eric B. & Rakim
“Run’s House” – Run D.M.C.
“Straight Outta Compton” – N.W.A.
“Rebel Without a Pause” – Public Enemy
“C.R.E.A.M.” – Wu-Tang Clan
“2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” – 2Pac Feat. (feat. Snoop Dogg)
“Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” – Dr. Dre Feat. Snoop Dog
“Scenario” – A Tribe Called Quest
“N.Y. State of Mind” – Nas
“Hypnotize” – The Notorious B.I.G.
“Dirt Off Your Shoulder” – JAY Z
“State Prisoner” – Black Thought
“Hip Hop” – dead prez
“Deep and Hard” – Mark Grigsby
“Lighters Up” – Lil Kim
“Chun Li” – Nicki MInaj
“Slidin” – 21 Savage