Spectating at a professional sporting event is about much more than the game itself—it’s the atmosphere. The hype is half the fun, whether you’re walking up to an arena or gathering with friends on the couch. That’s why every sports game comes with a custom soundtrack that starts playing as soon as you boot up: to let you know it’s time to Get Hyped.
But a more recent trend wants you to get hyped not only for the game, but for the soundtrack too. Marquee artists are being invited to curate soundtracks for sports games, with their names prominently featured on box art. One of the first, and splashiest, artists to contribute in this manner was Jay-Z, who was named an Executive Producer when he handpicked the soundtrack on 2012’s NBA 2K13. This year’s crop of basketball games continues the trend, but with a new wrinkle: while the soundtrack for the currently-available NBA 2K15 features picks from Grammy-winning artist Pharrell Williams, the upcoming competing title NBA Live 2015 is turning to DJ and entrepreneur MICK (formerly Mick Boogie) for its soundtrack.