The Game - RED Album Review
Posted by Bill Wannop on 08.23.2011
The Game is back with his first album in almost three years, joining forces again with Dr. Dre for his highly-anticipated RED Album! But was it worth the wait or does it fall flat? 411's Bill Wannop checks in with his full review!
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To say The Game’s music career has had its highs and lows would be a bit of an understatement. Being heralded as Dr. Dre’s protégé early in his career would both get him a lot of publicity as well as get him a lot of hatred. His first release, “The Documentary” would go gold its first week and would go on to reach platinum status. However after a public falling out with label mate 50 Cent, Game would part ways with Dre and Aftermath and drop his next 2 albums independently. While the albums did decent sales, the rapper seemed to have difficulty following up his highly successful debut. After mending fences with Dre, Game is back on Aftermath, and has released his highly anticipated R.E.D. Album. Can Dre help to bring the Game back to match his initial hype?
1. "Dr. Dre Intro (performed by Dr. Dre)" produced by Dr. Dre
2. "The City" (featuring Kendrick Lamar) produced by Cool & Dre
3. "Drug Test" (featuring Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg) produced by Dr. Dre, DJ Khalil (co.)
4. "Martians vs. Goblins" (featuring Tyler, The Creator & Lil Wayne produced by No I.D., 1500 or Nothin' (co.)
5. "Red Nation" (featuring Lil Wayne) produced by Cool & Dre
6. "Dr. Dre, Pt. 1 (performed by Dr. Dre)" produced by Dr. Dre
7. "Good Girls Gone Bad" (featuring Drake) produced by Cool & Dre
8. "Ricky" produced by DJ Khalil
9. "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly" produced by Hit-Boy
10. "Heavy Artillery" (featuring Rick Ross & Beanie Sigel) produced by StreetRunner
11. "Paramedics" (featuring Young Jeezy) produced by Maestro
12. "Speakers on Blast" (featuring E-40 & Big Boi) produced by Mars
13. "Hello" (featuring Lloyd) produced by Mars
14. "All the Way Gone" (featuring Mario & Wale) produced by Mars, Don Cannon (co.)
15. "Pot of Gold" (featuring Chris Brown) produced by The Futuristics
16. "Dr. Dre, Pt. 2 (performed by Dr. Dre)" produced by Dr. Dre
17. "All I Know" produced by Boi-1da
18. "Born in the Trap" produced by DJ Premier
19. "Mama Knows" (featuring Nelly Furtado) produced by The Neptunes
20. "California Dream" produced by Mars
21. "Dr. Dre Outro (performed by Dr. Dre) produced by Dr. Dre
Putting in the RED Album, you are introduced to the album by Dr. Dre who appears sporatically throughout the record to narrate giving you a somewhat simple story to the life of the Game. Following Dre’s brief words, the album fires on all cylinders with “The City”, which features Kendrik Lamar. The album has an aggressive beat produced by Cool & Dre and Game holds nothing back, rapping ‘I gave you the Documentary, shit was a classic/Gave you Doctor's Advocate, you ripped it out the package/Came with LAX, since critics said it was average/I was stressed the fuck out, torn between Aftermath and
Geffen, Interscope, now I got you in the scope/Spill the red ink on the paper, it's like my pen is broke/And this is what you all been waiting for/I'm the lost angel knocking on Satan's door/What the fuck y'all take me for? I love you cause you hate me more/I'm Kobe on the Lakers floor, except I give you 84’. Kendrik Lamar holds his own performing a chorus and then hitting a verse on the outro to the song. This first track tells you everything you need to know about the RED Album, in that Game set out to create a classic, and in many ways he accomplished this.
Throughout the album Game has a plethora of high profile guests including Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on the Dre produced “Drug Test”, Tyler the Creator and Lil Wayne on “Martians vs. Goblins” Rick Ross and Beanie Sigal on “Heavy Artillery”, Young Jeezy on “Paramedic”, Big Bio and E40 on “Speakers On Blast” among others. All the guest spots work well but make no mistake that the star on each record is Game. However these guest spots are somewhat ok, but none really pop. Game seems somewhat held back by them and when Game really shines is when he is left alone on the tracks, and really shows his growth as an artist. Gone is the overdone name dropping and disses and what is left is raw lyrics filled with emotion. The track ‘Ricky’ shows the passion that Game brings on this album, complete with a Boyz N The Hood sample, Game raps ‘Blood of a slave, heart of a giant/Had to leave Aftermath, Dre said I was too defiant/That was five years ago, look how fast it go/Destroyin' Interscope, shot myself like Plaxico/But fuck that, blaze one, where the matches yo?/Hit the freeway and see how fast the Aston go/Roll the window down, clip off the ashes so/You can see all my diamonds and how much cash I blow/How many bitches I fuck, how many cars I drive/How many goons I got, count 'em and they all outside/Niggas try to shut me up like Malcom’.
The DJ premier produced “Born In the Trap” has game proving that he can still spit that raw style over an up-tempo piano beat produced by Prem. I was not sure how the two would work together, but they come off great, with Game riding the beat perfectly and having you wishing for more collabs in the future.
Looking at the track listing, the majority of tracks feature guests, most tracks have the guests providing the hook, which is a good thing. Tracks like the second single “Pot of Gold” which features Chris Brown, will likely be featured on radio airwaves shortly and the dynamic of Brown and Game really works. “Mama Knows” has Nelly Furtado singing the hook on a song about Games family over a Neptunes produced beat more classical sounding beat. As well the track “Red Nation” which features Lil Wayne on the hook is a great street single (it seems that Game and Wayne have great chemistry together and every collab has them making a great track).
The album ends with Game getting much more personal on “California Dreams” where Game documents the birth of his child, from driving to the hospital to the actual birth. It really somewhat humanizes Game and makes him much more relatable then on previous releases, making it a perfect way to end the album.
Looking for negatives on this disc was somewhat difficult as there really are not many. Maybe the Dr. Dre produced “Drug Test” did not really live up to expectations, or the somewhat mediocre (compared to the rest of the album) “All The Way Gone” just don’t seem to fit the high quality of the rest of the tracks. With that said, Game managed to produce what has to be a modern day classic, and one of the best albums of the year. Gone are the constant name drops and disses, and instead we were given the great story telling and emotion that Game is known for.
The 411: Game went out and finally was able to create a modern day classic. Gone are the constant name drops and disses, and instead we were given the great story telling and emotion that Game is known for. From start to finish the album gives great track after great track, making it one of the best releases of the year.