It has been a year and 2 months since we last reported on the development of rapper The Game’s latest project, The R.E.D. Album. Now after a series of industry politics and changes in creative direction, the album that looked like it was going to be lost in the shuffle, finally has a confirmed release date. To understand why the making of this album is significant, is to recognize how The Game’s effort for creative depth with this project are equally related to both his personal history in Hip Hop music, and common pit falls of a record industry trying to keep its balance in the digitally influenced market place.
Our first report on this album discussed it being creatively directed by The Neptunes complete with Pharrell Williams serving as executive producer. Interestingly enough, at the time, The Neptunes’ creative finger prints were most evident from them guiding The Game through the creation of a song with their one time muti-platinum collaborator, Justin Timberlake. That song entitled “Ain’t No Dobt About It” was first promoted on our site in May of 2010 as one of the album’s primarily featured efforts. Despite being high profile, “Ain’t No Dobt About It” was one of 6 promotional “street” singles that in the long run were cut from the album completely. This served as one of the many examples why The Game’s 4th album would in essence have to be created from nearly from scratch twice before it would meet the creative and marketing demands to be a potential success.
Other problems that lead to the album’s delay were the paralyzations of postponement, creative reassessment, and clashing egos. The album’s release was rescheduled a remarkable 10 times between December of 09 and it’s cemented current date, August 23rd of this year. An educated guess as to why this happened is that it is thanks to a combo of The Game’s aggressive desire to leave the music industry, and common digital marketing techniques, that depending on the artist can help as much as it can hurt.
Though specifics related to his motivations appear to be private, The Game, has said in interviews that he would have retired in 2008, after the release of his album LAX, but because of contract reasons with his distributing record company Interscope, he was unable to. Though we can’t definitively say for sure, it appears that the reluctance toward the continuing his career may have partially caused the organizational scrambles that occurred when making his project.
Although we don’t know the reason for creative the changes, Game went from going full speed ahead on a Neptunes lead album to being quoted in interviews as being “confused” on the production contribution of producer Dr. Dre. Confusion didn’t stop there. As previously mentioned, Interscope ended up paying for the recording and promotion of the Timberlake contribution, 5 other singles and a music video that were released to Itunes and the press as a method of p measuring e fan reaction to what was going to be his album. This tactic has been used by artists like Diddy-Dirty Money, Christ Brown, Drake, and Justin Bieber to build buzz on their up coming albums. In cases like Chris Brown and Justin Bieber this worked wonderfully. By the time both albums were released the public was immersed by songs released with strategic timing to have them flowing at different levels on radio, TV, and the web creating a peak of public awareness and demand. This may seem like a natural choice to successfully make things happen, but it only works when the intended album is nearly or completely done
When artists like Diddy-Dirty Money began single promotion prematurely to capitalize on the relatively instant dollar available via online retail, or to satisfy politics related to pleasing their associated major label circumstances, songs and images that end up having nothing to do with the album were advertised to the publics as a mistake. Although it is hard to know the reason of why, or what to blame on this aspect of The R.E.D. Album development snafu on, this also appears to be the very same thing that happened with Game.
Whatever the cause, this combo of personal and professional ups and down may turn out to be the right blend to inspire music that will take him to a whole new level. This is because ever since Game’s G-Unit based debut, he has taken his controversial backstory related to recovering from a street oriented attack, and used it to serve as inspiration for him to be an evolved example of Gangsta Rap that is mixed with humility and reflection for the 2000s. Then when his long famed feud with 50 Cent began, Game’s music has been shadowed with the additionally layered themes of reactions to his past beef and the desire for career freedom from contract based servitude to major labels. Now that theme has come to its most poignantly articulated head yet with the release of The R.E.D. Album‘s current single “Pot Of Gold”.
Featuring controversial pop singer Chris Brown, “Pot Of Gold” summarizes R.E.D. Album‘s theme by serving as a musical fable that warns those in pursuit fortune and fame to be careful what they wish for. This is especially exemplified by the key lyrics “Now im on a quest to find peace, Still gotta carry my piece And SuWoo when it’s reppin time Yall dont understand, I’m misunderstood Give interscope two more albums then I’m done for good.”
The song’s honesty and appeal to relatable human emotions mixed with his real life desire to overcome his personal drama and do the right thing, makes the song a must listen. It is one of the deepest songs he has ever done, and maybe in the long run will prove that hard work and striving to do well in the face of obstacles of the industry does in fact pay off. Take a listen and see if you agree.
The Game Featuring Chris Brown
“Por Of Gold”
From The R.E.D. Album