4 1/2 stars.
It's been 3 long years since Game's last album, LAX. Hip Hop has seen many kings return with albums (Eminem with "Relapse" and "Recovery", Jay-Z with "Blueprint 3" and "Watch the Throne", Kanye West with "My Beautiful Dark..." and "Watch the Throne" to name a few). It was becoming Detox Jr but the R.E.D. Album is finally here. I must admit, after hearing his numerous attempts at singles with songs like Shake, Ain't No Doubt About It, and others...I was very worried that Game was going down a bad path. However, I could not be more pleased with his effort on RED.
It's only fair that I let you know how I rated Game's previous three efforts. I give Doctor's Advocate an A, Documentary an A-, and LAX a B+. Documentary was a dope entrance, but far from the classic that others call it. It lacked big time with songs like How We Do and Higher, which were sub-par at best. Doctor's Advocate is hands down my favorite Game album. He lyrically improved from his 1st and 2nd albums, and took a darker tone throughout Doctor's Advocate. Finally, while LAX was a good album, I was left a bit flat with songs like Touchdown, Money, Let Us Live, etc. Still, LAX had many great tracks, including Angel which may be one of his best songs to date. That brings us to R.E.D. Album.
1. DR. DRE INTRO- No rating, but I like the fact that Game is back with Dre.
2. THE CITY- 10/10- Great opening track. Game really knows how to open an album, and spits heat straight out of the gate on The City. Lamar drops a nice spoken hook, and manages to hold his own. Game drops fierce and angry bars about his critics of his last album LAX. Hands down, one of the best tracks on the album.
3. DRUG TEST- 8/10- This song may leave some feeling flat. It is not Game's best verses, and I really wish there would have been more Snoop on this track. The beat is decent, but I wish they would have picked a DRE beat for this song. The song picks up nicely when Sly comes in, and overall its a dope beat to cruise to.
4. MARTIANS VS. GOBLINS- 9/10- It seems Wayne only spits on the hooks with Game for some reason. Nice beat and again nice lyrics from Game. I like when Tyler the Creator comes in and spits a very D12-like verse, it works well with the game. I dislike Wayne, he is overrated, but he works well on hooks with the game.
5. RED NATION- 10/10- One of the dopest songs on the album. Game spits fire again, and Wayne drops heat on the hook as well. This song just works, and is one of the better street songs we've seen from Game in recent years. Right up there with State of Emergency in my book.
6. DR. DRE 1- no rating.
7. GOOD GIRLS GO BAD- 8.5/10- I like Drake on features, hate his songs, which is why I like this song. Game spits some verses about all the girls he's seen throughout his life and how they go bad. The sample of the girls voice works very well throughout the song, and Drake just works on the lady tracks. One of Game's better lady tracks.
8. RICKY- 9.5/10- The only thing that drops this from a 10 is the sub-par beat after the dope intro from Boyz N the Hood. Game's lyrics are dope on this as well, some of his best that we've seen. The sax samples throughout are great, and thsi could have been a classic if it had a decent hook.
9. THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY- 8/10- Great story telling, which is something the Game has become well at. Not as great as Em, but he's still agood story teller. I really dislike it when Game tries to sound like Biggie too much. This song would be muuch better, it has a dope beat to cruise too, but he needs to quit the Biggie-like voice.
10. HEAVY ARTILLERY- 9/10- The hook, a sample of some-what, really works great on this trick. Rick Ross is not my favorite, I think he's weak, but he does alright on this track. Great beat to bump in the car, but I love the Heavy Artillery sample on the hook.
11. PARAMEDICS- 3/10- I can't stand Jeezy. When are people gonna realize that Jeezy is whack??? This is a generic beat, and sounds too much like everything that is wrong with hip hop currently. Flat out, can't stand this track. The only song on the album completely lacking.
12. SPEAKERS ON BLAST- 8.5/10- Alright hook, dope beat, pretty good lyrics, and E-40!!!! Finally, someone giving E-40 some props on a profile album again. E-40 is one of the most underrated out there. The track has a solid beat and Game spits dope verses. Pretty standard song, but the E-40 feature is most definitely a stand out.
13. HELLO- 8/10- Lloyd's hook is the best part of the song, and works to perfection with the beat. The only thing wrong with this song, is I feel that Game's voice when he's rapping doesn;t fit the beat. This songs more like an R&B beat, but that's just me. A pretty solid lady song for the Game.
14. ALL THE WAY GONE- 5/10- Weak and average beat, with decent verses from Game. This song just sounds too much like a filler. There's nothing I really like or completely dislike about this wong. It just shouldn't have made the final cut of the album.
15. POT OF GOLD- 10/10- Some say it sounds poppy, but listen to Game still spitting heat on the verses. Game and Chros Brown just work on songs together. Say what you will about his problmes with women, Chris Brown is still agreat singer and Game still keeps it hood, depsite the poppy sounding beat.
16. DR. DRE 2- No rating.
17. ALL I KNOW- 7.5/10- Game spits some great verses, with more fierce rhymes. What is lacking on this song, is the beat in my opinion. Very average and generic beat, and it sounds like something the Game has done a million times already. Still, great lyrics from Game.
18. BORN IN THE TRAP- 9.5/10- A tribute to old school hip hop. Premier drops a dope beat, while Game sounds great on it. He spits more dope lyrics, but the hook is lacking. With a great hook, it could have been a classic. Songs like this remind you of why Game is still one of the best "RAPPERS" alive.
19. MAMA KNOWS- 9/10- Another tribute to old school hip hop, and it really works with Nelly Furtado on the hook. Game spits heart felt lyrics at times, but still keeps it hook with it at the same time. Sounds a lot like an old school Nas track. Nice touch from Game.
20. CALIFORNIA DREAM- 9.5/10- Game really loves to end his albums with songs like this, and it works. He spits some of his best lyrics we've seen about his birth. Once again, Game story tells, and its amazing. A great song to end the album.
21. DR. DRE OUTRO- No rating.
Overall, its a great album from Game. Half the beats are great, and half are decent. But, if you value great lyricism over great beats, this album is highly recommended. I know everyone loved "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and crowed it a classic, and it was Kanye's best album, but I just feel it was vastly overrated. I feel like it contained average lyrics with great beats. That's not classic hip hop. Hip-Hop/Rap is RHYTHM AND POETRY, not RHYTHM AND GREAT BEATS. That's why Eminem, Nas, and Game are the best rappers alive, not Kanye and Wayne. Jay-Z, he falls somehwere in the middle.
Great album from game. I rate it as an A-, not as great as Doctor's Advocate, but right on level with Documentary. Game is bringing real hip hop back on the West Coast.