|Studio album by The Game|
|Released||August 26, 2008|
|Genre||West coast hip hop, gangsta rap, hardcore hip hop|
|The Game chronology|
|Singles from LAX|
LAX is the third studio album by American rapper The Game, released August 26, 2008 on Geffen Records. He had originally announced that Dr. Dre would be producing for the album, but neither Dr. Dre nor Aftermath Entertainment had confirmed. Production for the album was contributed by longtime collaborators Cool & Dre, Kanye West, Scott Storch, Nottz, Hi-Tek, J.R. Rotem and JellyRoll, among others. Guests featured on LAX include Chrisette Michele, Common, Ice Cube, Keyshia Cole, Ludacris, Nas, Ne-Yo, Raekwon, Raheem DeVaughn, Travis Barker, Bilal, and Lil Wayne. The album was released with 2 different cases such as one on the deluxe version with Game looking at the camera with his Bandanna in his hand and another with him sitting on a couch smoking a blunt.
LAX debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling over 238,000 copies in its first week, just behind metal band Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone. At first it looked like LAX had debuted ahead of All Hope Is Gone by 13 copies; with such a close difference, Slipknot's labels Warner Music Group and Roadrunner Records asked for a SoundScan recount, a historic first. Nielsen proceeded to the recount, which placed LAX at number two with 238,382 copies, and Slipknot in first position with 239,516 copies scanned, a margin of 1,134 copies.
Initially, Billboard published an article stating that The Game had secured the top spot with a margin of 13 units, in what was described as the "closest race for number one since SoundScan began tracking Data in 1991". After a recount 12 hours later, the article was rewritten and Slipknot was awarded the number one spot, having sold 239,516 units. As of September 2011, the album had sold 968,000 copies. Upon its release, LAX received generally favorable reviews from most music critics, with music critics praising the album's production.
After signing to Interscope Records and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment vanity label (an agreement that only happened after Interscope Records head Jimmy Iovine was debating whether to drop the young upstart or keep him, ultimately convincing Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson to take him under his wing in an effort to guarantee record sales). His debut, The Documentary, sounded entirely different from his follow-up, the Doctor's Advocate, as he gained more experience in the chosen genre.
After two albums driven by his worship of legendary West Coast producer Dr. Dre plus later feuds with fellow rappers like 50 Cent and the G-Unit crew, Game's third official effort was to be his most important release and the strongest argument yet that it just might be time to move on. So on December 31, 2007, Game announced at Nas' New Year's Eve party the title and release date of the album.
Game appeared on 106 & Park on May 16, where he confirmed LAX would be the last studio album he records, as he intends to promote his record label, Black Wall Street. However, in a later interview, The Game said that he may release a fourth album titled "D.O.C." or "Diary of Compton" but only if he can get the production help of Dr. Dre, MC Ren, King Tee, DJ Yella, Ice Cube and DJ Quik. However, he later said that "D.O.C." would not be coming out and that LAX was definitely his last album.
On May 11, 2007, Game was arrested at his home reportedly in connection with an incident at a basketball game in South Los Angeles in February 2007. He is alleged to have threatened a person with a gun. The arrest took place after his home was searched for three hours. Game was released early the next day after posting $50,000 bail. On January 9, 2008, a Los Angeles judge scheduled February 4 as the beginning date for Game's trial on assault and weapons charges. After pleading no contest to a felony weapons charge on February 11, Game was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 150 hours of community service, and three years probation. It was reported near mid-March that The Game had been released from jail. His manager later stated that he had not yet been but was expected to be released in time to promote the album.
He was released after serving eight days, and went back to work with Cool & Dre. Dre (of Cool & Dre), stated The Game was like 'Pac, and that lyrically, he was "[somewhere] else right now". On July 28, 2008, The Game told J Hyphen and J. Moore of Sunday Night Sound Sessions that the album was finished and the official release date was August 26. He said the album was going to be 16 tracks long and he would leak the clean version two weeks before the official release. The Game mentioned that he recorded over 220 tracks for the album. Recording artists reported to have participated in the sessions for LAX at one time or another included at first Nu Jerzey Devil had stated that Lil Wayne would be making a guest appearance. It was later confirmed that Akon, André 3000, Busta Rhymes, Chris Brown, Chrisette Michele, Common, Ice Cube, Keyshia Cole, DMX, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Ne-Yo, Raekwon, Raheem DeVaughn, Fabolous, and Robin Thicke were all to make appearances, however they did not all make the final cut on the album. Although Travis Barker, Bilal, Keyshia Cole, Common, Raheem DeVaughn, DMX, Ice Cube, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Chrisette Michele, Nas, Ne-Yo, Raekwon, and LaToiya Williams are the only guests on the album.
Record producers who participated at the album's recording sessions with The Game included JellyRoll, Nottz, DJ Toomp, J. R. Rotem, Scott Storch, Kanye West, 1500 or Nothin', Travis Barker, DJ Quik, Knobody, Dahoud Darien, Hi-Tek, Ervin "EP" Pope, Cool & Dre, Irv Gotti, Tre Beatz, and Trackmasters. The Game originally had announced that Dr. Dre would be producing for the album, but neither Dr. Dre nor Aftermath Entertainment had confirmed. Nu Jerzey Devil also later confirmed Dr. Dre as a producer. On May 1, 2008 The Game told Power 106 that at the time he had worked with Just Blaze, Kanye West, Cool & Dre, Scott Storch, Timbaland, Knobody, Ervin "E.P." Pope, JellyRoll & Tre Beatz. At a listening party on June 23, 2008 it was mentioned that the Trackmasters were in part of the production of the album.
Release and promotion
The album was pushed back to June 24, which would have had the album in competition with G-Unit's second album, but was later changed to July 8, as Interscope Records moved both albums. On June 8, it was announced that LAX would be pushed back a week later to July 15, the same release date as Nas' Untitled. LAX had then been pushed back another week to July 22, and finally to August 26. On May 1, The Game told Power 106 that "Big Dreams" might not be on the album.
On August 6, 2008 iTunes revealed some information on the album via the iTunes Store. They confirmed the DJ Toomp produced track "House of Pain" would be the fourth single. They had also revealed that the standard edition would have fourteen tracks with one bonus track and the "deluxe edition" would have 18 tracks and one additional bonus track. On August 10, 2008 The Game told Friday Night Flavas that he would be dropping two mixtapes; "Superman", featuring all original tracks, which did not appear on the album, in a week and a half and "You Know What It Is Vol. 5" after the album. He also blamed DJ Haze for the leak of the Just Blaze produced track "Superman".
The first street single was released on March 18, 2008 "Big Dreams" which is produced by Cool & Dre. The Game commented on Power 106 that the song would not be released on any specific album, including the upcoming LAX. However, a modified version of the song, with different lyrics in the third verse, was later included on the bonus disc of the "Deluxe Version" of the album. Dre, from the production duo Cool & Dre commented that "'Big Dreams' is one of the most amazing records that I can honestly say that me and Cool have been a part of". Dre continued by stating "'Big Dreams' is a phenomenal record. It's very inspirational, It's gonna be big in the streets, but it's gonna be big all across the board. I feel like 'Hate It or Love It' was such an inspirational record that a lot of people didn't see coming. And this has the same feel as far as how it makes you feel, but it's gonna inspire the shit outta everybody. It's one of those records — his performance, his delivery, he's lyrically on a level that I can't even compare anyone to. He stepped it up to a notch that's amazing. He definitely has a new passion. And the fucking record is gonna really, really destroy."
The second street single was "House of Pain" and it was released on August 19, 2008. The single is produced by DJ Toomp. The song "Touchdown" also debuted on the Hot 100 without being released as a single, it charted at number 57 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
The first official single "Game's Pain" featuring Keyshia Cole was released on April 29, 2008. It charted moderately in the US but was met with critical acclaim "Game’s Pain, Keyshia Cole sums up in one sentence what Game has been trying to say the whole album; "I just wanna let you know/ I’m paying homage 'cause you’ve paved the way for me." Game underscores the central themes of hip-hop’s history and his deserved place in it, meditating on the struggles he's faced."  The second single was "Dope Boys" featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, the video released was deemed to be too edgy to be aired on TV by BET, but it has been lauded critically as "not only one of the best collaborations on L.A.X. but also one of the best songs of Game’s career." The third single released was "My Life" featuring Lil Wayne, when the song first leaked, many believed The Game was "dissing" Eminem. However, later on his website, Game denied this, and apologized to anyone who might have misunderstood what he had intended to say. It charted well in the US reaching a peak of 21 in Billboard Hot 100 and it peaked at 4 for Hot Rap Tracks. The fourth and final single was released featuring Ne-Yo called "Camera Phone" on January 12, 2009, it was only released in the UK.
On May 21, 2009 Game announced upcoming tour dates for performances in the United Kingdom for the summer of 2009. The West Coast-bred emcee made his first United Kingdom appearance since last December 2008. Game returned to the United Kingdom with three live dates confirmed across the country. Game assembled a coast-to-coast US trek to support his latest effort, LAX. The club/theater outing was scheduled to visit nearly 30 cities, starting with several California performances in mid-February 2009.
The tour Begin on February 18, 2009 and concluding March 29, 2009 stops included Los Angeles, California, Phoenix, Arizona, Sacramento, California, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Denver, Colorado, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dallas, Texas, Houston, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, New Haven, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, Norfolk, Virginia, New York City, New York and more. The following year Game went on the European Club Tour 2010.
The album, which has received favorable reviews from critics, debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, with approximately 239,000 copies sold, just behind metal band Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone. The album charted at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and at number one on the Top Rap Albums chart. At first it looked like LAX had debuted ahead of All Hope Is Gone by 13 copies, with such a close difference, Slipknot's labels Warner Music Group and Roadrunner Records asked for a SoundScan recount, a historic first. Nielsen proceeded to the recount, which made no changes, and Slipknot in 2nd position with 239,516 copies scanned. Initially, Billboard published an article stating that The Game had secured the top spot with a margin of 13 units, in what was described as the "closest race for number one since SoundScan began tracking Data in 1991". having sold 239,516 units. As of February 2009, the album had sold 660,100 copies in the US. By 2011 LAX had sold 968, 000 copies.
LAX attained respectable international charting. In Australia the album entered the Australian Albums Chart at number 12, in Austria the album entered the Austrian Albums Chart at number 29, in Belgium the album entered the Belgian Albums Chart at number 22, in Canada the album entered the Canadian Albums Chart at number 2, in Denmark the album entered the Danish Album Chart at number 18, in the Netherlands the album entered the Dutch Albums Chart at number 21, in Europe the album entered the European Top 100 Albums Chart at number 14, in France the album entered the French Albums Chart at number 19, in Germany the album entered the German Albums Chart at number 33, in the Republic of Ireland the album entered the Irish Albums Chart at number 8, in Italy the album entered the Italian Albums Chart at number 2, in New Zealand the album entered the New Zealand Albums Chart at number 11, in Norway the album entered the Norwegian Albums Chart at number 18, in Sweden the album entered the Swedish Albums at number 3, in Switzerland the album entered the Swiss Albums Chart at number 8, and in the United Kingdom the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 9, and at number 1 on the UK R&B Chart.
|The Boston Globe||mixed|
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The New York Times||mixed|
|The Village Voice||mixed|
Upon its release, LAX received mostly favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 65, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews". About.com praised songs like Let Us Live as "Game puts on his best Nas impersonation as he flows off the beat with intricate and polysyllabic rhymes." Allmusic writer David Jeffries noted "the cuts that truly matter on LAX aren't the ones where the rapper's hardcore, unswayable definition of loyalty comes into play but the ones that go outside the usual topics and explore both the profound (the African-American struggle) and, more surprisingly, the profane (rump shaking)" and that "this scattershot album is easy to recommend despite its flaws." USA Today gave the album a perfect score saying "throughout, The Game flays rivals and trumpets his own skills and success. He attacks the beats — provided by the likes of J.R. Rotem, Kanye West, Cool & Dre, Scott Storch, Hi-Tek and DJ Toomp — with lyrical ferocity." The A.V. Club noted "Only three major-label albums into his career, The Game has already appropriated the angst of rap's most beloved icons" and praised the album's production while stating "The Game has always borrowed from the greats. Here, he cannibalizes his own tired shtick so extensively, he lapses even further into self-parody."
The New York Times, which previously said Doctor's Advocate was the best hip-hop album of 2006, gave a mixed review saying that "Worse, the Game, never a fluid rapper, sounds positively lumpy, as if he were delivering verses while running up a steep flight of stairs, or as if the last few years of pugnacity have finally left him winded." Entertainment Weekly noted "As on his first two efforts, he spends L.A.X. barking gleefully ignorant gangsta fantasies over hard-knocking drums. And while the 19-track disc could use a good trimming, The Game's routine is just as entertaining the third time around." The Guardian's Angus Batey stated "LAX is an intense and remarkably focused record - almost every syllable concerns Compton, gangsta rap and (as one song title has it)." Pitchfork Media stated that "Relatively, he's won Round 3 by making his third straight album that's better than it has any right to be-- but the fact that the Game can make perfectly uncompelling competence sound like victory is proof that he's a master thespian of hip-hop theater." Jordan Sargent of PopMatters complimented The Game stating that "On LAX, Game hasn’t changed, but he’s picked a group of beats that get him closer to extricating himself from both his West Coast Messiah complex and the post-G-Unit narrative. And while Game has yet to carve out his own identity as a rap artist, LAX shows that, on his third album, he might be on the right track."
The Village Voice commented that "Taylor's best assets remain his compellingly ruined wheeze of a voice, relentless delivery, and uncanny ear for beats" and that "Somehow, the Game is still coasting on wispy, West Coast–nostalgia fumes—chronic, red rags, lolos, etc.—but the goodwill, at this point, has pretty much exhausted itself." Sputnikmusic's Tyler Munro noted it as a "Solid hip-hop, but excessive to a fault. Too many guests, too many shifts in style and theme." Slant Magazine's Wilson McBee viewed it as The Game's best album Stating "With the Game's third and best album, LAX, which drops without the baggage of a high-profile beef, we learn more about who the rapper really is: a guy who loves hip-hop, from top to bottom, and is as comfortable giving shout-outs to Will Smith and Uncle Luke as he is to Wu-Tang and N.W.A" and "Listening to LAX is like witnessing the creation of a mural of hip-hop's history in which the artist paints himself hiding among the famous faces."
Despite favorable reviews by critics and audiences, 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.
|1.||"Lax (Intro)" (performed by DMX)||Ervin "E.P." Pope||1:20|
|2.||"LAX Files"||J. R. Rotem||3:59|
|3.||"State of Emergency" (featuring Ice Cube)||
||J. R. Rotem||3:38|
|4.||"Bulletproof Diaries" (featuring Raekwon)||
|5.||"My Life" (featuring Lil Wayne)||Cool & Dre||5:20|
||Cool & Dre||5:13|
|7.||"Cali Sunshine" (featuring Bilal)||Nottz||4:33|
|8.||"Ya Heard" (featuring Ludacris)||
|9.||"Hard Liquor (Interlude)"||
||Ervin "EP" Pope||1:50|
|10.||"House of Pain"||
|11.||"Gentleman's Affair" (featuring Ne-Yo)||
||J. R. Rotem||3:39|
|12.||"Let Us Live" (featuring Chrisette Michele)||Scott Storch||4:39|
|13.||"Touchdown" (featuring Raheem DeVaughn)||1500 or Nothin'||3:59|
|14.||"Angel" (featuring Common)||Kanye West||4:28|
|15.||"Never Can Say Goodbye" (featuring Latoya Williams)||Ervin "EP" Pope||4:40|
|16.||"Dope Boys" (featuring Travis Barker of Blink-182)||
|17.||"Game's Pain" (featuring Keyshia Cole)||
|18.||"Letter to the King" (featuring Nas)||Hi-Tek||5:45|
|19.||"Outro" (performed by DMX)||
||Ervin "EP" Pope||1:28|
|iTunes bonus tracks|
|20.||"Ain't Fuckin' With You"||Trackmasters||3:37|
|Deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|1.||"Big Dreams"||Cool & Dre||4:49|
|2.||"Camera Phone" (featuring Ne-Yo)||Cool & Dre||4:29|
|3.||"Nice" (featuring Newz)||Irv Gotti||4:40|
|4.||"Spanglish" (featuring Hyna)||Tre Beatz||4:14|
|UK reissue (2009)|
|1.||"LAX Files"||J. R. Rotem||3:59|
|2.||"State of Emergency" (featuring Ice Cube)||J. R. Rotem||3:38|
|3.||"Bulletproof Diaries" (featuring Raekwon)||Jelly Roll||4:52|
|4.||"My Life" (featuring Lil Wayne)||Cool & Dre||5:20|
|5.||"Money"||Cool & Dre||5:13|
|6.||"Cali Sunshine" (featuring Bilal)||Nottz||4:33|
|7.||"Ya Heard" (featuring Ludacris)||Nottz||4:04|
|8.||"Hard Liquor (Interlude)"||Ervin "EP" Pope||1:50|
|9.||"House of Pain"||DJ Toomp||4:32|
|10.||"Gentleman's Affair" (featuring Ne-Yo)||J. R. Rotem||3:39|
|11.||"Let Us Live" (featuring Chrisette Michele)||Scott Storch||4:39|
|12.||"Touchdown" (featuring Raheem DeVaughn)||1500 or Nothin'||3:59|
|13.||"Angel" (featuring Common)||Kanye West||4:28|
|14.||"Never Can Say Goodbye" (featuring Latoya Williams)||Ervin "EP" Pope||4:40|
|15.||"Dope Boys" (featuring Travis Barker)||1500 or Nothin', DJ Quik (add.)||4:00|
|16.||"Game's Pain" (featuring Keyshia Cole)||Knobody, Dahoud Darien, Ervin "EP" Pope||4:21|
|17.||"Letter to the King" (featuring Nas)||Hi-Tek||5:45|
|18.||"Camera Phone" (featuring Ne-Yo)||Cool & Dre||4:29|
- Sample credits
- "My Life" - Contains a samples of "So Tired" by Birdman featuring Lil Wayne & "Phone Home" by Lil Wayne. It also includes re-sung elements of "My Life" by JJ
- "Money" - Contains a samples of She Works Hard for the Money by Donna Summer
- "Cali Sunshine" - Contains a samples of "California Sunshine" by The Dramatics
- "Ya Heard" - Contains a samples of "Jam on It" by Newcleus
- "House of Pain" - Contains a samples of "Real Niggaz Don't Die" by N.W.A
- "Touchdown" - Contains a samples of "Right on for the Darkness" by Curtis Mayfield
- "Angel" - Contains a samples of "Angel Dust" by Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson
- "Dope Boys" - Contains a samples of Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles
- "Game's Pain" - Contains a samples of C.R.E.A.M. by Wu-Tang Clan
- "Letter to the King" - Contains a samples of "Memoirs of the Traveler" by The Jaggerz
- DMX - Guest Appearance
- Geoff Gibbs - Engineer all tracks
- Omar Burgess (January 4, 2008). Black Wall Street Confirms The Game's Retirement Rumor. HipHopDX. Accessed January 4, 2008.
- Jones, Alan (2008-09-05). "Slipknot claim first US number one, after chart mix up". Music Week. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- "Rumor Mill - Game Won". HITS Daily Double. August 30, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
- The Game says "LAX" will not be his last album. Accessed June 13, 2008.
- The Game Takes Shots at Jay-Z on Phoenix’s 104.7 Kiss FM Accessed August 25, 2008.
- Game Speaks On New Album, Jay-Z Beef. Accessed August 25, 2008.
- "Game Arrested On Threat Charge". MTV News. May 12, 2007. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
- Black widow (January 9, 2008). Trial Date Set for The Game's Assault and Weapons Charge. SixShot. Accessed January 10, 2008.
- The Game Pleads No Contest to Weapons Charge, Sentenced to 60 Days in Jail. XXL (February 12, 2008). Accessed March 1, 2008.
- (March 11, 2008) Not so fast, The Game's still in jail Accessed March 13, 2008.
- Game Headed to the Studio After Leaving Jail. MTV. Accessed March 20, 2008.
- Tim "Styles" Sanchez (January 18, 2008). Nu Jerzey Devil: Heaven Sent. XXL. Accessed January 19, 2008.
- SOHH Exclusive: The Game Follows 50 Cent's Lead W/ New Site, Plans Retirement | Daily Hip-Hop News|SOHH.com /
- THE GAME INTERVIEW WITH Incognito ‘Da Yungsta’
- Preview: The Game's New Album : VIBE.com
- Jokesta (July 9, 2007). Game Preps Final Album, Collabs With Nas & Akon. Def Sounds. Accessed July 26, 2007.
- Features : The Game: The AllHipHop Interview Part 1
- Shaheem Reid and Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes. Mixtape Monday: Game Gets A Special Delivery From Dr. Dre; Prodigy Takes A Tip From 50 Cent. MTV News. Accessed February 24, 2008.
- on YouTube
- Slav Kandyba (June 24, 2008). LAX Pushed Back To August 26, Game Previews Album. HipHopDX. Accessed June 24, 2008
- Thomas A. Harden (April 20, 2008). SOHH Exclusive: The Game Vs. G-Unit, Rappers Prepare For A SoundScan Showdown. SOHH.com. Accessed April 20, 2008. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "sohh.com" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- [dead link]
- LAX Pushed Back To August 26, Game Previews Album | Hip Hop News > HipHopDX.com
- on YouTube. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- Game is like 'Pac.
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- "LAX - Game". AllMusic. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
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- The Game Clears Up Eminem “Diss”
- Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - The Game
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- Staff (2009-02-02). "The Game Heads Out On Tour". Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Taydoe TV (2010-11-04). "Game European Red Club Tour Episode 1". Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "The Game Embarks On National Tour". Xxlmag.Com. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- "Comments on: Poppin Or Floppin: Jahiem's Zoot Suit". Realtalkny.uproxx.com. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
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- "This Game isn't worth playing to the end". The Boston Globe. August 26, 2008.
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- Sanneh, Kelefa (November 9, 2006). "Repentant Yet Defiant, a Rapper at His Best". The New York Times.
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