So what Def Jam has done is create a karaoke game with rap music. Basically. For the average person that just wants to act out a fantasy of being on stage rapping along to dope beats, Def Jam Rapstar meets that need. A slick presentation ups the gritty, urban feel with gold and bling adorning most menu screens you come across. The interface is solid and easy to navigate in order to reach the real meat of the experience; the music videos. With over 40 different songs and videos, browsing through the relatively brief history of rap music is made simple and fun.
The track list is the real show-stealer. There is an excellent selection of rap tunes from the past and present and I'm pretty sure everyone has heard "Gin and Juice" or "Push It" some time in their life, so even non-rap fans have a place to start. The selection does seem a bit thin when compared to other music contemporaries that include over 80 songs on the disc. There is an online music store to remedy the light selection that will offer new songs and videos for your purchase pleasure, all edited for a "T" rating. Although the 40+ songs on the disc are overall crowd-pleasers, Def Jam Rapstar engages in some sleazy tactics for its own personal song selection.
For example, if you were to walk up to someone and ask them "Can you name ONE song that should be included in a game about rap music?" I would bet a huge majority of people would suggest Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." Guess what? Def Jam Rapstar does not include the quintessential rap song on the disc, but instead the song is available for purchase through the online store. It's a low-down dirty shame that someone had to make the decision to gouge players who want to play one of the most popular rap songs of all time. This isn't a single issue either. There are many cases where there will be songs available on the store that I would gladly rather play than some of the songs included on the retail disc.