I’ve never been a big fan of Game and I don’t really know why. Money’s first album The Documentary gets a STRONG 4.5 mics from me. His second album The Doctor’s Advocate was legit and to be honest, LAX slid right past me. But I always felt Game’s career was built on cosigns from Dr. Dre and 50 Cent and the fact he got the biggest cosign from hip hop’s newest initiation…getting shot. But I’ve always had more of the Jay Z philosophy of “Ya’ll respect the one who got shot/I respect the shooter.” Plus Game just name drops TOO much for me. It’s damn near 80% of his rhymes! I wasn’t even checking for “The Red Album” but somehow, someway it ended up in my inbox and my dude Allen cosigned it so let’s see what’s good with it.
The Red Album starts off with the ridiculous Cool and Dre produced banger “The City” featuring Kendrick Lamar who annihilates the track and just signed me up as a new fan. “Drug Test” featuring Dr. Dre & Snoop is ill and “Red Nation” and “Martians vs. Goblins” both feature Lil Wayne . The later, which I’ve renamed “I’m Taking My Talents to South Beach” also features Tyler the Creator and has both Game and Tyler going in on Lebron. First up Game sets it on Bron by explaining how he “hit Lebron’s mom in Bron Bron’s coupe/with Delonte West taping/we had bon bons too” and Tyler not being out done brings it home with “fall back like LeBron’s hairline against the Mavericks…he lost.” Not to mention another slick line Tyler throws in for free with “you got a better chance of getting a copy of Detox/Wolfgang we rock, crack rock/and that sh-t was expected like Jason whenever he name drops” and he ain’t lying cause ya’ll know how much Game name drops!
“Good Girls Gone Bad” featuring Drake is another banger and the Street Runner produced “Heavy Artillery” featuring Rick Ross & Beanie Sigel is CRAZY and both Rozay and the Broad Street Bully put in work. Towards the middle of the album Game starts getting all R&B on us with “Hello” featuring Lloyd, “All the Way Gone” featuring Mario (money’s still alive?) and “Pot of Gold” featuring Chris Brown but he snaps out of quick and comes back with some classic boom bap with the Primo produced “Born in the Trap” and the album ends similar to “The Documentary” telling the story of his daughter being born on “California Dream.” But my two favorite tracks on the album are EASILY “Ricky” where DJ Khalil freaks together scenes from “Boyz in the Hood” to make the beat and The Hitboy produced “The Good, Bad and the Ugly” which has Game showcasing his storytelling skills while explaining what went down in the precinct while Game was being interrogated.
Truth be told, the majority of the songs on the album are all bangers but I got 3 beefs with The Red Album. My 1st beef is WAY too many features. There’s ONLY 5 songs with no features but the album checks in with 21 tracks. Which leads me into my 2nd beef, WAY too many songs! 17 songs with 4 Dr. Dre interludes is just TOO many songs for one album for me. Which leads into my 3rd beef which is these wack Dr. Dre intros, interludes & outros with Dre trying to sound mad gangster and menacing when this dude is selling headphones (not weight) for $300 million dollars. Come on Dre, smile like Kirk Franklin told us. Whatever happened with checking in with just 12 songs no intros, interludes, outros…just songs and maybe having 2-3 guests on your album? I guess that’s the lost art of hip hop huh?
I have this philosophy that dudes who rhyme and know they aren’t the illest, seem to spend more time picking dope beats cause they KNOW the beats are gonna help carry them cause their rhymes aren’t gonna hold them down. While the real ill MC’s seem to pick whatever beat is put in front of ’em cause they feel like their rhymes are enough to make their albums dope. But since Game isn’t that MC, money makes sure his beats are BEYOND being on point to make sure this albums bang which is smart to me. It’s like a sports team knowing their short comings and going through trades and free agency to make their squad better. And even though Game will never go down in hip hop history as being one of the illest lyricists, if he keeps making albums like this he may go down as having one of the illest discographies in the game.
8 outta 10