Chillinit, Sahxl and Barkaa Score Big With NBA 2K23 Campaign
Three Aussie hip-hop acts get their game on for the new NBA 2K23 campaign.
Chillinit, Sahxl and Barkaa score big time with NBA 2K23, the latest iteration of the NBA video game simulation for which they’ve written and recorded original tracks.
Those ball-themed tunes will be ingested into the game, and are fleshed out with music videos.
Universal Music Australia partners on the project, which is said to be the first time NBA 2K has engaged with artists who’ve specifically written tracks and utilised sounds from the basketball court.
The artists and their works find a home in the so-called Court in Session, a forum that shines a light on hip-hop from all parts.
For the rappers, the court is the stage.
ChillinIT contributes “Big Swish,” Barkaa dishes out “Ball ‘On Em,” and Sahxl drops “The One.” Watch below.
The music videos are directed by two-time ARIA Award-nominated music video and commercial director Gabriel Gasparinatos, who has helmed spot for Adidas, Beats by Dre, Spotify, Google and the A-Leagues.
“It’s been so fun getting back to my rap video roots on this project, it’s highly technical with massive LED screens, an enormous lighting set and motion control rigs but working with DOP Tyson Perkins and bolt operator Max Pepper from Cinoptix on it has been super rewarding,” Gasparinatos says in a statement.
Pulling inspiration from “2K gameplay highlight reels” and “modern rap clip sensibilities” we “had a blast pulling these individual videos together. It’s so cool to see such exciting, global brands willing to invest in & give a platform to Australian hip-hop artists.”
Ever since two turntables and a microphone became the essential party kit in the United States, hip-hop and basketball has had an unbreakable association.
As Australia’s hip-hop scene matures and cross borders, so too does its players.
Currently, 10 Aussies are on NBA rosters (not including Kyrie Irving, who was born in Australia but has represented Team USA at senior level), the third-most reps for any country behind only the United States and Canada, respectively.
Australia’s wider music community is jumping in on the action.
Darwin-raised, L.A.-based EDM star Vassy recently performed during half-time at a Denver Nuggets NBA regular season home game. She became the second Aussie artist to perform at an NBA contest, after Cody Simpson performed the national anthem at a Cavs game in 2016.
Closer to home, Select Music Agency and the NBL’s reigning champions Sydney Kings struck an alliance ahead of the 2022-23 NBL season, which sees the agency curate the live component for the ball club’s home games.
Developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports, NBA 2K23 arrived Sept. 9. The previous edition, NBA 2K22, dropped in October 2021 and had sold over 10 million copies by May of this year.