The Game 


Anyone who listens to the Game's third album, LAX, for long will conclude that he's about one thing only – being respected. Unlike such thug MCs as Young Jeezy and Tony Yayo, who seem only to want to be rich and popular, Game desperately wants to be appreciated for his art. He'd love to be placed in the pantheon alongside his deceased heroes Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. and Eazy-E (all three of whom he eulogizes on "Never Say Goodbye"), but he would settle for being mentioned among the greats of today. "I ain't buyin' that the best rappers is Kanye and Wayne," he moans on "Ya Heard." Yet Game can't seem to be himself. He's disconcertingly focused on how others see him. He should be using his well-honed ear for beats to create dramatic, unself-conscious bangers that channel his easy, instinctive flow. When he succeeds in this regard, such as on "Dope Boys" and "My Life," LAX is a transcendent piece of work. But the rest of the album, unfortunately, is a cloying, insincere mess. 2 stars


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