The Game’s Rap Dreams Are Still Stranded On Death Row (Audio)
Dr. Dre released his solo debut The Chronic more than a decade before he would help introduce the world to 50 Cent. However, one Dre co-executive produced (with Eminem) 2003’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, it was a chain reaction of G-Unit artists that would quickly collect heat from D-R-E’s Sherman Oaks, California studio. Perhaps the most significant of those 50-backed MCs was The Game, who grew up in the same city of Compton that raised Dre.
For fans of West Coast Hip-Hop (and just Rap in general), Andre Young and Jayceon Taylor made heavy music together. After Dre had found major success with Queens, New York’s Fif, Detroit, Michigan’s Em’, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Eve—Game was a return to that Death Row Records-era of hometown developed acts. He rapped about the streets, the neighborhoods, and was unafraid to ruffle more than a few feathers along the way—including some of his own label-mates. The move was straight out of the Death Row playbook, and led to some multi-platinum pay-dirt. The pair would make 2005’s The Documentary, and it remains one of the most beloved albums to have the Doctor’s prescription.
More than 11 years later, Game makes “Death Row Chains.” From June 17’s The Streets Of Compton compilation, the song traces Game’s CPT upbringing and just how much affinity he felt for the label started by Dre and Suge Knight in the early ’90s. The song traces Game’s 1990s Rap experience from Dre and Tha Dogg Pound, to Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez On Me. His verses reveal the sense of neighborhood pride and courage the onetime reigning Rap label gave him. Over the years, Game would be mentored by Dre, work with Snoop Dogg, Daz, Kurupt, Kxng Crooked (f/k/a Crooked I), Nate Dogg, and other former Death Row acts. The star 2000s MC also had a complicated relationship with Suge too, who also is a Compton native.
After revealing that he took sides in the ‘Pac vs. Biggie beef of the mid-’90s, the closing lanes of the song hone in on the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur, which was a part of a series of chain events stemming from a storied incident involving one of the gold label medallions and Suge’s affiliates at Lakewood Mall. Following last year’s stunning Scarface-assisted “Last Time You Seen,” this is more rawness put to wax from Game.