Kevin Liles on Def Jam Rapstar: The Hip Hop Version of Facebook? | SoulCulture TV

The game was created for three things:
You, Hip Hop and your social network.

Speaking with SoulCulture at the Parisien media launch of his new Hip Hop video game, music entrepreneur and former Def Jam president Kevin Liles lays down the role Def Jam Rapstar is about to play in the next level of Hip Hop culture.

A Hip Hop karaoke game with an accompanying social network, Def Jam Rapstar allows users to rap along to a selection of Hip Hop songs, rating them on lyrical accuracy, tone and several other factors – with the option of recording and uploading your performance to compare with the rest of the world’s players.

“I’ve pitched the idea before, but nobody believed,” he told us. Those that did believe in his dream this time around happened to be the founders of Rockstar Games (GTA, Red Dead Redemption).

In today’s market, partnering to launch an innovative video game supporting a spectrum of Hip Hop culture with an accompanying worldwide social network made complete sense to all involved.

“I think it’s for everybody,” he states, his enthusiasm evident and somewhat contagious. Accommodating various important areas of music and media as well as the obvious [rapping itself], Liles envisions Def Jam Rapstar as a fun but potentially serious platform with career potential for emerging talent across the board – be it as an artist or putting in the necessary behind-the-scenes grind with video editing, journalism, management, marketing or promotions, for example.

“When you wake up I think we’re gonna have the next distribution system in rap. And in hip hop culture.”

“We’re really creating an online culture again. That is what’s exciting to me..” he shares.

“I think it’s gonna change Hip Hop. It’s gonna be as revolutionary as Twitter is, to Hip Hop. It’s gonna be the Hip Hop version of Facebook. I feel all those things are gonna happen and we will discover all kinds of new talent from it.

Liles is almost scared to consider the full potential of the game and accompanying platforms; “I’m so excited about it that I haven’t wrapped my head around exactly what it is…”

“Call it a distribution system, call it a platform… You can’t just call it – because it’s more.”

Def Jam Rapstar launches in the US on October 5th and in the UK on November 5th.

Visit for more information.

Privacy Preference Center