Best Bball References on The R.E.D. Album
Plus a track-by-track rundown of Game’s new joint.
Hoops lyrics grade: B. Game always represents the game that we love, so I gotta applaud him for that. As expected, he cites the Lakers, Kobe, LeBron and kicks multiple times, but that’s who he is and he mixes them in well most of the time.
As for the actual album:
1. Dr. Dre Intro (N/A) - Dre has four biographical interludes throughout the album, including the intro and outro. Not necessary, but interesting life The Game has had so far.
2. The City (B+) - Wow, Game’s voice has changed, hasn’t it? I was pretty surprised once he started spitting. Good song to start off R.E.D. though, as Kendrick Lamar absolutely kills it, especially a cappella. Good beat. Catchy hook. Love the relaxed but powerful production by Cool and Dre on this one.
3. Drug Test (A-) - Club banger here. I love Dre on anything to be honest, especially since he still loves rapping ’bout drugs at age 46. But the real gem of this joint is Game’s flow which matches up perfectly with the beat.
4. Martians vs. Goblins (A+) – Easily the best song on the album, by far. Game kills his part…Weezy’s voice is ill on the hook…but Tyler’s verse is just fire. Plus the beat’s so hard.
5. Red Nation (A-) – Lead single off the CD. Cool and Dre light it up again, sampling ‘Kemkraft 400,’ which is usually played at NBA games and other sporting venues, so Game should get some extra credit there from us here at SLAM. Nice hook again by Weezy. By the way, Game claims R.E.D. isn’t referring to the Bloods but stands for RE-Dedication.
6. Dr. Dre 1 (N/A)
7. Good Girls Gone Bad (B-) Cool and Dre’s third and final effort does not match up to the other two, but still solid nonetheless. Game pays tribute to all the women in his life and in the game…kind of a weird joint to be honest. And I usually don’t love Drake on slow beats, but his verse is hot on this one. I’ll hit up Kat from Philly for you, Drizz. Gimme the digits.
8. Ricky (A- ) – Boyz ‘n the Hood opens this one. RICKKKKYYYYY!!!! Couple Boyz references here, including Cuba, Morris Chestnut and 2Pac, but it all makes sense at the end of the song…”This is how my living room sound, when my brother got shot down”. Game’s brother, Jevon, was killed when he was 17. Powerful production and lyrics.
9. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (A) - Hit-Boy brings one of the hottest beats on the whole album. Game sounds like his old self – drunk as hell, telling the cops his side of the story, then calling out the pigs for the played out good cop/bad cop act. Love when Game basically talks over his raps….one of the best at that.
10. Heavy Artillery (C+) - Cool beat saves the song here. I do listen to it for that reason. And I love both Rick Ross and Beanie, but all they and Jayce are talkin’ bout is their heavy artillery. Y’all own guns…we got it.
11. Paramedics (D) - Took till the 11th track to get our first filler track. Production is trash. Jeezy’s hook is stupid as is the point of the song.
12. Speakers on Blast (C) - I want to like this one more. Big Boi and E-40 could’ve both come a lil’ harder but I like Game’s part. Beat is just blah for me.
13. Hello (D+) What is this, the obligatory love song? I don’t know if he’s talking to a specific girl, but who cares? This is so stupid as well as Lloyd’s contributions. Shoulda left it off…that’s 4 straight unimpressive tracks Game, c’mon now.
14. All the Way Gone (C-) – Obligatory love/sex song number 2? At least it’s a little better than ‘Hello’. Still pretty bad though.
15. Pot of Gold (B) - Finally. Not an amazing track, but an interesting song nonetheless with a chill, guitar-heavy beat.
16. Dr. Dre 2 (N/A)
17. All I Know (B-) - I like the production for the most part, and Game does mention Doc Halladay and the Philadelphia P hat, so he gets some love from me for sure. He also handles the speed of his rhythm well on this one. Just not in love with it or anything.
18. Born in the Trap (B+) - Best song on the second half of the album, for sure. Good decision by Game to hook up with Premo on this one – sounds like a classic Premier beat, can’t ever go wrong there. Game is at his best when he raps about what he truly knows: being born in the Trap.
19. Mama Knows (C+) - I hate to say it, but obligatory Mama song? Not that I don’t appreciate all that Game’s mom did for him and the good intentions of the song, but plenty of other rappers have done mama tracks and they’ve done it way better. No offense to Pharrell on this one at all. And also, Game, you’re gonna end ‘Mama Knows’ with “You might not like it, but my mama psychic/Why you n****s twisted like the top of a Sidekick?”?
20. California Dream (B+) - obligatory daughter song? Just kidding. This one’s actually pretty good…challenging ‘Born in the Trap’ for best song on the 2nd half. Sick, slow beat by Mars for sure. Game ain’t afraid to let us know he was high off his ass for his daughter being borne. Good, heartfelt track to conclude the mixed R.E.D. Album.
21. Dr. Dre Outro (N/A)
Overall (B) No explanation necessary really. Just look at the grades. After nine songs, Jayce was getting an A- from me at the very worst and this record was looking like a classic in my eyes. Then, as Game can sometimes do, he loads the second half with fillers and half-assed efforts. Too bad. Still, I got about ten new tracks to listen to so that’s never a bad thing. Go cop it.