There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Game. Whether he’s calling out his peers on his fiery record “Uncle Otis” or crashing the L.A. Sheriff’s phone lines with a tweet, he never fails to entertain. But the Compton MC puts aside the shenanigans and drops his fourth LP The R.E.D. Album in stores this week. The long-delayed effort features heavy hitters including Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Drake, Chris Brown, Young Jeezy, and Nelly Furtado. Did Game represent for the West Coast? Find out what the critics are saying.
USA Today: Assisted by heavyweight cohorts (Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg), Game invigorates West Coast rap with grit, ferocity, vivid rhymes, crushing beats, and even a hilarious and vicious sci-fi romp in “Martians vs. Goblins.” 3/4
Los Angeles Times: In stark contrast with such charm merchants as Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, Game’s low likability is no impediment to his art; indeed, The R.E.D. Album, his fourth studio set, succeeds not in spite of his character flaws but because of them. 3.5/4
The Washington Post: He raps with an all-out relentlessness and simply wills many tracks to success. “Ricky” and “Born in the Trap” have no guest spots, but Game as gangland storyteller is enough to make them album highlights. Next time, he should spend more time reminding listeners who he is, as opposed to who he’s not.
The Boston Globe: The Compton MC’s fourth album has been delayed more than a Terrence Malick film, but it reestablishes The Game’s relevance with torched-earth verses and his ability to work with diverse superstars to make a supremely coherent and well-executed set.
The Village Voice: When there is a firm hand reining him in, Game can still make good rap music. Left to his own devices, however, he produces a dismaying mess.
The Associated Press: In all, R.E.D. is one of Game’s most balanced albums since his debut in 2005. After four albums, he continues to prove that he is a dominating force from the West Coast.
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “The City,” “Martians vs. Goblins,” “Good Girls Go Bad,” “Mama Knows”