Ear to the Street: The Game's new joint "LAX"

By Justus

What’s cracking Phire City? I’m pleased this week to have the opportunity to review the biggest record to come out of the New West Coast: the king of the “New West” Movement, The Game and his new album “LAX.”

I'd like to thank my homie over at Black WallStreet for the advance copy. This album is chronic! Straight out of the gate it opens with Arizona's favorite dog DMX pouring out his heart with a direct line to God praying for Game's record. It’s beautiful. I know DMX is going through some shit right now but no one but he and God know why that’s going on. He opens and closes the record with a conversation with the almighty and it’s Heaven fresh…pun intended.

Next Track “LAX Files” is hypnotizing. You’re instantly sucked in. Mr. Taylor rips his signature "name game" style. He has mastered lyrical West Coast gangsta rap. The chorus makes me want to drive five hours to the beaches of California and blow some Kush the whole drive up.

Then Game goes and gets to do a song with his favorite rapper Ice Cube. Word on the street is that Ice and Mac 10 have parted ways and that Game may be the Next B-dog to join Ice and dub in the West Side Connect Gang. Damn! That’s fucking fresh!

Next up on the record is Wu-Tang Clan elite, Rae Kwan. Kwan and Game may be from different sides of the map, but they compliment each other well.

The track that stood out the most to me is “My Life” featuring Lil Wayne. Man! I can't tell you how many times I bumped this in a row. Game puts his heart on this track and Weezy rides by his side like they're a couple of twin titans.

Game's record is covered with guest appearances. In fact, there are only three tracks that he rides solo on and they’re three of the hardest tracks on the record.

The Guest appearances are dope though. Man he's got Common ("Me and Common on common ground") and Travis Barker of Blink 182. He's even got Ne-yo and Keyshia Cole; and all these tracks are bananas!

Don’t let me forget the track with Ludacris. This shit starts out on some "beat street" and then flips the sample perfect. The resultant beat is modern and most definitely fresh.

But the dopest guest spot of all is Nas! Nas and Game kill this shit together. Their beat reminds me of the temptations. It has that old-school sample in the back ground that’s smooth and lets you just zone out to the beat. Nas follows Game with the second verse and rips it with street intellect that youngsters should soak up like a sponge. There are shout outs to every one from Martin Luther King to Mohamad.

“LAX” may be another West Coast classic offering from Dr. Dre's former apprentice. I was impressed. The beat selection is superb. The Lyrics are dope. The only thing I can say constructive is that Game is at his best when he steps outside of the “name game” style, gets personal and writes with emotion. I’m looking forward to what else he has up his sleeve.

In a sense Game has learned the game from all these MCs he has had the chance to do songs with. That’s an honor and I'm jealous.

Buzz on the Street is The Game and Young Buck ( both former G-unit members ) are coming to Phoenix on September 5 to perform at Celebrity Theatre. They’ve got a mixed tape out called "Laugh now, cry later."

Until next time, Phoenix.

Justus is a Phoenix-based rapper and founder of Cut Throat Logic Records. He moved here in 1993 and considers the Valley his home. “My kids were born here and I'll be buried here,” he said. At age 10, Justus performed a DC Talk song during a talent show at a church camp and knew that music was his calling. He wrote raps for 10 years and “pretty much sucked” until a dear friend taught him to refine his rhythm and rhyme. When he's not hitting the stage or marketing a new act for Cut Throat Logic, he's writing new songs, but if you ask him, he'll say “I just run the label.”

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Jonathan McNamara