While fans wait for The R.E.D. Album to drop, it’s clear that Game hasn’t just been sitting on his ass, twiddling his thumbs. Rather, Compton’s name-droppingest emcee has teamed with DJ Skee to release Hoodmorning, in hopes that it’ll satiate fans’ hunger for more of that West Coast goodness before the real thing hits the shelves.

The title track finds Game rhyming with a new, raspy, delivery—but with the same take-no-prisoners, bi-polar approach, taking shots at Amber Rose while apologizing to Wiz Khalifa (who shows up on the mixtape alongside B.o.B. on “Standin On a Corner” ) in the same breath. Next is “Drug Test,” which sounds like a Detox leftover featuring Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. (Is Game Auto-tuned on this thing?) Either way, the plodding production overwhelms at times, with Dre and Game trading some at-times robotic flows. Snoop checks in briefly, but with a few borrowed bars from “Gin and Juice.”

Boi-1da comes through with a major assist on “Monsters in my Head,” a track that has Game getting a bit more introspective with his rhymes. “I’m sitting here watching my daughter being born / Feel like I should thank God that nothing went wrong / Back in my days I was headed straight for the graveyard / Runnin’ from school because enemies never stay far / Wearin’ my colors watchin’ colors chasin’ after my older brothers / Cause they were always in this shit, good thing we had different mothers.” Verses like these illustrate Game’s considerable story-telling prowess, which he too-rarely accesses.

On “25 to Life” Game uses the extended metaphor of a prison yard to assess his career. The stabbing keys on “Out of Towner” elicit memories of Game’s “Westside Story,” while the soft Jay-Z dis, “Uncle Otis” is pause-worthy. Features from Redman (“Red” ) and Yelawolf (“Rough” ) aren’t world-beaters, but they keep things interesting enough to ride out the rest of the project.

Hoodmorning is a mixed bag, but for the most part, consists of cuts that are above average for a mixtape project, and probably narrowly missed the cut for The R.E.D. Album. Practically speaking, if these are the throwaway tracks from R.E.D., then fans should expect quite an album when it drops.

DX Consensus: EP-worthy.

Listen To Game’s DJ Skee & Mars Present: Hoodmorning [No Typo]: Candy Coronas