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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Nothin’ “LAX” about it

The Game is similar to Forrest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates, because you never really know what you’re going to get. On one hand his albums have rejuvenated a West Coast that has seemingly lost its relevance, but on the other hand his constant name dropping has always been viewed as one of his faults. On LAX, The Game still continues his name dropping ways, but the main question remains: does the name-dropping detract from the album? Answer: not one bit. If anything, it actually adds to the album’s aura. Additionally, unlike his previous efforts, the guests appearances – Nas, Ice Cube, Ludacris, Common, Raekwon, Ne-Yo, & Lil’ Wayne – on the album essentially add relevance to his name-dropping by providing a diverse look at hip-hop’s OG’s and the current metaphor slingers.

The album begins with a prayer by Ruff Ryder DMX. While the Intro (along with the Outro) is perplexing, it’s definitely worth a listen due to its great piano melodies in the background, but after the first listen, you’ll learn to quickly skip this track. Interestingly, the best aspect of the Intro is how well it leads to LAX’s first musical track, LAX Files. The track features a soft piano melody in the background and a nicely sung hook by Shorty. The lyrics are nothing spectacular, but Game’s flow makes the track an appealing introduction to a well executed album. Ice Cube comes through to assist Game on State of Emergency, but Game opts to keep Cube relegated to the hook. The J.R. Rotem produced beat simply oozes G-Funk with its pulsing bass and piano loops. While Cube doesn’t stray outside of the hook, his presence is felt throughout the track with the Game emulating Cube’s delivery and flow. Surprisingly, he does such an excellent job that I was compelled to listen to Cube’s classic, Death Certificate.

Throughout the album The Game impersonates various hip-hop artists and does it with pin point perfection. On the Scott Storch produced Let Us Live, Game mimics Nas’s iconic flow to the point where you just might think Nasty Nas dropped some vocals on the track. And for those who may think Game is swagger jacking, he drops a few bars for you, “Liquor in my system, voice raspy who I sound like? Don’t ask me that’s my n*gga we classy.” Three tracks later Game drops one of the best songs of his career, Never Can Say Goodbye. After a haunting hook by LaToya Williams, Game pays homage to Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., and Easy-E by dedicating a verse to each artist. Unlike the countless hip-hop artists who have devoted tracks to these legends, Game not only assumes their delivery, but also takes on the voice that was stolen from them with their untimely deaths. What makes the track even more intriguing is that Game raps from the perspective that his idols had right before they were tragically taken away.

Disregarding the Outro, LAX’s final track, Letter to the King, is simply amazing. The Nas and Game collaboration team is quickly becoming a dream team similar to the Nas and AZ team. The most stunning aspect of this track is that while Nas delivers a great verse, Game actually outshines him on his second verse. While they each take turns speaking to the King (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Game ends the song with a powerful rhetorical question, “Wonder why Jesse Jackson ain’t catch him before his body dropped. Would he give me the answer? Probably not…”

Singles My Life (featuring Lil Wayne), Dope Boys, and Game’s Pain (featuring Keyshia Cole), along with Money and Cali Sunshine make the album an incredibly enjoyable ride. And Common comes through in Angel, which is essentially a sequel to I Used to Love H.E.R. While this sequel is no Godfather 2 or The Dark Knight, it works well with the Kanye West provided beat. Although LAX is a great album, it’s not without its faults. With a running time of 76 minutes, tracks like Touchdown, Gentleman’s Affair, and Hard Liquor (Interlude) should have been left on the cutting room floor. But, all in all, LAX is definitely The Game’s strongest effort to date and should be a contender for album of the year.