By: Elorm Nutakor
Rappers of the early to mid-2000’s era such as 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross are rappers whose street lyrics and gangster personas have both intrigued and scared me. Time went on, though, and these rappers ceased to send chills down my spine in the way that they once did. All, that is, except for The Game. From the moment he stepped into the mainstream hip-hop scene, The Game has always carried himself in a way that would make even his most loyal fans apprehensive to meet him in person. He is known not just for his aggressive lyrics, but also the way in which he manifests this aggression is in public. When The Game is not spending quality time with his precious daughter, one can find him in physical altercations with other rappers or, as in a recent incident, landing some blows on a member of his audience who had steered him the wrong way. As a matter of fact, I cannot remember a time when The Game was not beefing with another rap artist.
This same aggression is heavily utilized in his new album Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf. Blood Moon’s cover art features an image of The Game’s daughter pointing disapprovingly at a wolf which has The Game’s iconic red star facial tattoo, as if she is reprimanding the wolf’s aggression. The cover sets the tone for what listeners are about to hear. The Game hold’s nothing back from the album’s first track, “Bigger Than Me,” which stands as an opprobrium to the realness of the current generation of hip-hop artists as he explicitly states, “Niggas talking that shit ’bout the new generation / man fuck these niggas / I’ll slash your fucking faces.”
The album’s aggression is further solidified with the chainsaw sound effects, as well as wolf howls and skits that are placed at the end of some of the album’s other tracks. The Game’s aggression does not let up as he continues with songs like “F.U.N.,” which in no way embodies the lighthearted tone of its acronym; and “Really”, which is filled with violent threats such as: “Got the Louisville Slugger / Big Papi Ortiz knockin’ every button off Throughout the album your buttoned up sleeves.”
Many of the album’s feature artists like 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Chris Brown, are inspired toward matching The Game’s intensity. Even on the album’s lighter tracks such as “Or Nah” and “Best Head Ever,” Game mixes street related lyrics like, “My niggas on the same thing / all my niggas gang bang,” to the prevalent sensuous vibe of the songs.
In “The Purge,” The Game’s aggression targets the forces in the world which cause pain. For a brief period, he even assumes a vulnerable tone as he ponders the effects of death by confessing his own inability to understand it. While this album serves as The Game’s sixth studio album, it is also a compilation album for his new record label, Blood Money Entertainment. For this reason, songs like “Trouble On My Mind” and “Food For My Stomach” feature no verses from the Game. These songs are meant to showcase artists on his label such as Dubb, Skeme, and Eric Bellinger. Although Game’s absence is missed, the added perspective on a song like “Trouble On My Mind,” which acts as a continuation to “The Purge,” is appreciated.
Blood Moon ends with the same intensity as it began with “Hit Em Hard” and “Black On Black”, and even though the album is finished, The Game is not. Next year he plans on releasing The Documentary 2, which will celebrate a decade of The Game’s mainstream success. Recently, Game has been functioning as an independent artist since leaving Interscope Records in 2013. Since that time, Game’s music seems to be less filtered than on previous albums like The R.E.D. Album and Jesus Piece. Due to this added independence, Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf marks a new direction for The Game as he experiments with different sounds and flows. The Year of the Wolf has begun and is not stopping anytime soon.
Elorm is an English major at Mizzou in his first year with KCOU. Born in Ghana and raised in Illinois, he enjoys listening to a range of different music, from popular to obscure, as well as making music productions of his own. He is also a drummer and an amateur dancer.