West Coast rapper Game is as well-known for spouting off during interviews as he is for his music. The fact that his rants and inconsistent opinions off the mic are a major distraction from his words on wax is a sad one, because he has made some very good music. However, within the last few years, Game’s wild statements have been accompanied by numerous sub par leaks allegedly from his latest effort, The R.E.D. Album. Finally, three years, a dropping of “The” from his moniker, and several false starts later, Game’s fourth studio album finally sees the light of day. The question is, whas it worth the wait? Read on as TRU’s Aaron J. McKrell offers his take on The R.E.D. Album.
Despite numerous references to the color red and the Bloods (not to mention the red album cover), Game insists that R.E.D. stands for re-dedicated. After a spin of The R.E.D. Album, it’s hard not to find validity in his statement. Game took his time and dedicated himself to creating an album he could be proud of, rather than force a half-baked record on the public. The result is stellar production and elevated mic skills, which equal excellent music.
Dre Day (And Game is Celebratin’)
Game’s album-hiatus gave him time to reconcile with the good doctor, who provides production on the west-side banger “Drug Test,” which features Game, Snoop Dogg, and Dre himself provided lively rhymes over hype production. Dre also narrates the album, offering bits of Game’s life story in appropriately spaced skits across the album. The outro skit shines the brightest of the four, with Dre conveying Game’s new, more mature attitude on life.
A Jayceon Taylor Joint
Though The R.E.D. Album is not a concept album, many of the songs have a cinematic feel and play out like flicks from the silver screen. This is in large part due to the production, which is at once lush and hardcore, and provided by the likes of The Neptunes, Mars, and Cool and Dre, among others. Little of the album’s subject matter is new, even for Game, but his superb rapping and compelling narratives make for an enjoyable listening experience. Game also broadens his musical horizons, providing unlikely collaborations with artists such as Wale and Nelly Furtado. What’s more, Game once again makes convincing, catchy tracks for both the club and the ladies without making them sound like obligatory odes. For a gangsta rapper, this is no small feat. His advocacy of respect for women, “Good Girls Go Bad,” is believable and showcases an excellent verse from Drake.Lil Wayne also drops by for two solid appearances, and up-and-comers Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, the Creator tear it up on their respective cuts. Still, even though he is upstaged by Tyler on “Martians vs. Goblins,” Game makes it clear this is his show.
Name that Rapper
For those who held out a ray of hope that Game would stop name-dropping, prepare to be disappointed. Game is still name-checking legends and current rappers alike, with 2Pac in particular being dragged into Game’s lyrics many more times than is necessary. Maybe Dre, Snoop, and Ice Cube need to go to Game’s house for an intervention. On the bright side, Game has continued his experimentation with impersonating other rappers. Adopting Jeezy’s voice, flow, and delivery on “Paramedics,” Game does a stellar job sounding like your favorite rapper’s favorite trapper.
Game Recognize Game
With newfound insight about what life is really about (again, see the outro), and deep, reflective rhymes, Game manages to stick to what he knows best while keeping his tunes relatively fresh. With a lot of drama throughout his life, Game makes his ultimate mission clear. “Now I’m on a quest to find peace,” he rhymes on the Chris Brown-assisted single, “Pot of Gold.” Game is surely not done spouting off in interviews, but for now, we can be grateful he has blessed us with yet another memorable album. At 21 tracks, it runs a little long, but the music merits the time. After three years, Game proves he’s still got it. All told, The R.E.D. Album is his best album since The Documentary.
Top tracks: The City, Ricky, Good Girls Go Bad, California Dream