According to everyone I’ve spoken to who copped GTA IV, rap fans will be very pleased with the score/soundtrack. Here’s a recent MTV interview with Ivan Pavlovich, one of the soundtrack managers for the game, where he goes into the planning and contributions from popular Djs. Link

As a result, a lot of artists are eager to please, especially if the aim is to re-create the feel of New York radio. DJ Premier made an old-school hip-hop mix for a station called Classics. Green Lantern and Mr. Cee essentially replicated New York’s leading hip-hop station, Hot 97, with the Beat 102.7. Their friends from the station shout out the fictional boroughs that stand in for Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Dancehall DJ Bobby Konders, also a Hot 97 veteran, went to Jamaica to get dancehall artists to re-record their records to call out the boroughs. “I think everybody went to the extremes to make sure this felt like a living, breathing experience,” Pavlovich said. The game has one original piece of music, its theme song, which was composed by Michael Hunter, who also wrote the theme for previous “GTA” games.

Other artists wanted to be involved even though they didn’t always make the cut. Like 50 Cent, for instance. “He was very cool with us using his music,” Pavlovich said. “It did not make it in, but he was definitely very willing to license his music.”

Hip-hop turned out to be the most difficult to license. “There’s so many people, there’s so many samples,” Pavlovich said. “You get all these guest artists that are now on records. You have eight different writers, some of whom own only 2.5 percent of the publishing, and you can’t get in touch with them.” It’s no wonder that in the back of the “GTA IV” instruction manual, where all the songs in the game are listed, the longest credit listing is for a rap song, “Crack House” by Fat Joe, featuring Lil Wayne.