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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Game's The R.E.D. Album: A First Listen

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM


The Game needs no introduction. The man who was kicked out of G-Unit and made a whole album about whinily stalking ex-benefactor Dr. Dre has most recently performed two actions: 1) Releasing a diss track called "Uncle Otis," whose targets include Tyler, the Creator; and 2) releasing a collaboration with Tyler, the Creator. Therefore, I expect this liveblogging of his fourth album to be immaculate. Let's see.

"Dr. Dre Intro"

"Being born there ... is just like dying there."

"The City"

Rick Ross' fantasy life has nothing on the Game. Off the bat, he brags about wrestling alligators in the Everglades. Then there's "I'm probably top five/ Game, Biggie, Hov ... probably Pac, Nas." We're not five minutes in! I don't know who Kendrick Lamar is, but he compared himself to a record and didn't explain why (you spin him 'round maybe?). The Game acknowledges that critics said LAX was average, but he doesn't seem to disagree. Laughing my ass off at this stewardess style-warning about wearing gang colors in L.A..

"Drug Test"

"Do what you do/ Drug test's on you," is that the hook? Not bad -- a sexy, minimally stabbing beat, too. This Nate Dogg replacement guy they got is creepy (Snoop and Dre are on here too).

"Martians vs. Goblins"

In which Uncle Otis brings Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator, to the R.E.D. planet for a faceoff. "Have a bonfire with old Harry Potter books" -- my girlfriend's gonna be pissed. This track is classic Eminem, a tinkly, lightly mocking nursery rhyme beat where Tyler calls out fish-in-a-barrel like Bruno Mars and Tyler Perry, and goes "I suck? Where the fucking ring pops?" while Game brags about eating out Erykah Badu. Pretty playful creative exercise for all involved, when push comes to shove.

"Red Nation"

This album's brisk! Hey, Lil Wayne was barely on that last one, but he actually has a verse here, right after Game threatens to "kill Satan." "Angeles/scandalous/gamblers" is a good end-rhyme sequence for Game. Weezy's been nothing special on this album so far, but I don't mind him saving it all for non-Game albums.

"Dr. Dre 1"

I can't even remember the last rap record I heard with skits. I wasn't keeping track when he and Dre patched it up, either.

"Good Girls Go Bad"

Oh man, beautiful sample. "We don't wanna see Nicky fight with Kim/ There's missing girls out there, let's focus on them." The title had me worried, but this is a relatively good concept; Game says his mom is better off without his abuser dad. I keep warming to Drake on other people's records, then going back to Thank Me Later and punching myself. Game then comes back and abandons the abused-girl conceit to explain exactly whose wives are okay to sleep with.


Minute-long intro with a shootout and lots of sax and strings and gun noises, before Game comes in to talk about no one named Ricky. He compares himself to Malcolm, so it makes sense his lawyer of choice is Cochran. "Keep it clear like Belvedere vodka" --pretty good!

"The Good, The Bad, The Ugly"

Operatic samples and a deep-voiced attempt at a Biggie narrative, down to removing himself from coitus to check the window. Not bad until he details the shit he took between gundowns.

"Heavy Artillery"

Ross the boss comes in to rhyme bitches with snitches, and awesomely compares his shit to "pancakes." This album's lush and quick, and has some of the tightest Game rapping I've ever heard. But it's dangerously unmemorable unless you're taking notes like I am. "Ain't nothing changed except the bullets in my clip," raps Beanie Sigel. Didn't you fall out with Jay-Z, or is he just going to come back and narrate the skits on your next album?


This one's a riot. Young Jeezy's "heeeeeeey!" Greek chorus sounds great with the siren-like guitars, and I don't understand at all why he keeps shouting (well, throating) "Here come the paramedicssssssssss!" Oh god, is this like his high five with Game after "winning" at shooting? And Game with his vodka metaphors again! Best thing on the album so far.

"Speakers on Blast"

I'm sitting up and paying attention now. This is another beat I like; grandiose yet low-key. Game wants you to know he can't come to the phone right now because his balls are in someone's mouth. Oh no, now Big Boi's talking about his balls! He also compares himself to Optimus Prime and a librarian. E-40 always sounds like he's making fun of everyone (like Del the Funky Homosapien), but he just sounds like that.

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Dan Weiss


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