Mafia 3: The Soundtrack That Keeps On Giving
I’ve been playing Mafia 3 since launch, it has captured my time and attention because of its unwillingness to hide the racial politics of its setting. I’ve yet to see a game do this in the way that Hanger 13’s revenge story has done so far. This head first dive into such timely subject matter is something that every time I put down my controller I think about. We’ll definitely be talking about this via the blog and podcast in the upcoming weeks but today is all about the game’s music.
Mafia 3 has a beautifully curated soundtrack. If any company has used their licensed music budget well, it’s been 2K. From the NBA franchise to Mafia 3, we see that the marketing folks haven’t been jettisoned from the conversation when it comes to world building. The 1960’s and 1970’s were a remarkable time for music, Soul, Jazz, Funk, and Rock were the heartbeat of America. Artists told stories and laid down tracks that inspired, educated and sometimes prompted revolt for what the country had become.
Now, I’m not a musical historian or scholar, BUT a bunch of the music found in this soundtrack was the music of my childhood. My grandmother would often throw on an 8 track (yes I’m that old) or cassette and blast Marvin Gaye while she shuffled and danced across the newly waxed floor that we weren’t allowed to set foot upon. The vision of “Preach” running on the railroad tracks at the end of Cooley High towards what we all hoped was a better life will be indelibly etched in my mind, and was highlighted by the song “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” from The Four Tops.
Fast forward to today, I have a love of music, especially Hip-Hop. I’m a former college radio DJ and I also create music in my spare time, so I love the art of sampling. Being brought up in the Hip-Hop era gave me an appreciation of being able to hear a snippet of sound and think of ways to re-purpose it to make it live in other forms. So I took an afternoon and went to one of my favorite sites called WhoSampled.com. It’s the premier database for looking up songs and seeing if other folks had used pieces of them to create new works. I took my findings and made a Spotify playlist below that you can listen to that has some of what I think are the best of that sampled lot.
To hear what songs were sampled, just throw one of the tunes in the playlist back into WhoSampled to find out which track was used.
*Due to legal reasons, some of the songs included in the Mafia 3 soundtrack are not included and aren’t on Spotify. WhoSampled will sometimes have Youtube links to songs that you should DEFINITELY go through and check out.