Games in Music: 5 Songs with Video Game References

Reading Time ~ 2 minutes


“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis. When I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this.” Yeah, we all know the iconic The Notorious B.I.G. line. Artists from Kanye West to Motion City Soundtrack have dropped lines alluding to video game culture. Let’s take a look at some less famous but noteworthy lines in spanning genres.  


Prince Daddy and the Hyena  – If I’m Still Broke By Christmas

(2017) Alternative/Indie


Prince Daddy & The Hyena @ Subterranean


These guys are very open about their love video games. In fact, they even covered Escape from the City from Sonic Adventure 2. Here we get a nice line about Kingdom Hearts.

“I will help you beat your bosses, on your kingdom hearts file. All while hoping you don’t notice, I beat it on my first try.”

You can also listen to the full track over at Bandcamp.


Kota the Friend – Like Water

(2017) Hip Hop/Rap


KOTA The Friend "Like Water" [Official Video]


With a stellar release this year with Foto that samples Yoshi, Kota the Friend is a Brooklyn artist spitting over laid back beats. Here we have a small nod to Super Mario.

“Chillin in El Barrio with an old soul kicking back playing Mario.”


Dance Gavin Dance  – Surprise! I’m From Cuba, Everyone Has One Brain

(2007) Post-Hardcore/Experimental


Dance Gavin Dance - Surprise! I'm From Cuba, Everyone Else Has One Brain


A lot of lyrics from this band are puzzling at best, but here we get some fun Legend of Zelda lines with bonus D&D. It’s really up to interpretation.

“I got this sword, dashing, young and bold / Let’s collect hearts on the way / Plus two to you, in the evil bay.”


Jeff Rosenstock – Snow Charges

(2012) Punk Rock


Jeff Rosenstock - Snow Charges


Jeff ranges from ska to chiptune with his brutally honest music. In a song about loneliness in the winter, we get another line about the Zelda series.

“And I could use some chips and a bottle of soda / For my quest to rescue Zelda”


Doja Cat – Cookie Jar

(2018) R&B/Hip Hop


Doja Cat - Cookie Jar (Audio)


By now everyone has heard the viral song by Doja Cat about being a cow (moo). There’s more to her than just that, and in Cookie Jar she delivers a Pokémon reference that stands out.

 “She record that, Pokemon Go, you Snorlax / Swear they been sleepin on me”


Video games will always have an important role in music. Could be from a local band or a world-touring artist. We’re ready to see more artists referring to the games we love and play every day.


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