Game
The Red Room

Beats: L
Lyrics: XL
Originality: L

To generate interest for his forthcoming effort, The R.E.D. Album, Game offers his latest DJ Skee-helmed mixtape, The Red Room. Consider the 20-track opus an extended preview for his oft-delayed summer blockbuster and another fine example of Game’s outstanding ability as a rhymesayer.

The Compton rapper kicks off the project off with the epic, “400 Bars (The Skeemix),” where he rhymes for 20 minutes over a host of popular beats. Elsewhere, on “Lowrider,” featuring Busta Rhymes, Game pays homage to the West Coast’s car culture by riding out nicely over the piano-laced production. He even shows off some ingenuity as he teams up with Black Wall Street rappers Menace, Maad Maxxx and female MC Kanary Diamonds on the entertaining “The Professionals,” a track modeled after Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek and Freeway’s 2000 concept, “1-900-HUSTLER.”

Unfortunately, Game ultimately loses for his generosity. His willingness to extend an invitation to an army of rappers on the tape leaves The Red Room filled to capacity with guest appearances. From the little known (Mysonne and Juice’s freestyle over Drake’s “Over,”) to the somewhat known (Nipsey Hussle “Ha Ha”) to the well-known (Fabolous “Don’t Stop Hustling”, Jadakiss and Jim Jones “Gangs of New York”) the mixtape sounds like a lyrical clusterfuck at times.

But bearing in mind the unpredictable nature of the author, himself, the organized chaos is understandable. Where Red Room serves as a warm-up for his next move, you can tell from the deft lyrical output that Game is heating up. —Chris Yuscavage