The Game - LAX

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LAX, simply put, is a good album. However, it's just not the type of album to end a career on, as he has suggested on several occasions.

Over the course of his career, The Game [click to read] has dared fans and foes to convince him that he's something less than a superstar. Whether it be his emergence as a part of G-Unit [click to read], his numerous rifts with everyone from 50 Cent to Ras Kass [click to read] or his run ins with the law, Game has made sure his name has been on the tip of everyone's tongue. His debut album rocked Hip Hop's foundation and his sophomore album held its own amidst turbulent circumstances that surrounded his career (separation from G-Unit, Dr. Dre, etc). As he approaches his third album, Game doesn't have expectations of a debut album to go up against. Nor does he stare in the face of a sophomore slump. LAX is Game getting an opportunity to be Game - minus controversy or any other outside force pulling at him.

After DMX lends a prayer to open the album, Ice Cube [click to read] shows up to raise the curtain on "State of Emergency." It give the impression that Cube is present to perform the proverbial passing of the torch to his younger west coast brethren. But although Game arguably represents the finest the left coast has to offer, the crowning is just a bit premature - even on Game's third album.

Game is no slouch on the mic and stands tall more often than not on LAX. As long as there is a subject for Game to focus on, he's firing on all cylinders. When Game flexes lyrical muscle behind sinister production on "Dope Boys" all is superb. With former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker providing some extra percussion, the energy between Game and the production illuminates even the most overcast mood.