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The Best Radio Stations from Grand Theft Auto

To celebrate the release of the music-heavy GTA Online update: The Cayo Perico Heist, we take a deep-dive into some of our favourite GTA radio moments throughout the series.

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Grand Theft Auto is one of the most iconic video game series of all time, there’s little room for argument there—but deciding which radio station to bump in our stolen cop car isn’t always an easy choice. Since the original Grand Theft Auto game back in 1997, we’ve been dodging the law and trying to avoid getting wasted to a soundtrack of incredible music, spanning across decades and honing in on every genre, no matter how niche.

With the latest update to GTA Online: The Cayo Perico Heist adding even more options to an already stacked lineup of radio stations and the grand opening of it’s latest virtual nightclub The Music Locker, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and break down some of our favourite stations across some of the most memorable games from the series.

The Cayo Perico Heist is now available to download free for all players on Playstation 4, Xbox One X, PC and on Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X|S via backward compatibility.

 

01. GTA 3: MSX FM

Without a doubt one of the most exhilarating radio stations in the entire series—MSX FM is an energetic anomaly amongst the GTA 3 radio stations. Hosted by MC Codebreaker and DJ Timecode MSX FM perfectly emulates a British pirate radio station with no advertisements, no chit-chat and most importantly nothing below 140BPM.

Exploding with energy, Codebreaker freestyles non-stop for almost 25 minutes straight over thumping old-school drum n bass and jungle beats provided by the iconic DJ Timecode, MSX has a smack-to-the-face charm that makes it stick out amongst other stations in the game. Its clear British homage and raw authenticity are what makes it so memorable and the perfect soundtrack for speeding around Liberty City in a Banshee.



02. GTA Vice City: Fever 105

“This is Oliver Ladykiller Biscuit on Fever 105. 105 degrees, ooh, I’m just gettin’ my groove back on.”

Guns, bikinis, palm trees and Fever 105—Vice City’s champion radio station and the ultimate soundtrack for the city the game is set in (and it’s seedy underworld). Ripping up sand on the beach on a dirt bike while listening to ‘All Night Long’ by the Mary Jane Girls is an unparalleled vibe. Hosted by the smooth-talking Oliver ‘Ladykiller’ Biscuit, Fever 105 features an array of classic soul, funk, r&b and disco tracks from the late 70s and early 80s which Ladykiller interrupts every now and then to shout out friends in Vice City—including everyone’s favourite playa’ Lance Vance. With tracks from the likes of Michael Jackson, The Whispers, Rick James and Kool & the Gang, Fever 105 perfectly reflects the bright lights and dark alleys of Vice City. The sprinkle of throwback samples tucked away in this playlist are the cherry on top, making it a timeless classic and without a doubt the best station in Vice City.



03. GTA IV: The Vibe 98.8

Rockstar levelled up again with GTA IV, which featured an impressive lineup of real-world icons as the game’s radio hosts. Legends like Roy Ayers, Femi Kuti, Karl Lagerfield, DJ Premiere, Iggy Pop and Daddy Yankee (who hosts San Juan Sounds, a mix of Reggaeton and Latin Hip-Hop that would still slap in a club today). It’s a tough choice but we’re giving this one to The Vibe 98.8, hosted by the late Vaughn Harper, which boasts a tracklist that spans decades and delivers smooth R&B and Soul joints from the 70s through to the late 2000s. Apparently, the station is based on WBLS, an actual urban radio station in New York which Harper hosted shows on. The Vibe features buttery old-school tracks from Minnie Ripperton, Marvin Gaye and Barry White mixed with 90’s classics like Jodeci and Ginuwine, rounded out by a couple of 2000’s gems like Ne-Yo and Jill Scott for good measure, it’s the only choice for late-night cruisin’ Liberty City style.



04. GTA V: The Blue Ark

It’s strange to think GTA V came out all the way back in 2013. At the time it was the biggest launch ever, and between then and now it has sold a jaw-dropping 135 million copies worldwide. This game had so many options—more characters, more vehicles, and more bangers to soundtrack your getaways, heists and general reckless abandon. GTA V featured a ton of well-curated stations, from Bootsy Collins’ funkadelic Space 103.2, to Flying Lotus’ lo-fi selects on FlyLo FM or the badass soul on The Lowdown 91.1 hosted by Mama G (aka Pam Grier).

A favourite of ours from this game is the massive The Blue Ark hosted by Jamaica’s original king of dub Lee “Scratch” Perry. Named after Perry’s famous backyard studio Black Ark, the station features classic reggae and dub immortals like Gregory Issacs’ ‘Night Nurse’ and Yellowman’s ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ while still managing to pepper some dancehall badness from notorious modern acts like Vybz Kartel and Tommy Lee Sparta. It’s a perfect cross-section of Jamaican music curated by a pioneer of the scene, cementing Blue Ark as a stand-out station in a game packed full of excellent music.

05. GTA Online: The Cayo Perico Heist: FlyLo FM

Fast-forward an untouchable 7 years later and Rockstar have continued to push boundaries in terms of extending the GTA V lifespan, actively listening to community feedback to consistently evolve its online experience, earning GTA Online of the most dedicated followings in gaming history and constantly beating its own records for player numbers. The latest in the series of online updates is The Cayo Perico Heist—the most extensive online update to date, taking on El Rubio’s heavily guarded private island in the Caribbean; Cayo Perico. Players will need to infiltrate the island disguised as the tour manager for real-life German DJ collective Keinemusik, whose likenesses perform a marathon DJ set at an exclusive beach party on the island.

In addition to all the wild new gameplay and beach parties, GTA fans were treated to more musical updates, namely, The Music Locker—a new in-game nightclub where players can hit the dancefloor and catch full sets from Klienemuik, Palms Trax and Detroit legend Moodymann—all recorded with motion-capture tech! In addition to three new stations; the Julian Casablancas hosted Kult FM, Joy Orbison’s Still Slipping Los Santos and The Music Locker Radio, there have also been updates to some of our favourite radio stations from the 2013 release, including FlyLo FM, which adds more recently released tracks like Thundercat’s ‘Dragonball Durag’ and Zack Fox’s hilarious ‘The Bean Kicked In’ as well as unreleased music from Tierra Whack, the late MF DOOM and Flying Lotus himself.