If you’ve listened to The Life of Pablo, Kanye’s new album, you might have noticed a few familiar voices barking throughout a couple of songs. That’s because Kanye actually sampled Street Fighter II (as is tradition for rap artists, by this point).
From the very first verse on FACTS, you can spot Street Fighter II’s announcer yelling ‘PERFECT.’ You might know it as the saying players hear within the original 1991 game if they manage to beat an opponent without getting hit a single time. (Thanks for the tip, Steve.)
Actually, almost every verse in FACTS ends with a Street Fighter II sound byte. You can hear Dhalsim’s Yoga Flame bark, and Guile’s Sonic Boom bark throughout the song. You’ll have to download Tidal, AKA the music version of uPlay, to listen to the album version of FACTS, though Kanye did release an early version last month with many of the same Street Fighter sounds, too:
I didn’t like this song at first—it seemed to bite on Drake a bit too much—but it’s grown on me now that I’ve heard the final version a few times. The Street Fighter sound clips act as a really good punctuation at the end of verses, and the album version also seems to have more of its own identity than the original SoundCloud upload. I like the changes. It’s not the only song that’s going to be tweaked, either. Seems like games aren’t the only things with day-one patches nowadays!
Curiously, you can hear the PERFECT clip on a different song in The Life of Pablo: at the start of “Pt. 2.” I guess Kanye likes Street Fighter.
This combination of rap and video game seemed worth noting, not just because I’ve been obsessively listening to the excellent Life of Pablo, but also in the context of Kanye’s very own video game, Only One. We posted about the trailer last week, but since then, we’ve learned a bit more about what the game actually is. We hear it is a side-scrolling runner with a more narrative take—which sounds like an ambitious marriage based on what people are saying about it:
We haven’t gotten a chance to play it ourselves, so we can’t say. In the meantime, I’ll keep FACTS on repeat. It’s far from the first time a big rapper has sampled a video game, but damn if this particular instance isn’t catchy anyway.
Image via AP.