10-Best NBA Live Tracks of All-Time

It’s now been about 10 years since 2K Sports’ ‘NBA 2K’ surpassed EA Sports’ ‘NBA Live’ in terms of enjoyment, realism and eventually in sales. While most of us millennials have been inserting the 2K disc for years now, NBA Live was many’s first experience with basketball video games.

The 2K series has really stepped up its soundtrack game in the past handful of years, but to EA’s credit, they definitely showed out in terms of their early-mid 2000’s NBA Live sounds. Here are the 10-best tracks from NBA Live 2000-2007, when the game was still clearly ahead of 2K both in terms of market-sales and gameplay.

51XV653XK4L.jpg10. Chingy – Right Thurr
NBA Live 04

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Fucking love this music video – the most 2000’s thing I’ve ever seen. This is a classic crunk track that fit perfectly with the shift into the crunk, snap genre that rap was heading toward when NBA Live 04 dropped in 2003.

Nbalive05_cover.jpg9. Murphy Lee – It’s In Da Game
NBA Live 05

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IssInDaGaaame… this would’ve been perfect a fit for The Longest Yard soundtrack, too. This was also one of the best games in that it introduced NBA All-Star Weekend  and the now ever-popular Create-A-Player mode.

ee0589249cffff47788a65d1f82ed88f.400x400x1.jpg8. Jermaine Dupri – Live Like Me
NBA Live 04

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This was a great addition in that it was specifically designed for the game, but still had such a good sound that it didn’t feel forced. Also, some dope wordplay in the lyrics.. crazy that LeBron was already getting referenced in tracks when he was just 17-years-old.

NBA_Live_06.jpg7. Lupe Fiasco – Tilted
NBA Live 06

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Nothing to prove this, but I’m sure this helped put Lupe on the map as he’d yet to drop his debut album Food & Liquor (2006) when this game and track was released in 2005. It wouldn’t be the last of Lupe we’d see in NBA Live, either. This was also featured in the ever-popular game Need For Speed – Most Wanted (2005).

674238-nba_live_2003.jpg6. Fabolous – It’s In The Game
NBA Live 03

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This was the intro track in NBA Live 03, a year in which the game made huge strides and was also my all-time favorite game in the series. A great selection by EA to advertise and introduce the game.

will_i_am_tile_3.png5. Will.I.Am – Go!
NBA Live 05

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It couldn’t be a top soundtrack list without a Will.I.Am appearance! The Black Eyed Peas vocalist has a plethora of fire tracks in both NBA Live and Madden video games throughout the 2000s.

hqdefault.jpg4. Wylde Bunch – Our Lyfe
NBA Live 05

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Also featured in NFL Street, ‘Our Lyfe’ was a fantastically-produced track which actually surprises me that it never made it too mainstream.

hqdefault-1.jpg3. The Brand New Heavies – Jump N’ Move
NBA Live 05

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I have no idea what’s being said in the verses, but does it really matter? This is a fun beat and chorus that’s impossible not to like. ’05 had the best soundtrack of the series.

 

nbalive07_xbox360box.jpg2. Lupe Fiasco – Kick, Push
NBA Live 07

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NBA Live aside, this is such an under-appreciated song. Probably Lupe’s all-time best, ‘Kick, Push’ is just too smooth in every aspect – delivery, lyrically and sonically. Unfortunately, this was right before EA started to Kick, Push and Coast their way into a seemingly endless pit of trash that they haven’t found a way out of yet, while 2K has risen to the top.

220px-NBALive2000PlayStation1CoverArt.jpg1. Naughty By Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
NBA Live 00

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Another timeless track, ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ was featured on NBA Live 2000. This was really the first year EA decided to put effort into a soundtrack, previously providing mostly generic menu music, and they’ve come a far way since. This track also made its way on to NBA Live 18.

 

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