Marc Cabrera has nothing better to do than watch a lot of movies and television, and listen to a lot of music. Luckily, he has a job that pays him to blog about local and national arts, entertainment and pop culture. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I was so ready to write the guy off, but I was probably wrong. Almost certainly.
Looks like The Game will win this rap race after all.
Earlier in the year, I made allusions to the fact that the Compton rapper's career was over, caput, fin del mundo. After being blackballed by 50 Cent and ignored by Dr. Dre, the Game seemed like a young prize fighter whose time had flashed before him with one unseen left hook. It wasn't a pretty sight.
But somehow, someway, Game has managed to offset the hatred by delivering an album that critics are hailing as the best in hip-hop this year. He's managed to sidestep the fact that he named his sophomore release, The Doctor's Advocate, after a man (Dr. Dre) who doesn't even appear in the album credits, outside of the obligatory liner note thank you's. And he has done it by going the old school route: a street-record posse track with a thick lineup of popular MC's.
I'm referring to the official remix of "One Blood," the album's lead single that not only wedged it's way onto pop radio and music video rotations, but has now become an unofficial street anthem.
But back to the remix. There's literally more than 20 MC's on the track. And the list is pretty incredible: TI, Snoop, Nas, The Clipse, Kurupt, E-40, Chamillionaire, Bun-B, Slim Thug, Juelz Santana, Lil Wayne, Jim Jones, Jadakiss and Styles P, Fat Joe. All contribute verses, and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
Another 10 more rappers appear, with the show-stealer coming from none other than Ja Rule - yes, I said Ja Rule, the other dude whose career 50 Cent supposedly ended. And Ja comes through with a decent verse of his own.
All of the MC's come hard with their verses, and listening to the track, you get the sense it's an organized front against 50 Cent and G-Unit, although none of the MC's reference any direct beef. Still, with folks in the mix like Jada, Fat Joe and Nas, who have all openly beefed with G-Unit in the past, it's hard not to consider it as an attack.
Game bats fourth before surrenduring the track to the thick roster of MC's, and it's a good look. He lets everyone catch a little wreck, adding only a few "Remix, Remix" chants to let everyone know that it is indeed his track.
Of all the MC's on the song, I like The Clipse best, followed a close second by Jadakiss and Styles P (I'm biased to both of these guys, though, full disclosure). Rick Ross and Chamillionaire also check in with stellar 16's.
The song stretches out more than 10 minutes, almost unheard of in the formulaic, verse-hook-verse-hook song structure popular in modern hip-hop songs. And there's no real hook, save for the Sizzla vocal breakdown that was on the original song.
All in all, Game may have not only saved his career, but provided the first real threat to 50 Cent's rap takeover. The album has leaked and is already being bumped in a hood near you, but I'm going to wait until the release date to give it a spin. I'm pretty sure I'll be proven wrong about this guy's demise, once again.