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The Game

Rappers and producers who appear on the Game's third album, L.A.X., include... everybody. There's Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Scott Storch, Cool & Dre, Travis Barker, Keisha Cole, Ludacris, DJ Toomp, and Ne-Yo, for starters. OK, so none of the Shady/Aftermath crowd is here, but the point is, Game worked with just about everyone he knows and says he recorded more than 220 tracks for the CD. Sadly, Jesus himself probably couldn't save this thing. With the exception of two admittedly lights-out bangers, "My Life" and "Dope Boys" (another good one, the street single "Big Dreams," was inexplicably left off), the album is a bloated, sentimental, name-dropping mess. When Game's not spewing unverifiable braggadocio ("House of Pain," "LAX Files"), he's voicing platitudes as predictable as Los Angeles weather. There's "Never Can Say Goodbye" (which is yet another tribute to Tupac and company), "Money" (which is about cash and dough and stacks and stuff), and "Cali Sunshine" (which is about... the weather in L.A.). Game is a versatile, passionate MC, and one hopes he doesn't quit, as he's threatened. But L.A.X. does not approach being a cohesive piece of art, which is a shame, because, unlike most rap jokers, he's completely capable of making one.


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