Game – OKE: Operation Kill Everything
Game became a staple in hip-hop the second he became an apprentice to the legendary West Coast rapper and business mogul Dr. Dre. Having been a recent focal point of conversation in the hip-hop community for signing to Cash Money Records — the same label toting such big name artists as Birdman, Lil’ Wayne, Tyga and Nicki Minaj — the addition of the West Coast veteran will add a new style to their superstar lineup.
Game created his newest mixtape, Operation Kill Everything, while he was in limbo between labels, and he takes full advantage of this opportunity to say the many things on his mind. Enlisting the help of a wide variety of MCs, Game works well with a wide variety of artists, proving to that he’d fit in at any label that sought his talent.
On “Life Is But a Dream,” The Game describes the plight of the ghetto, but turns it into a thought-provoking statement by connecting it to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. To guide his story of the struggles of the California ghetto, sound bites from the speech are used to tell listeners that after the Emancipation Proclamation, America naively thought that racism and the African American’s struggle was over. He ends this duel presentation of black struggles past and present in America by saying, “Life is but a dream,” while the crowd at the March on Washington sings “We Shall Overcome” as the song comes to a close.
Throughout his career, Game has always repped the West Coast. OKE is no exception, with songs such as “In The City” and “Compton.” On both songs, Game uses colorful metaphors and astounding imagery to give listeners a detailed idea of the horrors of life within his city. Even lighthearted songs like “Breakfast With Al Pacino” detail Game’s life as a drug dealer. He even uses the line, “My life a movie directed by Tarantino,” to describe the violence in his life.
This mixtape never gets preachy, however. Songs like “Super Throwed,” “F.I.V.E.” and “Pour Up Remix” all have their own unique production values, but share in common dope beats that will make listeners reflexively bob their heads to their catchiness.
“Love On Fire” is an emotional outpour from Game about the pain and anger he suffers as he watches the deteriorating health of his suffering mother. The raw emotion in his voice in tandem with a spine-chilling hook from Chantel makes for a vulnerable Game — a welcome challenge to the usual rap persona.
“Astronaut Pussy — Welcome To California” is a unique track: the first half contains an a capella remix of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” and midway through the song takes on a dubstep-like beat as Game raps with the help of other California MCs to portray an image of California from various perspectives.
This mixtape is a solid piece of work from Game. It marks his evolution as an artist and serves as a transitional piece of work during the changes in Game’s professional career. The mixtape contains a few hiccups and falls prey to stereotypical rap material, but the work as a whole contains great lyrics, awesome beats and some heartfelt messages from the rapper.
Read ArtsEtc. Staff Writer Louis Johnson’s take on the album here.