the Grand Theft Auto the franchise turns 25 this year and licensed music has been included since the first expansion pack, Grand Theft Auto: London 1969. The songs in the series are memorable because they play during a specific mission or because they perfectly capture the era in which the game is set. From funk to hip-hop and rock to reggae, Rockstar has included a wide range of musical genres across Grand Theft Auto.
GTA online has maintained a modern sound by adding tracks and radio stations since the game’s release in 2013. Several radio stations also feature entertaining commentary from some well-known musicians and celebrities, such as JB Smooth, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Bootsy Collins. However, only a handful of tracks stand out in the franchise’s licensed music history.
ten Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt by Yellowman is perfect for easy listening
Reggae radio stations have often been included in GTA titles, such as Tuff Gong and K-JAH West. GTA V was no exception and the game embraced the feel-good musical genre through The Blue Ark presented by reggae legend, Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Nobody move, nobody get hurt by Yellowman has elements of Dub music with reverberant drums and a prominent bass line. The song is perfect for easy drives around Los Santos when the players’ only goal is to get from A to B. The song is about dealing with an officer of the law which is relevant to the nature of the game.
9 Toto’s Africa is among the game’s most memorable hits
GTA Vice City was the first game in the series to feature an impressive soundtrack with lots of licensed music. Rockstar has acquired the rights to several songs by famous musicians that were suitable for the action-adventure game, which is set in 1984.
There is no doubt that Vice City has set the bar high when it comes to video game soundtracks. Africa by Toto was among the game’s most memorable hits. The rock song is heard on Emotion 98.3 and encourages players to sing along as they navigate the streets of city of vice.
8 Appetite For Destruction by NWA is used to feature Franklin
In the beginning GTA V, players play through the prologue with Michael and Trevor. “Franklin and Lamar” is the first mission in today’s Los Santos where players control the third protagonist and help Lamar regain possession of the fast cars for Simeon. These cars are tuned to West Coast Classics and NWA games as players follow Lamar through streets and parking lots.
As the players try to follow Lamar, appetite for destruction is heard on the radio, which adds excitement and adrenaline to the chase. Players can switch stations, but the song is used to introduce Franklin and foreshadows his life of crime.
7 Hollywood Swinging By Kool And The Gang performs at a beach party
“Life’s A Beach” takes place at GTA San Andreas when OG Loc hears about a PA system he wants CJ to steal. The mission involves heading to Santa Maria Beach and talking to the DJ before completing a dance challenge.
Similar to lowrider challenges, players must press corresponding buttons when they appear on screen in this rhythm-based mission. Kool and the Gangs Hollywood Swinger is played during a challenge that tests players’ virtual dance skills. The Bounce FM song also repeatedly mentions the Los Angeles neighborhood that Rockstar has reinvented as Vinewood.
6 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s Message Sets the Scene Perfectly
The 80s were arguably one of the best decades for music. Therefore, the soundtrack of GTA Vice City plays a very important role and transports players back to 1986 with the iconic sound of the era. The message is a famous track from 1982 that stands out in the GTA franchise.
In addition to meeting the audible demands of the 1980s, The message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five was a very influential track in hip-hop history. The song is popular all over the world and is essential for City of vice. The radio station, Wildstyle Pirate Radio, is presented by Mr. Magic, who speaks.
5 Billy Idol’s White Wedding Compliments The Game’s Aesthetic
K-DST is a rock music radio station in GTA San Andreas. The station is hosted by Tommy “The Nightmare” Smith, who is voiced by Guns N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose. For this reason and the station’s collection of popular rock tracks, K-DST is well known to GTA passionate.
There are a few classic rock hits that add to the station’s famed reputation, but the one that stands out is White wedding. Not only does Billy Idol’s song sum up the character of the station, it’s also a great upbeat song that complements the aesthetic of San Andreas. The song pairs well with the sound of sirens and passing vehicles.
4 Chet Baker’s Let’s Get Lost Helps Represent The Big Apple
GTA IV was released and set in 2008. Liberty City is based around the Big Apple, which is widely considered the jazz capital of the world. As players venture into town, Jazz Nation Radio 108.5 plays timeless classics that may make people forget they’re playing a GTA Title.
Chet Baker’s are we going to get lost is one of the game’s most iconic songs and helps portray a virtual New York. Between all the shootouts and car chases, Baker’s soothing voice and jazzy accents add a unique dynamic to the action-adventure game series.
3 The main GTA San Andreas theme is heard throughout the game
The main melody of GTA San Andreas is an instrumental version of Young Malay San Andreas theme song. The hip-hop track was released on his mixtape, San Andreas – The Original Mixtapeand the rapper also voices CJ, San Andreas‘protagonist.
Signature music plays during the opening credits and while loading a saved game. The recognizable melody also plays briefly after successfully completing a mission. The beat and lead hip-hop synthesizer mimics the popular music style of the 1990s and helps set the stage for GTA San Andreas Fans.
2 If you leave me now by Chicago plays on the radio when Trevor and Patricia say goodbye
After kidnapping the wife of the head of the Mexican cartel in GTA V, Trevor and Mrs. Madrazo become much closer as she is held hostage. At the end of the “Monkey Business” mission, Trevor is forced to return Patricia to her husband. Players drive Trevor’s truck to drop her off at the farm.
During this trip, the protagonist is very upset, and If you leave me now from Chicago is on the radio. This sad song sets the mood as they decide to stop and prepare to say goodbye. Clever use of music makes this mission memorable and fun.
1 West Coast Poplock by Ronnie Hudson & The Street People helps portray Los Santos in the early 1990s
Ronnie Hudson’s classic song captures the essence of GTA San Andreas and helps portray Los Santos in the early 1990s. Players are introduced to Cesar, Kendl’s boyfriend, after completing the “Cesar Vialpando” mission. This is when players try their hand at the lowrider challenge for the first time.
During these challenges, players place bets and use the car’s hydraulics to bounce to the beat of the music and outperform the opponent. West Coast Poplock will play during certain lowrider challenges which is a side activity unique to GTA San Andreas. Free-roaming, the iconic funk song is also heard on Bounce FM and players can practice their hydraulic skills while navigating Vinewood Boulevard.
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