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LAX [Explicit]
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  • The Game - L.A.X. 6/10
    The Game's third and latest album, his first without producer Dr. Dre and post G-Unit feuds, is a typical West Coast rap album by a rapper who has always tried too hard to be the next Tupac. Leaving Dre behind has left the Game able to focus on things and other artists, namely guests like Common, drummer Travis Barker, and the omnipresent Lil Wayne. His lyrics are unsurprisingly at times hardcore and at others touching and affected (well, at least as touching as a gangbanger can be), and his husky voice is as threatening as ever.

    The best songs are those that stay away from the vanilla tales of violence and the kill-or-be-killed life on the streets and those that either discuss issues that are somewhat socially relevant (the Martin Luther King/civil rights tribute "Letter To The King" featuring an excellent Nas) or those that are profane for no good reason and succeed mostly on the Game's undeniable charisma and the slick production (the nearly psychedelic "Angel" with Common and the silly "House of Pain," with an awesome line about eating chili-cheese Fritos, are two of the latter).

    With an album that runs 19 tracks long, however, there's bound to be more than a few duds, and while there's a lot to like about the Game, there's also a good amount that falls flat. "My Life" jumps on the Auto-Tune vocoder bandwagon and comes off as a second-rate T-Pain gangsta imitation, although the opening is appropriately thug. The unavoidable intros/outros/interludes etc. are obvious filler, and the massive wealth of guest stars tends to drag the limelight away from the Game, such as the scene-stealing Ice Cube on "State of Emergency." Overall, while L.A.X. suffers from an advanced case of bloat and a lack of focus, it contains enough West Coast gems to recommend it to any genre fan....more info
  • Getting better
    Officially no more Dr. Dre and consecutive name dropping. This is the major improvement for The Game on this album (and I don't mean Dre beats). Otherwise it is a descent offering and a different sound. Some of the production is a little weak but still worth listening to. I would recommend this to any mainstream listeners that like The Game....more info
  • ....It may be time to change The Game
    As soon as I heard Game on Jim Jones' remix of "Certified Gangstas", that also featured Cam'ron, I knew that his rap career had some potential. My old roomate let me hear a Game mixtape that featured "Westside Story" w/50 Cent on the hook, "Get Your Money Right" w/Dr. Dre & Jay Z and my favorite track from the mixtape "The Whole City's Behind Us" w/Ludacris & Kanye West. After liking what I heard from the mixtape, I was interested to see what his 1st solo CD would sound like.

    The Documentary was released in 2005. The first single was the Dr. Dre produced "How We Do", which also featured 50 Cent. The track was a nice song for the clubs and was a good choice to be the 1st single. Cool & Dre produced the 2nd single "Hate It Or Love It", which also featured 50. The song talked about them coming up from their childhood where they never imagined they would get to the point where they were at that time. My other favorites from the CD included the 3rd single "Dreams", which was produced by Kanye West, "No More Fun And Games", which was produced by Just Blaze, "Runnin'", "Start From Scratch" w/Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry, "Where I'm From" w/Nate Dogg (Get well soon) and "Put You On The Game".

    "The Documentary" remained in heavy rotation for awhile. The only thing that I didn't understand was the constant namedropping that Game had going on in various songs. Dr. Dre, Eazy E, Compton, 50 Cent, etc. were mentioned too many times on the CD. I saw the tension between Game & G Unit coming because Game didn't want to make the same alliances against rappers that 50 Cent wanted to do. So once Game was "tossed" from G Unit, the disses went back and forth. When it came time for Game to work on his sophomore album, Dr. Dre decided not to produce any tracks on it, so it was assumed that the album would flop.

    Doctor's Advocate was released in 2006 and the first single "One Blood" featured Junior Reid. The all star remix featured acts such as Snoop Dogg, TI, Nas, Bun B, Pusha T of Clipse, WC, Tha Dogg Pound, etc. Since Dr. Dre's production wasn't featured on the CD, Game relied on producers such as Scott Storch, Just Blaze,, J.R. Rotem, Kanye West, etc. to try to match the production on "The Documentary". My favorite track ended up being "Why You Hate The Game" which was produced by Just Blaze and featured Nas & Marsha Ambrosius. My other favorites included the title track, which featured Busta Rhymes, "Wouldn't Get Far" w/Kanye West, "California Vacation" w/Snoop Dogg & Xzibit and "Remedy". The CD may not have been as good as "The Documentary" but it wasn't as bad as people, 50 Cent included, thought it would be without production from the good Dr.

    2 years later, The Game has released his 3rd solo effort "L.A.X." I was surprised not to see "Big Dreams" on the CD. The Cool & Dre produced track was a nice intro to this CD, but it is featured on the deluxe edition. The 1st single "Game's Pain" features Keyshia Cole and allows Game to pay homage to all the rappers who influenced him to become a rapper himself. The 2nd single "My Life" features Lil Wayne on the hook and Cool & Dre on the production. This introspective track is one of my favorites on the CD and sometimes you wonder why Game doesn't release more songs like "My Life" and less songs like "Touchdown" w/Raheem DeVaughn or "Cali Sunshine" w/Bilal.

    Game should have named the CD "State Of Emergency". The track that contained Ice Cube on the hook is definitely another one of my Top 5 favorite tracks from this CD. The energy on this track is top notch and J.R. Rotem delivers with the production. "Bulletproof Diaries" features Raekwon, who is about 3 years overdue in delivering "Only Built For Cuban Linx 2". Jellyroll provides a nice, street track for Game and Raekwon to deliver quality verses to. That surprised me because usually Jellyroll is just providing party sounding tracks to Snoop Dogg or his homies all the time. My favorite track, "Let Us Live" features Chrisette Michele on the hook and Scott Storch on the production. This should be the next single, but from what I have heard it will be the Cool & Dre produced "Money". Chrisette shines on the hook and she makes a nice contribution to the track. Nas joins Game on his ode to Martin Luther King. Jr, "Letter To The King". In my opinion, when Game spends his energy on thought provoking tracks, the results turn out alot better than when he is making club tracks and tracks for the ladies. I understand that a CD must contain some type of balance, but you have to be able to maintain the quality at the same time. "Never Can Say Goodbye" pays tribute to 2 Pac on the 1st verse, Biggie on the 2nd verse and Eazy E on the 3rd verse. Latoya Williams shines on the hook, as she usually does and the track ends up working, in my opinion. "Angel" features Common, which you would think would be an odd couple but as soon as the Kanye West beat comes on Common delivers a nice verse. Game follows and the track actually ends up working. The best thing about "Money" is the Cool & Dre production, but Game still ends up making it a song that you will want to check out most of the time. "Dope Boys" features Travis Barker (Get well soon) and while the production is top notch, you just wish that Game would have came up with better lyrics in certain instances.

    The problem that I have with "L.A.X." is that after making "The Documentary" and "The Doctor's Advocate", you would expect Game to release an effort that is just as good or even better than his previous releases. In my opinion, that just doesn't happen. There is less namedropping this time around, but it seems as if Game's lyrics have taken a dip. There are too many instances where Game is using tired metaphors like "That Flavor Of Love, Deelishus in my lap money". The Game is a better rapper than that and it seems that instead of improving or maintaining the lyrical level of his previous 2 releases, it seems as if he was taking the easy way out lyrically on some songs.

    Overall, I still think that is a release worth checking out. However, if you have high expectations, you may want to lower them immediately. There are songs such as "State Of Emergency", "Let Us Live", "Letter To The King", "Bulletproof Diaries", "Never Can Say Goodbye (Nice tribute) and "My Life" that will disprove my theory but other than those top notch tracks you're just left with some pretty good ones such as "Angel" w/Common, "Dope Boys" w/Travis Barker, and "Game's Pain" w/Keyshia Cole.
    Once we get past these 9 tracks, you're left wondering what was going on with the rest of the CD. You have a bunch of tracks that are either average or mediocre compared to the standars of his 2 previous CDs.

    James' Top 5

    1) Let Us Live w/Chrisette Michele
    2) State Of Emergency w/Ice Cube (on the hook)
    3) Letter To The King w/Nas
    4) Bulletproof Diaries w/Raekwon
    5) My Life w/Lil Wayne (on the hook)

    Honorable Mention:

    Never Can Say Goodbye w/Latoya Williams
    Angel w/Common
    Dope Boys w/Travis Barker
    Game's Pain w/Keyshia Cole
    ...more info
  • average
    If he wanted to do a last cd, he had to call Dr. Dre to make some beats; Dre made only masterpiece... without him he does average albums...more info
  • Another solid The Game album; 3.5 stars
    The Game is one of few new MCs to truly become established within the rap game. Honestly, he can thank his promotional success to 50 cent, now his enemy. The third round out, the Game is still solid, though this album falls short of his previous affairs. One, it is absolutely too long and you can't help but feel that The Game could've and should've cut certain tracks to make the album more even. Furthermore, too many guest stars grace this album. Sometimes, the guest stars are underwhelming while at other times they take away from the Game. At either extreme, there is nothing truly terrible here. Also, there is nothing revolutionary about LAX. While Lil Wayne feature single "My Life" is strong and a standout, it doesn't measure up to some past singles such as the phenomenal Kanye West produced "Dreams". However, maybe I'm just biased because I'm sick of the whole "vocoder" effect.

    The album opens with an interlude featuring the infamous DMX, praying of all things. This interlude is reprised at the close of LAX. First track "LAX files" features strong production work, but it is ultimately a lukewarm number compared to the very best and strongest of LAX. "State of Emergency" featuring Ice Cube is OK, but is disappointing, especially considering how good Ice Cube's most recent album RAW FOOTAGE was. It isn't horrible, but I expected better from two west coast dons. The sick production work of "Bulletproof Diaries" featuring Raekwon would've been enough to make this a winner in anybody's book. The track is also the strongest of the album up to that point, making it a strong listen. Of course superstar collaborated single "My Life" is the showstopper with none other than rap's savior, Lil Wayne. Here, Wayne isn't as strong as he has been on previous collaborations (David Banner's "Shawty Say" for example), but he still makes the track more exciting than it would've been in his absence. Not knocking The Game, but this single needed that "oomph" to make it as good as it was and I suppose that "oomph" was Weezy.

    "Money" is killer and is my favorite from LAX. The production is chilling and the Game is on his "game" here spittin' ether. "Cali Sunshine" continues a pattern of hits as well as a trend of phenomenal production work. I will say this, with Dr. Dre on the boards or not, The Game knows how to pick the right productions to support his rhymes. This has been consistent from the Dre heavy production of THE DOCUMENTARY all the way to 2008's LAX. "Ya Heard" featuring Ludacris is enjoyable and solid, if not as solid as "My Life", "Money", or "Cali Sunshine". "House of Pain" is a miss in my eyes, proceeding a pointless interlude. "Gentleman's Affair" featuring Ne-Yo brings the Game back top notch, even if you're more excited to hear Ne-Yo than The Game on this track. Maybe it's just the fact that you don't hear The Game truly melding well on an R&B number.

    "Let Us Live" featuring neo-soul standout Chrisette Michele features some sick production by Scott Storch that would've been at home on a Jill Scott album (think "Epiphany" from THE REAL THING). Sure, the rhyme isn't memorable, but Michele's hook and production overshadow The Game, easily. However, I would've been disappointed if the Game hadn't included this cut. Michele is on fire here. Raheem DeVaughn also steals the show from the Game on "Touchdown", however as a whole "Touchdown" is a more solid track than "Let Us Live". Also important to note is that Raheem could steal the show from almost anybody - the boy can sang.

    "Angel" possesses great production work, but it is an overall miss in my eyes that could've been cut. Even on Common's part, it doesn't excite me. "Never Can Say Goodbye" redirects the focus in one of my personal favorite tracks from LAX. The Game is inspired here and the production is tasteful and well put together. "Dope Boys" featuring Travis Barker on drums (Blink-182, +44) is enjoyable, though no one will deny the Keyshia Cole featured "Game's Pain" is the better track. "Letter To the King" featuring Nas was one of The Game's smartest collaborative choices ending LAX on a high note.

    The main problem with LAX is it is uneven. Had The Game cut a couple of collaborations and focused LAX more, it wouldn't have sounded as "lax" as it does in some instances. With that said, this album is not average by any means. The Game is still "on top" and there is nothing outright horrible or not worth a couple of spins on the CD player. 3.5 stars only because it isn't as consistent as the best material of THE DOCUMENTARY or THE DOCTOR'S ADVOCATE. 100% solid though. ...more info
  • The Game does it again
    Another classic album form The Game, a must have for any Game fan, highly recomended...more info
  • Bangin
    The Game came strong on this album. There are only 2 skippers on this album and that's Cali Sunshine and Ya heard. The rest is pure heat! ...more info
  • The Game steps out of the shadow of Dr. Dre, steps free of the Aftermath of his feuds
    The genesis of Game's career was both a blessing and a curse. He himself raps that few legacies have started "hotter than the beginning of my career/ with 50, Dre and Em there." However the helping hand would also bring persistent doubts, claims that Game's success is replicable for any rhymer who has an album of Dr. Dre's beats, 50 Cent's hooks and a track blessed by Eminem. While Doctor's Advocate was a step in the right direction, L.A.X. proves once and for all that The Game's success is defined solely by his skill.

    On L.A.X. Game successfully demonstrates that he is the most legitimately hardcore rapper in mainstream hip-hop today. On "L.A.X. Files" he questions even his audience's credibility, "(expletive) think cause they watched Menace a couple of times/ Seen Cube in Boyz N the Hood and pressed rewind/ That you could survive when a real Crip run up on your car and flex the nine." The trifecta of "State of Emergency" featuring Ice Cube, " Bulletproof Diaries" with Raekwon and "Cali Sunshine" featuring Bilal are perhaps the three most classically "West coast" tracks that will be recorded in 2008. Game then demonstrates his versatility on laid back cuts including "Gentleman's Affair," "Touchdown" and "Angel," the last of which represents G.O.O.D. music at its finest with production by Kanye West and a verse from Common.

    L.A.X. also proves that The Game may be the best actor in rap today. We've seen this ability through his simulated inebriation on both the title track from "Doctor's Advocate" and The Documentary's "Start From Scratch," and there was another allusion to this ability when Game presented an uncanny emulation of his mentor on "Lookin' at You." Game takes it to another level on L.A.X. He acknowledges his perfect rendition of Nas' flow on "Let Us Live," rapping "Voice raspy, who I sound like? Don't ask me/ That's my (expletive) we classy." On "Never Can Say Goodbye," he presents a verse each through the eyes of Tupac Shakur, Eazy-E and most jarringly, The Notorious B.I.G., who Game ebodies in both flow and lyrics. Game even takes a page out of Jay-Z's book on "Dope Boys," an unabashed (and inferior) interpretation of Hov's "Roc Boys."

    There are weak points, notably "Letter to the King" on which Game's lack of nuance and sincerity are obvious, as is Nas' inability to "kick knowledge." However to see the strength and depth of L.A.X., one need look no further than the tracks left on the cutting room floor, any of which ("Gangsta Party" and "Cop Killa" in particular) would be the pinnacle of many of Game's contemporaries' albums. Note that I didn't even mention hit singles "My Life," or "Game's Pain," no need on an album of this strength.
    ...more info
    This product was shipped in a timely manner. Great condition and an excellent CD. Definetly worth while!...more info
  • Hottest on the Streetz!!!
    This album is fire...f*ck the features because he out shines everyone...even Luda and Na$...and I am a huge Na$ fan...I downloaded the clean version last week and am still copping it today at Best Buy... Die Haters! I predict double platinum, but who cares about's still a classic!!!

    ...more info
  • LAX
    i thought it was a pretty good album overall better than his second LP three years ago....more info
  • The West Resurrect'eR...
    The Game...
    I'm 32 years old, I have been listening to HipHop since the beginning. Been there through the good times and lately the very bad times. Classics do not come along often - I often find myself searching through underground camps to find unappreciated hype $hiz. Little Brother, 9th Wonder, ANYTHING that's not mainstream. I love my West Coast but the days of the Chronic, Above the Rim, NWA, and even Cube to an extent has all but gone. The South has now risen and the West seemed like a distant past pre-August 26th, 2008.

    I'm listening to Money, track #06 right now... damn... can this man single handedly put the West back on the map again? Yez Suur. This man is the REAL deal. On the track My Life the man spit out, "Eat this black music and tell me how it taste now and buck Jesse Jackson cuz it ain't about race now." YezSur... it ain't about race any more... it's about the haves and the have nots. The album is classic and The Game and Wallstreet are going to make waves.

    With that said, LAX does have a ton of appearences. The Game could stand on his own and make me love it but this album is full of depth. You are hit from a lot of different angles. Some folks are going to be a bit irritated with Ne-Yo and who ever else is on the tracks but to be honest they add to the richness in my opinion.

    Bangin' tracks:

    Let Us Live - beat is bangin'
    State of Emergency - Brings me back to something from 15 years ago
    My Life - Lil Wayne (the omnipresent presence)
    Ya Heard - unulating beat...
    Angel - Common track... classic. (this beat is going to be in your head)
    Game's Pain - One of the tightest R&B mixed rap tracks I have heard
    Letter to the King - Nas? MLK? A message? Check, Check, Check.

    Don't sleep - the tracks are 17 deep and all mid to top notch. It's classic.

    ...more info