Mixtape Review: Game, OKE

Game drops heat with Diddy, Lil Wayne, and ScHoolBoy Q.

5star
Posted: 10/10/2013 11:14 PM EDT

Operation Kill Everything is Game at his fiery best: personal, introspective and sonically superior. The Compton spitter uses the mixtape to bring his 'A' game and showcases the new West over a diverse array of beats that range from '70s soul to "tear the club up."

He busts out OG executive firepower from the jump on "Kill Everything," calling on Diddy, who extends an invitation to one of his infamous white parties via voicemail. Game has always come hard on his intros and this West Coast banger is no different. "Guess we goin to Diddy's/It ain't a party without the f-----g king of the city/Handsome ass n---a these b-----s is f----n' with me/Woke up in that new Bugatti, these pigs ain't f----n' with me," boasted Chuck Taylor.

BET Music Matters alum Elijah Blake blessed the chorus on "Life Is but a Dream," while a thundering bass with a touch of tambourine make for the perfect backdrop to Game's recounting of everyday life in Compton. Audio samples of Martin Luther King Jr. add to the track's presence.

Chuck Taylor then brings out his SoCal brethren ScHoolBoy Q and Skeme as well as Bay Area legend Too $hort for the 10-minute double feature "Astronaut P---y," on which Game drops an uncharacteristically fast flow like, "Back to the Converse, kill 'em with one verse/converse with the worst 'til one of our guns burst/Call the mortuary tell them n----s send one hearse/'cause Compton ain't like the city of Commerce."

On "Love on Fire," Game shows a level of emotion that surpasses 2005's "Start From Scratch." The song plays out like a lyrical therapy session as he relives seeing his mother in a coma and recalls wanting to take out his anger on his foes. The ominous piano coupled with Chantel's sultry vocals make for the perfect contrast to Game's unfiltered rasp.

"Breakfast With Al Pacino" and "Oh Lord" lighten the mood, both featuring throwback tracks that revamp that old soul sound to create perfect top-down music. After that, Game turns back up on "TD" and "Same H--s" with some help from the left coast's next generation, Problem, TY$, Nipsey Hussle and Clyde Carson. And with "Mustard on the beat" and League of Starz behind the boards, they're ratchet classics.

And it wouldn't be a Game mixtape without a dedication to his hometown, "Compton." While shouting out the home turf, the "Hate It or Love It" MC takes a swipe at his recently litigious adversary 40 Glocc. "40 Glocc tough? What?/That n---a got socked up/And he's suing me for 4.5/Let me see, move the decimal once to the right/That's a 45 glock at the light."

He brings back the soul with the Pops-produced heaters "Swerve" and "Maybe in Another Life." But don't expect him to tone it down just because the beats do. "I'm like Cassidy with 25 million/Stack it up that's like a project billion/Get back with 50, but I can't 'cause I killed him/Wait, have you seen him?/Nada papa, n---a live on that milk carton/And my n---a Boosie still ain't got a pardon," he raps on "Swerve."

Game doesn't wind down until the introspective "Just So You Know," which serves as an abridged summary of the mixtape as a whole. He drops a parting bomb with the line, "Jesus Piece was a muthaf---a, gotta thank God like a muthaf---a/Interscope ain't promote that h--, but Jimmy Iovine still my muhf---a/I'm back like Joe Budden hair if he grow it/'Bout to sign to Cash Money, yeah n---a you know it."

After years of teasing the idea of signing to the magnanimous Universal-backed imprint, Game might actually be looking to make the jump. And he wouldn't get lost in the shuffle.

OKE is one of his best efforts, album or mixtape. While Game's lyrics are still laced with the angst of feeling slept on, the imposing rhymer shows more willingness to step ever-so-slightly outside his comfort zone, showcasing different tempos and rocking different sounding beats. Game may not be rollin' with Dre anymore, but he shows that he can still drop a classic.

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(Photo: The Firm  Records)

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