Manchester rapper and grime artist Bugzy Malone reveals his own life experiences mirrored the day-to-day gang life depicted in Grand Theft Auto (GTA), in a new BBC Radio 5 Live podcast series launched today.
The artist also talks about finding GTA’s characters compelling and how the game has left a lasting impression on him, just like millions of others around the world.
He’s joined by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Chris Warburton, another fan of the franchise, as they explore the game’s creative achievements and real world controversies over the past 25 years, during the podcast series.
Between them, they go on the rollercoaster ride that’s about to bring the world to the sixth instalment of the influential, and controversial game which is due out in the next few months.
Over seven episodes, listeners will hear the story of how the game and its makers at Rockstar Games, and BMG Interactive in the game’s earliest days, overcame it all – moral panic, politicians and critics – to reach the new era it now faces, and sell millions of copies on the way.
The podcast, Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game, features the people who were in the eye of some of the game’s real world storms – and the fans who’ve savoured its every detail.
Malone said: “When I was growing up, Grand Theft Auto allowed me to immerse myself into a high energy world and allowed me a freedom I didn’t always have on a day to day basis.
“It is a gaming experience like no other and I know that feeling is shared by millions of its fans. Getting a chance to understand the craft that has gone into making the series through the last 25 years is really exciting, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the story with you.”
Co-host Warburton added: “I’ve loved Grand Theft Auto from the very first time I played the original game. It was truly revolutionary and it’s incredible to think that, quarter of a century later, I still put GTA on all the time.
“What gets me as a journalist is the story behind it and how one company, and one game, changed the entertainment world forever. As fans wait for the release of GTA6, I’m so excited to be joining up with one of Britain’s biggest rappers, Bugzy Malone, to take you through the story of a global phenomenon which helped define a generation.”
Ciaran Tracey, from Manchester podcast studio Big City Nights, where the show was recorded, said: “Big City Nights is delighted that renowned Manchester portrait artist Stan Chow and the city’s one and only Bugzy Malone have lent their talents to bringing you this story, in what is a truly Manchester production for BBC 5 Live and BBC Sounds.”
All seven 30-minute episodes of Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game are available on BBC Sounds now.