Earlier this week, 2K Games announced West Coast artist Blxst curated the soundtrack for season 7 of NBA 2K23. In a Zoom interview with Blxst, Uproxx got some insight into the creative process behind the soundtrack and the impact that a 2K placement can have on artists’ careers.
Blxst, who first exploded into stardom with his 2020 EP No Love Lost, has risen in stature ever since. He’s become one of the LA rap scene’s premier hook singers while building a thrilling catalog as a genre-bending rapper with releases like Before You Go and his Sixtape series with Bino Rideaux, which will see its third iteration in the near future. He’s also been a regular at Uproxx Studios, dropping off potent performances for UPROXX Sessions.
He’s expanded his impressive portfolio by launching his Evgle record label, supporting artists such as Jay Millian, who also makes an appearance on the 2K23 soundtrack with his song “Baby,” which exclusively launched through the game. The soundtrack also includes Blxst staples such as “Passionate” with Roddy Ricch, “Keep Calling” with Larry June, and “Spend It” with Babyface Ray and Nija.
As Blxst says during our interview, “Whenever a play comes to me of this magnitude, I think of how can I get my team involved? How can we make it a teamwork type of thing?” I compare this to the point guards as whom he loves to play in NBA 2K23 like Ja Morant and Kyrie Irving. Yes, he can score, but he also wants to put his teammates in the best position to win, which is the defining characteristic of an all-time great.
Let’s talk about the process of getting you involved in doing the soundtrack for season seven of NBA 2K23.
The process was kind of simple. 2K had reached out and it was natural. They just wanted us to curate a playlist and I was excited for it from the jump because I had linked up with Ronnie 2K randomly just going to a San Francisco 49ers game. I seen them up there and we chopped it up. I don’t know if he threw the alley-oop, but I’m definitely connected with the 2K family.
A lot of people, when they hear artists on 2K, that’s like the first time they might be hearing you. How do you decide on which songs of yours are the ones that are absolutely 100% 2K worthy?
A lot of the artists that are on the playlist I’m a fan of myself, and it’s certain songs that I pick from they projects that just inspired me to get up and do something. I feel like that’s one thing athletes can relate to, just wanting to be motivated from the music to be your best, to be the best version of yourself. That’s how I implemented the playlist.
It was really important to you to get the Evgle guys involved. What does that mean to an artist that is on your label? This might be the first time that they’re getting really that level of exposure.
I think it’s fire, especially for Jay Millian. We got to exclusively release a record in 2K. If you go to my career, you see different [Billboard achievements] and that’s a big deal. I think it’s just important to be able to give my artists and my producers them types of platforms. Whenever a play comes to me of this magnitude, I think of how can I get my team involved. How can we make it a teamwork type of thing? Even Vic and Carl — which is my manager and my attorney — … I like to look at them as tastemakers outside of the positions that they typically play. We just put our brains together, we the visionaries.
I guess the closest sports metaphor would be being a point guard, right? You’re always looking for the open shot for another member of the team. Do you have any specific songs or artists that you have memories connected with, “Oh, I discovered this person through 2K“?
I couldn’t give you a specific song, but I will say it’s certain moments that I connected with, like seeing Pharrell curate a playlist, seeing J. Cole as well, and Pharrell, somebody I’m a big fan of from the skateboard world to the fashion industry and how everything cross brands with the music. I feel like I’m following his footsteps in a sense, being here.
Speaking of J. Cole, he was actually included in the game as a playable character. Is that something we can look forward to: getting some hoops in with Blxst on the game?
I might have to get my jump shot up first, but yeah, I’m definitely down for the 3D scan. Put me in the game.
When you actually do play the game, who’s your team? Who’s your go-to?
I’m a player fan more than a team fan. I like to play with Ja Morant. I like to play with Trae Young, Kyrie Irving. I like to play the point.
What’s next for the future?
It’s summer 2023. I’m locked back in with Bino Rideaux for Sixtape part three. We slowly but surely getting that up, but outside of that, I’m also working on my album, which I’m excited for my fans to hear. It’s like an elevator version of Blxst. I’m a throw them off guard with new sounds. Been working with different producers and just staying inspired and motivated, keeping that fire under me, bro. I’m really in a positive space right now.
The NBA Finals start soon. Who you got?
Basketball don’t really matter to me ever since the Lakers got kicked out, got swept [laughing]. Being from LA, that broke my heart. I’m going to have to go with maybe the Joker. Maybe he can close it out.
I know that as an artist, you do a lot of interviews, so you get a lot of the same questions. I have to ask a lot of the same questions, too. If you were me interviewing you, what would you want to know? What would you want people to know about Blxst that you’ve never gotten to talk about?
I love that question. I would say that I’m just a goofy person, man. I think people take me serious. I’m not so vocal all the time, but if you know me, if you’re in my inner circle, I’m pretty goofy. I’m probably dancing in the studio on a random day. I think the world is going to see a different side of Blxst as things reveal.