The R.E.D. Album

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The R.E.D. Album
Studio album by Game
Released August 19, 2011 (see release history)
Recorded 2009–2011
Ameraycan Recording Studios
Pacifique Recording Studios
(North Hollywood, California)
Encore Recording Studios
(Burbank, California)
Paramount Recording Studios
(Hollywood, California)
Genre West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap
Length 72:32
Label DGC, Interscope
Producer Pharrell Williams (also exec.), Game (co-exec.), Lamar "Mars" Edwards (also co-exec.), 1500 Or Nothin', Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, DJ Premier, Dirk Pate, Don Cannon, Hit-Boy, Maestro, StreetRunner, The Futuristics
Game chronology
LAX
(2008)
The R.E.D. Album
(2011)
Jesus Piece
(2012)
Singles from The R.E.D. Album
  1. "Red Nation"
    Released: April 12, 2011
  2. "Pot of Gold"
    Released: June 28, 2011

The R.E.D. Album is the fourth studio album by the American rapper Game, which was released on August 23, 2011 through DGC Records and Interscope Records after almost two years of delays since late 2009 and being rescheduled a total of 10 times.[1] Before the album's official release and unlike the several previous given release dates, Game confirmed that the new release date given of August 23, 2011 (for North America) would be permanent for good.[2] The R.E.D. Album was also thought to be released under Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and that it would mark Game's return to Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records, the two record labels that released his debut album, The Documentary, before a feud with former fellow G-Unit labelmate 50 Cent caused him to release his two following albums, 2006's Doctor's Advocate and 2008's LAX, on Geffen Records.

Recording sessions for the album took place between early 2009 and late 2011 at Ameraycan Recording Studios, at Pacifique Recording Studios both located in North Hollywood, California, at Encore Recording Studios in Burbank, California and at Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. According to Game, Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams and Mars (of production group 1500 or Nothin') would be executive producer's on the album. It was also stated that Game worked with a wide range of record producers during the album's recording sessions, those including Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, DJ Premier, Don Cannon, Hit-Boy, Maestro, StreetRunner, The Futuristics as well as Bangladesh, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre, Drumma Boy, Hi-Tek, Jim Jonsin, Jeff Bhasker, Just Blaze, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, J. R. Rotem, Kanye West, Lex Luger, Nottz, No I.D., Polow da Don, Ryan Leslie, RZA, Scoop DeVille, Scott Storch, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, will.i.am and many others that did not make the final cut.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 98,000 in its first week, a major fall from his previous three released album sales. It has produced two singles, the controversial and less successful "Red Nation" and "Pot of Gold", which attained some Billboard and worldwide chart success. Upon its release, The R.E.D. Album received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics, who commended his passionate performance on the album and ear for production.

Background and development[edit]

"The R.E.D. Album, people think the R.E.D. stands for gangbanging. I am what I am. [...] R.E.D. — that's rededicated. Rededicated to hip-hop [...] to my 'hood, Compton. Rededicated to my family, rededicated to everything."[3]

—Game talking about rededication to hip-hop

After the release of his third album, LAX in 2008, Game stated that he planned to retire from music to spend more time with his family and focus on what was more important to him at the time.[4][5] However later, he stated that Interscope Records didn't want him to retire, and that the label wanted him to come back and release another album in early February 2009.[6] Game commented that the statement given was so far off his radar and that it was ridiculous. He later stated "Now, if you give me like five, ten million dollars or something to do it[...]I'm the biggest thing in that building now, with the recent demise of G-Unit, and that's just it, man."[7]

However, in early May 2009, it was revealed that Game had begun working on a new album titled D.O.C. or Diary of Compton, if he could get help from the original N.W.A members, those including Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren.[3][8][9] Later in late November 2009, HipHopDX interviewed Game about the album's current status, he commented that the album had been shelved, because he needed the help and focus from Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, stating that the key elements were not there when he started the project. In the same interview, Game revealed he partly chose to give the album its title because his fans simply gave the early material he recorded for the album, "R.E.D". He later stated that he would rededicate himself to Hip hop music and make a comeback, after stating that he would retire after the release of his third album, LAX.[10] In a later interview with MTV, he explained the title's meaning: "R.E.D." stood for "RE-Dedication", not his affiliation with the notorious Los Angeles, California street gang, the Bloods, as previously thought. Game, Pharrell Williams, and Mars of 1500 Or Nothin' serve as executive producers of the album. Guests on the album are Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Tyler, the Creator, Beanie Sigel, E-40, Chris Brown, Big Boi, Wale, Nelly Furtado, Drake, Rick Ross, & Young Jeezy. Productions of the album was handled by Hit-Boy, Cool & Dre, StreetRunner, Maestro, DJ Khalil, Boi-1da, DJ Premier, The Neptunes, Don Cannon, The Futuristics & 1500 Or Nothin'.[3]

Recording and production[edit]

Recording sessions for the album took place at Ameraycan Recording Studios, at Pacifique Recording Studios both located in North Hollywood, California, at Encore Recording Studios in Burbank, California and at Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.[11] Recording sessions for the album began on May 13, 2009, and it was revealed that Game began recording with Timbaland and Drumma Boy in Los Angeles, California.[3] Game also revealed to MTV that he had been working with record producers J. R. Rotem, Mike Lynn and Cool & Dre, and hoped to receive production from Kanye West.[3] In an interview with XXL, Boi-1da stated that he had given beats to Game for the album.[12]

Later, in another interview with XXL, Game confirmed that the album's guests would include fellow rappers Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams, Gucci Mane and Kanye West, and also stating that he desired to work with pop singer Lady Gaga, stating that he was trying to get Interscope Records executive Jimmy Iovine to allow this collaboration to come to fruition.[13] On October 3, 2009, Snoop Dogg posted a picture on the social networking website Twitter of himself, Dr. Dre and Game in the studio working together. The picture was taken a day earlier, and it marked the first time Game had worked with Dr. Dre for some years since the beef with former fellow G-Unit labelmate 50 Cent caused him to lose his record deal at Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records, and release his two following albums on Geffen Records. Later, in early January 2010, Game posted a picture of himself wearing several chains, all with the Aftermath Entertainment logo attached to them, with the caption reading "It's funny how things come Full Circle" to his own Twitter page, suggesting that he had returned to the record label: this was later officially confirmed.[14]

Game later revealed that Dr. Dre and Pharrell Williams would be executive producing the album.[15] However, later Game stated that he was now "unclear" if Dr. Dre would be producing on the album at all. Also, in early January 2010, Game revealed to Billboard that DJ Khalil had contributed production for the album.[16] He revealed to Rap-Up that R&B singer Chris Brown and Dr. Dre would be featured on the album.[17] R&B singer Akon had also been confirmed to be featured on a track titled "Would I Be Wrong?" with production from Polow da Don.[18] Game later confirmed a collaboration with pop singer Justin Timberlake saying that "I never thought in my life that I would ever work with Justin, and then for it to turn out and be as catastrophic as it was amazing."[19][20] He also confirmed that he enlisted upcoming female rapper Nicki Minaj for a feature.[20] Game recorded a song with both rappers Jim Jones and Jadakiss titled "Gangs in New York" which highlighted production from new and upcoming record producer Scoop DeVille.[17]

Game later revealed that he collaborated with rapper Rick Ross, R&B singers Robin Thicke, Ashanti,[21] and rappers Bow Wow,[22] Beanie Sigel and upcoming rapper Jay Electronica.[16] Game revealed that rapper and record producer RZA had also contributed production for the album.[23] Game also stated that Belizean rapper Shyne would be a guest on the album as well.[24] On June 11, 2010, Game leaked a song on his Twitter account titled "We Do It Big". It featured southern rapper Yung Joc and it samples the classic hit "Juicy" by deceased rapper The Notorious B.I.G.. He also spoke in an interview on 95.7 The Beat's live chat in which he stated that rapper Nas would not make the album this time. Game also gave his thoughts on upcoming rapper Drake and Will Smith. In addition to this Game confirmed Nelly Furtado, T.I. and Snoop Dogg would be featured on the album, with production coming from Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, Kanye West, and Timbaland.[25] During his promotional tour of America, Game spoke to Jenny Boom Boom on Hot 97.3 and stated that the album's repeated delays have meant he been able to work with DJ Toomp, and was also hoping to record with DJ Premier, before the album's release.

Game confirmed that fellow West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg would appear twice on the album, as well as rapper Lupe Fiasco guest featuring on the album. He also stated "pending we get the song cleared", Jay Electronica and Nas would be featured on the album forsure.[26] On June 23, 2010, Game recorded a track from the album titled "Good Girl, Bad Girl" at Encore Studios in Burbank, California,[27] the track featured Canadian rapper Drake and production from Cool & Dre, also Queen Latifah was in the recordings at the studio but didn't collaborate.[28] Game later revealed that Dr. Dre wouldn't just produce on the album he would be on there vocally.[29][30] In August 2010 producer Bangladesh, stated that he had been sending Game tracks for the album. Later in August 2010 producer Drumma Boy, stated that he had produced a song for the album that also featured Young Buck, and was hoping to get Nipsey Hussle on the track as well.[31] Black Wall Street artist, Mysonne, also confirmed that he had worked on the album with Game.[32]

On December 7, 2010, it was confirmed that rapper B.o.B was working on the album with Game.[33] Game later confirmed that he had recording sessions with production team 1500 or Nothin', and later officially confirmed that Kanye West and DJ Premier had contributed production for the album. He also stated that he had recording sessions with several other record producers, including Jim Jonsin, No I.D., Jeff Bhasker, Swizz Beatz, will.i.am, Just Blaze, The Futuristics, DJ Quik, Nottz, Hi-Tek, Maestro, Ryan Leslie, Dessy Des, TreBeatz, StreetRunner, Don Cannon, Scott Storch, Hit-Boy, Phonix Beats, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Tha Bizness and Lex Luger. Later revealing that Tyga, Red Cafe, K-Young, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Jazmine Sullivan, Wu-Tang Clan, Common, Young Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi and AZ were all confirmed to be working on the album as well.[34][35][36][37]

On January 18, 2011 Game tweeted along with a picture that he was working on a song with actor, R&B singer Tyrese Gibson. Later on January 30, 2011 in an interview with AllHipHop, Game confirmed that rapper E-40 and R&B singer Trey Songz would be featured on the album.[38] On June 2, 2011, in an interview with Vibe, Game revealed that the album would feature upcoming rapper Tyler, The Creator on a track called "Martians vs. Goblins". He also revealed that the album featured a Dr. Dre produced song titled "Dead People" about his father, and described it as a "sort of like a dream, but I wish it would’ve came true when I was a kid, so I kind of lived it out."[39] On June 11, 2011 Game confirmed that rapper Kendrick Lamar would be featured on the album as well.[40]

Later, Game spoke about a reflective song he recorded with singer Nelly Furtado titled "Mother Knows", produced by The Neptunes, describing it as a "walk through a time period in my life when I was young and my mom was trying to instill all these values in me and I was just a rebel and going against everything she said". He also compared Nelly Furtado's vocals on the hook to Janet Jackson, saying "nobody can really sing in that cadence."[41][42] On June 13, 2011 Game revealed he did a song with rapper Lupe Fiasco titled "Skate On".[43] Later on June 16, 2011 in another interview with Rap-Up, Game expressed interest in collaborating with rapper J. Cole.[44]

On June 23, 2011 it was confirmed that R&B singer Usher would be featured on the album.[45] On July 5, 2011 it was confirmed that Mars of production duo 1500 or Nothin' would be also executive producing on the album.[46][47] On July 9, 2011 rapper Wale himself confirmed that he would be featured on the album.[48][49] Later on August 4, 2011 after almost three years of spending time on recording for the album it was confirmed that Game finally finished recording for the entire album.[50] Guests on the album are Dr. Dre, Tyler, the Creator, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Beanie Sigel, E-40, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Wale, Big Boi, Mario, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, and Nelly Furtado. It was also confirmed by Game that Dr. Dre would narrate the entire album.[50]

Release and promotion[edit]

"There’s a lot more that goes into it than just putting a burn in the CD, throwing it in the package, and putting it in Best Buy,” he explained. “I’ve been touring, I had a daughter, the label politics, the timing, other people having to drop, picking the right single[...] There’s a lot of things that go into a major distributed album and the timing hasn’t been right yet."[51]

—Game talking about the delays on The R.E.D. Album

The album reportedly suffered numerous delays since 2009, and it was also confirmed that it was rescheduled with a remarkable total of 10 times.[52] The first date for the album to be released was on December 1, 2009, but was pushed back to December 8, 2009. However, that date would also be later pushed back to December 15, 2009, and it was pushed back once more to February 16, 2010, reportedly due to Dr. Dre needing more time to finish production for the album.[53] The next confirmed date for the album to be released was June 15, 2010 but was changed to June 29, 2010.

The next release date given for the album was listed as July 6, 2010 but this time Game delayed the release date himself, because he wanted to release the album on August 24, 2010 in order to dedicate it to Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. He stated that he chose August 24 cause he got caught up in the 2010 NBA Finals frenzy and was inspired by his home team hero Kobe Bryant, but later that date would be pushed back as well.[54]

After almost two years of delays, on May 5, 2011 it was officially confirmed by Game and Interscope Records executive Jimmy Iovine that the album would be officially released in late August 2011, and that it would not be pushed back any further.[55] Later, on May 17, 2011, Game announced via Twitter that he had just finished a conference call with Jimmy Iovine and Interscope Records, then he went on and officially confirmed that the album would be officially released on August 23, 2011.[1][2][56] Unlike in the past, Game promised that the new date given would be permanent.[2][57]

Before the album's official release, Game admitted and told Billboard that he delayed the release of the album to cause maximum disruption to his hip-hop rivals, stating that he wanted to drop the album right in the middle of Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaboration Watch the Throne and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV, saying that it was his ingenious plan.[58]

Mixtapes[edit]

In 2010 and 2011, Game released several free-to-download mixtapes, partly in order to act as promotion for the album. The first of these mixtapes, The Red Room, was released on April 26, 2010. The mixtape was originally intended to be hosted by DJ Drama as a "Gangsta Grillz" project: however, he cancelled his participation in the project after hearing several of the disses aimed at him in the freestyle track "400 Bars", and was replaced by long-time Game collaborator DJ Skee.[59]

The aforementioned "400 Bars", a 20-minute long freestyle over four-hundred consecutive bars of music (over the production of the Jay Electronica song "Exhibit C") was later only included on the mixtape in a remixed form, titled "The Skeemix". Game admitted it was the hardest freestyle he had ever had to record, having previously recorded "300 Bars" and "360 Bars" for previous mixtapes.[60] Guests on the mixtape include Nipsey Hussle, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Kanary Diamonds, Busta Rhymes, Bizzy Bone, Hurricane Chris, Fabolous, and several members of Game's own record label, The Black Wall Street Records, including XO, K-Young, Menace, Maad Maxx and Juice.[61]

Later that year, on August 3, 2010, Game released the mixtape Brake Lights, available to download through XXL, again hosted by DJ Skee.[62] The mixtape's guests include Snoop Dogg, Nas, T.I., Akon, Rick Ross, Waka Flocka Flame, Busta Rhymes, Robin Thicke and Shawty Lo, and production is handled by several producers, including DJ Toomp, J. R. Rotem and Rich Skillz, among others.[63] In a later interview with XXL, Game revealed that Brake Lights was designed to be an appetiser to The R.E.D. Album, released mainly to keep up anticipation for the album until its completion.[64][65]

On January 24, 2011, Game released the double disc mixtape Purp & Patron, again hosted by DJ Skee, but this time also by Funkmaster Flex.[66] Guests on the mixtape include Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Detail, Tools, Sam Hook, Menace, TD, Mistah F.A.B., The Jacka, Wiz Khalifa, Fabolous, Rev. Burke, Mysonne, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Ashanti, Kurupt, Lil Boosie, Jim Jones, Clinton Sparks, Mike Epps, Ashley Cole, Swizz Beatz, Travis Barker, Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One and Dre, and the mixtape's production was handled by several record producers, including Dr. Dre, Ervin 'EP' Pope, The Neptunes, Bink, DJ Shake, Nottz, 1500 or Nothin', Che Vicious, D.A. Dorman, Cool & Dre, RZA, Stargate, Mike City, Raw Uncut, Denaun Porter, DJ Haze, DJ Green Lantern, and Travis Barker, among others.[67]

Upon its release, the mixtape was an internet download success, and received generally positive reviews from music critics.[68] A week after the mixtape's initial release, a sequel was released, titled Purp & Patron: The Hangover, a 10 track mixtape of leftover songs that were not included on the original Purp & Patron.[69] The mixtape's guests include Birdman, Mars of 1500 or Nothin', Timbaland, Kurupt, JoiStaRR, David Banner, Ghostface Killah, Joell Ortiz, Young Chris, Eve, Black Thought, Money Malc, Fat Joe, Fred the Godson, Diggy Simmons, Jermaine Dupri, and Busta Rhymes, and the mixtape's production is handled by several record producers, including 1500 or Nothin', Timbaland, Amadeus and Sean C & LV.[70][71]

Game and Mars of production duo 1500 or Nothin released one final mixtape in the run-up to the album's release, titled HoodMorning [No Typo]: Candy Coronas, on August 1, 2011.[72][73] The mixtape's guests include Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Gucci Mane, B.o.B, Wiz Khalifa, Sam Cooke, Redman, Joi StaRR, Paypa, Trey Songz, and Yelawolf, and the mixtape's production is handled by several record producers, including Mars, DJ Khalil, Lifted, Che Vicious, Boi-1da, Terrace Martin, Gun Roulet, Point Guard, Rance, Cool & Dre, and Jim Jonsin.[74]

Tour[edit]

On October 2011, Game announced upcoming tour dates for performances to promote his new album. Game assembled a coast-to-coast US trek which started from October 20 and ended November 17.[75] Just three days after the US tour Game went on the Red Album European Tour 2011.[76] The tour Begin on November 20, 2011 and concluding December 22, 2011 stops included Dublin, Glasgow, Paris, Stuttgart, Milan, Zürich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and more. Due to its success, Game extended the euro tour in February 2012 to include more dates in Australia and New Zealand.[77]

Singles[edit]

"Red Nation" was announced as the album's first official single on March 2, 2011. The song features production from Cool & Dre,[78][79] and Sean "Diddy" Combs announced via his Twitter page that the single would feature fellow American rapper Lil Wayne.[80] Anticipated by fans to be officially released, the single was officially released to the iTunes Store on April 12, 2011,[81] but it did not achieve commercial success worldwide nor in the United States, only peaking at number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. In spite of reaching chart success, the music video for the single came under some controversy, being banned from airing on cable networks MTV and BET due to being deemed inappropriate and being a portrayal of gang culture, causing a controversy due to Game's alleged affiliation with the notorious Los Angeles, California gang the Bloods.[82] However, Game refused to let the snub derail his plans for promotion, so he still vowed to release the video online so fans can form their own opinions about the controversy for themselves. After the music video quickly received over 3 million views on YouTube, there were rumors that BET and MTV were reconsidering airing the banned "Red Nation" video.[83][84]

On June 22, 2011 it was confirmed that the album's second official single would be titled "Pot of Gold" and it would feature R&B singer Chris Brown with production from The Futuristics, the single was officially released to the iTunes Store on June 28, 2011.[85][86] The song debuted at number seventy-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the United States for the week ending July 30, 2011,[87] and has since peaked at number fifty-five.[88] Unlike the album's first single "Red Nation", Pot of Gold managed to attain some Billboard and worldwide chart success, in Belgium the song charted at number 29 on the Belgium (Ultratip Flanders), in Switzerland the song charted at number 72 on the Swiss Singles Chart, and in the United Kingdom the song charted at number 16 on the UK R&B Singles Chart and at number 58 on the UK Singles Chart. While shooting for the single's music video an incident occurred with record producer and one half of the production duo 1500 or Nothin' Mars was held up at gunpoint and got robbed of $12,000 in cash and jewelry by two armed robbers.[89] The music video for the single was officially released on July 25, 2011.[90]

Promotional singles[edit]

The first promotional single was "Krazy", which was released on November 10, 2009 to the iTunes Store,[91] followed by "Big Money" released on December 15, 2009 to the iTunes Store,[92] "It Must Be Me" released on April 14, 2010 to the radio, then officially being released on April 27, 2010 to the iTunes Store and on February 3, 2010,[93] Game released another promo single entitled "Shake" but it wasn't released to the iTunes Store.[94] Music videos have been shot for "Shake" and "It Must Be Me". MTV premiered the video for "Shake" on April 27, 2010.[95] The video for the street single "It Must Be Me" was set to be premiered live on 106 & Park on June 4, 2010 but it never premiered.[96]

The first official single was supposed to be "Ain't No Doubt About It", which features Justin Timberlake & Pharrell Williams.[97] Later, in an interview with Complex, it was revealed that "Krazy", "Big Money," and "It Must Be Me", were all promotional singles for iTunes and digital download, indicating that none of them would actually make the album.[98] He did however confirm in that same interview, that "Ain't No Doubt About It," wasn't supposed to be the first main single as it was a leak, the single was released on May 18, 2010 to the iTunes Store[99] A video for the single "Ain't No Doubt About It" had also been shot but was never released till on July 2, 2011.[100]

As these songs all failed to chart, Game decided to have them all removed from the album and chose instead to release them on various mixtapes, including The Red Room and the Brake Lights mixtapes.[101] Although confirmed to the album's second official single "Bottles & Rockin' J's" which is produced by Lex Luger, and features DJ Khaled, Fabolous, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes and Rick Ross,[41] it was later confirmed to be the album's sixth street single.[102][103] It would later be included in the deluxe edition of Khaled's fifth album We the Best Forever and on Game's 2012 mixtape California Republic.

Commercial performance[edit]

The R.E.D. Album was one of the most anticipated albums of 2011.[104][105][106][107][108] The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 98,000 copies in the United States, a major fall from his previous three released album sales.[109][110] It serves as Game's 3rd number-one album in the US,[109] following 2005's The Documentary and 2006's Doctor's Advocate, his last album, LAX, debuted at No. 2 in 2008 with 239,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan.[111] It also reached number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts.[109] In its second week on the Billboard 200, the album fell to number 8 with only 39,000 copies sold.[112] In Canada, it entered at number 2 on the Canadian Albums Chart, with first-week sales of 10,000 copies.[113] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 14 on the UK Albums Chart, with first-week sales of 10,148 copies.[114] In Austria, the album debuted at number 39 on the Austrian Albums Chart,[115] and in Australia, the album debuted at number 12 on the Australian Albums Chart.[116] In Belgian, the album debuted at number 75 on the Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) and peaked at number 32,[117] and in the Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia) the album debuted at number 36.[118] In Denmark, the album debuted at number 17 on the Danish Albums Chart,[119] in the Netherlands, the album debuted at number 45 on the Dutch Albums Chart,[120] in the France, the album debuted at number 30 on the French Albums Chart,[121] in the Republic of Ireland, the album debuted at number 7 on the Irish Albums Chart,[122] in New Zealand, the album debuted at number 19 on the New Zealand Albums Chart,[123] in Norway, the album debuted at number 28 on the Norwegian Albums Chart and peaked at number 27,[124] and in Switzerland, the album debuted at number 7 on the Swiss Albums Chart.[125]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[126]
The A.V. Club (C)[127]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[128]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[129]
Pitchfork Media (4.8/10)[130]
PopMatters (5/10)[131]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[132]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[133]
USA Today 3/4 stars[134]
The Village Voice (mixed)[135]
XXL (L)[135]

The R.E.D. Album received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, based on 16 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews."[136] Allmusic editor David Jeffries viewed it as if "you’ve got an obsession-free, almost relatable success that sacrifices none of the man’s fire or skill." [...] and perceived that "Game doesn’t need strife in his life to create an excellent album, but for the sake of a thrilling cut, he’ll still seek it out."[126] BBC Music stated that, "Overall, The R.E.D. Album stands as a solid return for its maker, as long-time listeners will connect with his no-frills lyrics and unsettling artistic demeanour."[137] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club commented that "Throughout The R.E.D. Album, he runs himself ragged trying to realize the masterpiece he pictures in his head, but he just doesn’t have the coordination to pull it off."[127] Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe wrote that, "The Game shows a willingness to reinvent himself with some beats that are as penetrating and resourceful as his engaging rhymes filled with sports and pop-culture references."[128] Slant Magazine's Jesse Cataldo felt that "The profusion of guests and mania for exhibiting street hardness sometimes makes The R.E.D. Album feel unfocused and exhausting."[133] Edna Gundersen of USA Today praised the rapper's "chemistry" and wrote that "Game invigorates West Coast rap with grit, ferocity, vivid rhymes, crushing beats and even a hilarious and vicious sci-fi romp."[134]

Writer David Malitz of The Washington Post felt that the album "is overstuffed with high-wattage cameos." [...] adding that "Game surrounds himself with these stars, regularly gets out-rapped by them and proceeds to thrust his chest out and proclaim his superiority."[138] Los Angeles Times writer Mikael Wood commented that "In stark contrast with such charm merchants as Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, Game’s low likability is no impediment to his art; indeed, The R.E.D. Album, his fourth studio set, succeeds not in spite of his character [...] flaws but because of them."[129] Carl Chery of XXL gave the album a rating of "L" and noted "Game’s flows and lyrical skills are still sharp, but his narrative hasn’t changed much through the course of four albums".[139] Despite that "one shouldn’t be surprised," David Amidon of PopMatters wrote "A lot of what initially made Game an intriguing artist is missing from this release, replaced instead by fleeting moments of great music and extended periods of mediocrity or whackness." [...] and added that "neither should one be surprised at the schizophrenic nature that pervades much of the album."[131] Pitchfork Media's Jordan Sargent commented that the albums "unsightly storm of star power is the backbone [...] of what could've been a coherent album."[130] Arwa Haider of Metro viewed it as a "cinematic drama of the rapper's Westside life experience, which could easily have become schmaltzy but is fuelled by his rugged wordplay and guests on sharp form."[140]

Monica Herrera of Rolling Stone stated that "the Compton MC doesn't seem to have given his long-delayed fourth album top priority." [...] however commented "It's proof that, just when you least expect it, he can still rage compellingly."[132] Jayson Greene of The Village Voice gave a mixed review, writing "when there is a firm hand reining him in, Game can still make good rap music. Left to his own devices, however, he produces a dismaying mess."[135] Chase McMullen of One Thirty BPM expressed a mixed response towards the album, stating "With this mixed bag he's likely cemented his reputation as a MC that was blessed with a sack of classic beats for his debut, now just a rapper like the rest of 'em."[141] Chad Grischow of IGN wrote "Fortunately, Game is on point most of the time here, delivering an excellent piece of hardened west coast rap leaving you wanting the two albums he promises before quitting rap as soon as possible."[142] Anupa Mistry of Now felt that "The features wouldn’t be so bad if Game didn’t yield to the wattage and personalities of his co-stars. (Again, he can rap when he tries.) Used as a constant crutch, however, they quell his ferocity."[143]

Game was critical about his album and says: "If I had a choice, I would say fuck L.A.X. and R.E.D. because I was kind of lost in trying to re-find the love for hip-hop[...]". He also doesn't feel the album was perfect by his standards compared to his previous album.[144]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Dr. Dre Intro" (Skit) performed by Dr. Dre) J. Taylor   0:26
2. "The City" (featuring Kendrick Lamar) J. Taylor, A. Lyon, M. Valenzano, K. Lamar, J. Steinman Cool & Dre 5:41
3. "Drug Test" (featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg & Sly) J. Taylor, A. Young, C. Broadus, K. Abdul-Rahman, D. Tannenbaum, S. Jordan, S. Benton, K. Lamar, J. Cole, E. Hayes, B. Honeycutt DJ Khalil 2:46
4. "Martians vs. Goblins" (featuring Lil Wayne & Tyler, The Creator) J. Taylor, D. Carter, T. Okonma, L. Dopson, B. Brown, L. Edwards 1500 or Nothin' 3:48
5. "Red Nation" (featuring Lil Wayne) J. Taylor, D. Carter, A. Lyon, M. Valenzano, E. Guenther, F. Senfter Cool & Dre 3:49
6. "Dr. Dre 1" (Skit) performed by Dr. Dre) J. Taylor   0:25
7. "Good Girls Go Bad" (featuring Drake) J. Taylor, A. Lyon, M. Valenzano, A. Graham, J. B. Corbitt, C. Reid Cool & Dre 4:38
8. "Ricky"   J. Taylor, K. Abdul-Rahman, D. Tannenbaum, C. Smith DJ Khalil 4:07
9. "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly"   J. Taylor, C. Hollis Hit-Boy 2:28
10. "Heavy Artillery" (featuring Rick Ross & Beanie Sigel) J. Taylor, D. Grant, W. Roberts, N. Warwar, M. Anello, B. Sigler, P. Hurtt, K. Gamble StreetRunner, I.L.O. (add.) 4:14
11. "Paramedics" (featuring Young Jeezy) J. Taylor, J. Jenkins, V. Brooks Maestro 4:56
12. "Speakers on Blast" (featuring Big Boi & E-40) J. Taylor, A. Patton, E. Stevens, L. Edwards Mars 5:11
13. "Hello" (featuring Lloyd) J. Taylor, L. Polite, L. Edwards, S. Jean Brody, Larrance Dopson, Mars 3:49
14. "All the Way Gone" (featuring Mario & Wale) J. Taylor, D. Cannon, L. Edwards, M. Barrett, O. Akintimehin Don Cannon, Mars 4:07
15. "Pot of Gold" (featuring Chris Brown) J. Taylor, C. Brown, S. Jean, R. Miller, A. Gardner, B. Rosenworcel The Futuristics 3:21
16. "Dr. Dre 2" (Skit) performed by Dr. Dre) J. Taylor   0:24
17. "All I Know"   J. Taylor, L. Breeze, M. Samuels, A. Ortiz, C. Green Boi-1da, Pebrocks (co.), Big Kast (co.) 4:03
18. "Born in the Trap"   J. Taylor, C. Martin, V. McCoy DJ Premier 3:46
19. "Mama Knows" (featuring Nelly Furtado) J. Taylor, P. Williams The Neptunes[41] 3:52
20. "California Dream"   J. Taylor, L. Edwards, G. Kerr, S. Robinson Mars 6:12
21. "Dr. Dre Outro" (Skit) performed by Dr. Dre) J. Taylor   0:30

 • (co.) Co-producer
 • (add.) Additional production

Sample credits[edit]

Information taken from The R.E.D. Album's liner notes.

  • "The City" contains a sample of "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" by Fire Inc.
  • "Red Nation" contains a sample of "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation.
  • "Good Girls Go Bad" contains a sample of "Don't Make the Good Girls Go Bad" by Della Humphrey.
  • "Ricky" contains a sample of Boyz n the Hood.
  • "Paramedics" contains a sample from the video game Bastion.
  • "Heavy Artillery" contain a sample of "I'm Just a Prisoner" by Billy Paul.
  • "Pot of Gold" contains a sample of "Rocketship" by Guster.
  • "Born in the Trap" contains a sample of "Love Theme" by Van McCoy.
  • "California Dream" contains a sample of "All I Have" by The Moments.

Personnel[edit]

Credits for The R.E.D. Album adapted from Allmusic.[147]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[116] 12
Australian Urban Albums Chart[148] 3
Austrian Albums Chart[115] 39
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[117] 32
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[118] 36
Canadian Albums Chart[113] 2
Danish Albums Chart[119] 17
Dutch Albums Chart[120] 45
French Albums Chart[121] 30
German Albums Chart[149] 22
Irish Albums Chart[122] 7
New Zealand Albums Chart[123] 19
Norwegian Albums Chart[124] 27
Swiss Albums Chart[125] 7
UK Albums Chart[150] 14
UK R&B Albums Chart[151] 2
US Billboard 200[109] 1
US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[109] 1
US Billboard Rap Albums[109] 1

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing country, record label, format, and catalog number
Region Date Format Label Catalog Edition
France[152] August 19, 2011 CD, digital download Polydor, Universal Music B005GETSTY Standard
Germany[153] CD Interscope, Universal Music B002U1ACBO
United Kingdom[154] August 22, 2011 CD, digital download Polydor
Canada[155] August 23, 2011[156] DGC, Interscope
United States[157]

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