This weekend, auto-tune maestro T-Pain confirmed that he is working with developer Rockstar Games on GTA 6 – apparently at the expense of his spot in GTA 5’s NoPixel role-playing server as well. The Florida-born singer, rapper, and producer is certainly an exciting confirmation, but it’s got me wondering how Floridian Rockstar’s going with its launch line-up of celebrity collaborations and, more importantly, who else fits the bill for one of the most-anticipated releases on PS5 and Xbox.
Considering Grand Theft Auto 6 is based on a not-so-fictional representation of Miami, T-Pain’s state of birth could be a happy little coincidence. However, I’m popping my tin hat on here and am subscribing to the idea that it could be a sign of things to come when we finally get to hop in and play on the GTA 6 release date. The state of Florida has a long history of producing musical megastars, and below I’m opening up my predictions for the biggest homegrown artists I’m hoping to hear in what is expected to be one of the best games of 2025 and beyond.
Steve Aoki is the perfect candidate for a GTA 6 collaboration. Not only has he been producing bangers for over a decade, but the Miami-born DJ is also a gigantic nerd. A major player in the Pokémon trading card craze that swept across the internet during Covid, Aoki has also appeared in the NBA 2K series as well as 2016’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. On top of that, Aoki currently serves as an investor for esports organization Rogue. Suffice to say, an Aoki-hosted radio station – or maybe a residency at the nightclub we saw in the GTA 6 reveal trailer – would go hard.
There couldn’t possibly be a global launch for one of the biggest new PS5 games and new Xbox games without a special appearance from the Mr. Worldwide himself. Another product of Miami, Pitbull put out some of the most iconic tracks that helped define the early 2010s. The blueprint for follicly-liberated men like myself everywhere, I know I want him on the decks in Vice City. Even if we don’t get a proper cameo from the real deal, I feel like he’s too big a character for Rockstar to not parody with a character of their own in some way.
Some claim that your brain’s frontal lobe fully matures at 25, but I’d argue it’s the moment you realize that ‘Flo Rida’ is actually just the parting of ‘Florida’. Though we haven’t heard much from him in recent times – his fifth studio album’s been in the works for quite a while now – the statesman making an appearance, be it on the window, the wall, or the decks would be a welcomed addition.
The biggest coup for Rockstar would undoubtedly be the inclusion of pop tour-de-force Ariana Grande. A product of Boca Raton, Grande’s music has been streamed over 42 billion times – the eighth-most streamed artist on the platform according to kworb. I can already envision Lucia driving away from an explosive heist with ‘Dangerous Woman’ playing in the background – the vibes are immaculate.
Considering Rockstar’s getting wild with it in GTA 6 – at least judging from the first trailer – then there’s no better disc jockey for the job than serial winner DJ Khaled. While we’re bending the rules slightly on this one – Khaled’s from New Orleans – he earned his chops as a radio hype man in, you guessed it, Miami, before making it big as one of the planet’s top hip hop producers.
Though we try and forget about that Overwatch League performance, it’s clear he’s up for gaming-related gigs, making for a natural link-up. No ‘Wild Thoughts’ here.
There are many (many) more Floridians in the musical world that I can add to this list, but for now, this will have to suffice. Judging from past games, Rockstar will undoubtedly collab with major stars from further afield. But if it’s going to go big on local talent throughout its lifespan, then the aforementioned artists are all solid candidates for when GTA 6 finally arrives in 2025.
If you’re looking for an expansive experience to tide you over while you’re waiting for that all-important release date, be sure to check out our list of the best open world games for some absolute bangers.