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Red Nation: The best of Game, five albums deep

By Hardcore Critic
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer 

Eight years ago, the hip hop world was just getting to know Game. At the time, the protege of Dr. Dre was placed in G-Unit to boost his fan base. Great music came from this union, but also friction. Glad to initially be a part of the movement, Game made many of 50 Cent’s issues his own, strongly going after Ja Rule.

Anticipation was high for Game’s debut Nigga Wit An Attitude, Vol. 1. Complications with Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records stopped this from happening. Instead, Game released his debut album as The Documentary. Boasting production from Dr. Dre and collaborations with 50 Cent, the album was considered a classic by many.

Outside of his affiliations, Game created a niche for himself with his name-drops. On most of the records on his debut album, Game name dropped. Everyone who was a part of his crew was mentioned, along with those who contributed to his album. However, Master P was even mentioned on his debut single, “How We Do,” with 50 Cent. Regardless, it was established that Game could flow and his brand was instantly built.

50 Cent bragged about the strength of both himself and his G-Unit roster, as he launched his beefs with Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and Shyne, which caused Game to draw a line. A big fan of Shyne, Game called 50 Cent out for dissing three legends and soon found himself on the outside looking in at G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath. Forced to move on, Game remained under the Interscope umbrella and 50 Cent gained an eternal enemy along the way.

Moving on with his career, Game released Doctor’s Advocate in 2006, successfully proving he could make hit records without anyone in his former camp, especially Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. Holding no ill will toward Dr. Dre, Game targeted 50 Cent with hopes of ending his career. The two traded disses in the media and Game even reached out to Ja Rule, leading to a collaboration. One of the more controversial rappers in the hip hop world, Game was hot and was keeping Los Angeles’ hat in the ring.

Making good music, Game stuck out because he helped establish Los Angeles hip hop in the 2000s, past the high-profile feud that took place between The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. Despite what numerous enemies have said about Game, he keeps coming back with the hit singles. In 2005, Game delivered “Hate It or Love It” with 50 Cent, followed by “Dreams.” Set out to do the same thing by himself, Game released “One Blood,” with Junior Reid, “Let’s Ride,” and “Wouldn’t Get Far” with Kanye West.

With his soaring popularity, Game lent a hand to Ja Rule, who was in comeback mode and also collaborated with Fat Joe. Game proved to be a major supporter of Nas, who was fighting with Def Jam over titling his album Nigger. Even with the hits and two platinum albums, Game made it evident a reunion with Dr. Dre would trump all of this. But, as he prepared L.A.X., Game said he was moving on from dissing 50 Cent and reaching out to Dr. Dre.

Despite this, L.A.X. was filled with pleas to Dr. Dre for a reunion. Regardless, Game delivered more hits. “Game’s Pain” with Keyshia Cole started things out, followed by the breakout hit, “My Life,” with Lil Wayne. “Camera Phone” with Ne-Yo would also do well and “Dope Boys,” with Travis Barker, was the final single off the album. A solid album, fans rated L.A.X. the lesser of Game’s three albums.

The initial plan was to retire after L.A.X., but Game owned two more albums to Interscope Records, who wanted him to drop another album in 2009. Game began recording in January, announcing The R.E.D. Album. Consistent leaks came from the album, which was set for a December 2009 release before the unthinkable happened when Dr. Dre reached out to him through Snoop Dogg.

There would be an additional two years before Game dropped his album, but he was glad to be back home. In 2011, Game proved he was finally ready to drop his album when “Red Nation,” featuring Lil Wayne, was released as the first single. Rededicated to making music, Game went hard and dug deep, with “Pot of Gold,” with Chris Brown as the LP’s second single. Showing growth, Game delivered a solid album.

Controvery still surrounded the album, especially with “Martians vs. Goblins,” the third single from the album. Featuring the controversial Tyler, the Creator, along with a hook from Lil Wayne, Game and Tyler angered many. Their verses included disses aimed at Rihanna, Lil B, Spiderman, The Incredible HULK, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Tyler Perry, Game himself, Tyler, the Creator, Bishop Eddie Long, Nicki Minaj, LeBron James, Erykah Badu, and LeBron James’ mother, Gloria.

Full of controversy, Game began transitioning from being another young artist in the game to being a veteran. Tyler, the Creator is also a Los Angeles native and Game helped broaden his fan base. The same could be said for Kendrick Lamar, who stole the show on The R.E.D. Album‘s final single, “The City.” Since the music video dropped for “The City,” Kendrick Lamar has been on a strong run.

After “The City,” Game appeared on VH1’s “Behind the Music” and announced his next album, Jesus Piece, initially known as F.I.V.E. (Fear is Victory’s Evolution). As questions began to rise about when the album would begin to impact, Game hit the world hard with “Celebration.” Game lined up four of the biggest names in hip hop for the track, which featured Chris Brown, Tyga, Lil Wayne, and Wiz Khalifa.

The impact of “Celebration” has kept interest in Game’s album high. A street single, which boasts Atlanta heavyweights, Future and Young Jeezy, is also doing well. It has been eight years of Game doing what he does best. In the midst of a high-profile feud with former ally, Shyne, Game is going strong. With eight days left, Game is doing his victory lap before Jesus Piece is officially released.

Watch music videos from Game below:

Game ft. 50 Cent – “How We Do”

Game ft. 50 Cent – “Hate It or Love It”

Game – “Dreams”

Game – “Put You On the Game”

Game ft. Junior Reid – “One Blood”

Game – “Let’s Ride”

Game ft. Kanye West – “Wouldn’t Get Far”

Game ft. Keyshia Cole – “Game’s Pain”

Game ft. Travis Barker – “Dope Boys”

Game ft. Lil Wayne – “My Life”

Game ft. Ne-Yo – “Camera Phone”

Game ft. Lil Wayne – “Red Nation”

Game ft. Chris Brown – “Pot of Gold”

Game ft. Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator – “Martians vs. Goblins”

Game ft. Kendrick Lamar – “The City”

Game ft. Chris Brown, Tyga, Lil Wayne, and Wiz Khalifa – “Celebration”

Game ft. Future and Young Jeezy – “I Remember”

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