The yearly release of FIFA is something of an institution in the UK. While the games arguable change very little, they’re very prominent and widely discussed. One aspect of the game that does change every year, however, is the soundtrack, and FIFA 21 yet again pushes UK music to top billing.
Grime and UK rap feature heavily again on the FIFA 21 soundtrack, and particularly so on the VOLTA mode, FIFA’s street football mode. The most notable artist for those outside of the UK would be Stormzy, who features alongside fellow artist Aitch, in their track Pop Boy. It’s a pretty good gateway track for those unfamiliar listeners looking to get a feel for the scene and its music.
The second notable track is Location by Dave. The song is a complete departure from the Stormzy track, coming in much slower, almost seductively. The track is also perfectly complemented by Afrobeats star Burna Boy.
Those two tracks are just some of the over 20 UK rap and grime tracks that feature on the soundtrack. The music is perfect for the VOLTA mode, which highlights street football culture across the globe. The music, outfits, and gameplay all come together to represent football as a grassroots game, with the main FIFA mode and VOLTA exciting in stark contrast.
Ultimately, the winners here are the players unfamiliar with this face of UK music. Many will be introduced to these awesome tracks and styles for the first time, thanks to FIFA and the exposure it creates for less-than-mainstream artists. FIFA soundtracks are an iconic element of the franchise, which itself is an iconic part of the culture of UK music, with it getting a lot of cross-promotion outside of gaming publication.
While grime & UK rap has a long way to go before it breaks the US market in a meaningful way, FIFA 21 is a big step in that direction, with more people exposed to some of the top names and up-and-comers on the scene.