Review Summary: Moon's Blood
The Game's newest LP was originally intended to be a compilation album by Blood Money (The Game, Dubb and Skeme). Instead, The Game released it as an LP under his own name and featured Blood Money members only a handful of times. He then offered to let one lucky fan create his album cover for his new release, Year of the Wolf
. The winning album cover perfectly symbolizes this album's bipolar nature, with roughly half the songs featuring The Game's gruff but crystal-clear vocals and aggressive west-coast battle-rap style, the other half sounding soft, corny and gimmicky.
The duality of this album is so strong that if you made two albums out of roughly half of these tracks, you wouldn’t be able to tell they were made by the same artist. The album starts very strong, but the soft/gimmicky side of The Game first appears on track 4 with “On One”. The rap-singing on this song is as unnecessary as it is aesthetically abysmal. It sounds like a parody it is so terrible. The lyrics are pitifully stupid and girly, which makes it nearly impossible to take The Game’s ostensibly hardcore persona serious after hearing a track this soft. “Best Head Ever” is preceded by a skit of someone sucking off a wolf until it busts a nut on him. It’s literally
the stupidest, nastiest and most pointless skit I’ve heard in almost two decades of listening to hip hop. Still
, it is not to be outdone by the next three tracks, the worst stretch of music in Game’s career, hands down. “Best Head Ever” is about getting the best head ever. How could this topic be annoying you ask? Well my friend, it’s because the hook(s) on this song (and album) demolish and destroy any possible fraction of a hope that this album could be listened to from start to finish. I had my face in my palm through this entire song and only took it off to look up at the sky and ask ‘why is God doing this?’ I couldn’t believe it got worse. The next track, “Or Nah” seems like it would be great, it’s The Game and Too $hort, right? Yet this is the worst song in the history of Game’s career and the worst hook in recent memory, featuring cringe-worthy lyrics like a ditsy Valley Girl popping in the booth to ask “Can I get the DICK? Or naw?
”. This song is the musical equivalent of being beat up by Iggy Azalea. It makes the Power Puff Girl’s theme song sound like Biggie Smalls. The beat, lyrics and flow aren’t even worth describing because the hook is so bad that there is no chance you will ever want to listen to this song again.
After the Trilogy of Terror (tracks 10-12), the listener realizes this album has no shot of being nearly as good as some of Game’s best albums, such as The Doctor’s Advocate, The Documentary and The R.E.D. Album
. Since Game’s third album ( L.A.X.
), he has constantly struggled to create hooks that are even bearable. Lacking confidence in his own ability to sing hooks, he turns to some terrible singers who only distract from his superb rapping skills. Yet one thing has been true throughout The Game’s career: his verses are virtually always on point, regardless of if the rest of the song comes together. Some of these tracks feature some of the best hip hop of 2014. Songs with names that sound like they would be soft like “Bigger Than Me” and “F.U.N.” are actually the hardest tracks on the album. "F.U.N." is actually an acronym for “fukk YOU Niggaz!”, which is the topic for both of these introductory tracks. The Game uses these two tracks to do what he does best, be a wolf, eat rappers alive with his diss raps. However, his disses are aimed at the modern rap industry in general rather than specific artists. These are the only two tracks to feature only rapping/singing from The Game, and they are also the best songs on the album. “Bigger Than Me” is the highlight of this album and shows The Game firing on all cylinders. Making countless witty references to popular artists with hilarious lines like “Yo Frank Ocean, come fukk these Fukk Niggas.” “F.U.N.” and “Cell Phone” show that Game has improved in his already impressive lyricism, flow and charisma. That is why it is so puzzling to hear material as good as “The Purge” on an album that sounds like a menstrual cycle half the time. “The Purge” is the darkest and most controversial song The Game has ever made. He proclaims his radical stance regarding racial politics in America and manages to express his rage without coming off as unreasonable or annoying. His flow and voice match the dark and gloomy beat perfectly, and he becomes vaguely reminiscent of legends of this style like DMX.
The beats on this album are made by a collection of approximately fifteen no-name producers, and it shows. None of these beats are notable; at best they serve as a fitting background to the Game’s charisma and ferocity. They range from secondary background sounds that compliment The Game’s ferocious style, to run-of-the-mill trap beats you would hear in any stereotypical radio rap. In which case, the beats are basically nothing but a loud bass and minimal use of any other instruments. The plethora of features looks solid on paper but ends up being very disappointing. On “*** Yo Feelings” The Game wastes an opportunity to have a back-and-forth with probably the most solid featured artist in Game’s discography: Lil Wayne. Game’s macho style and Lil Wayne’s witty style mesh perfectly in the tracks they have rapped in together in the past, such as “Lyrical Homicide”. Yet on Year of the Wolf
Lil Wayne is wasted and just shows up to sing an obnoxiously repetitive hook “*** yo feelings, nigga *** yo feelings, nigga fukk yo feelings [x100]”. Tyga is featured twice in the trilogy of terror and doesn’t help or hurt the songs at all, he is just there wasting space. 2 Chainz and Soulja Boy suck it up as usual, but even T.I. is lackluster. The rest of the features are mainly wack singers and their names will not be discussed as they are not worth the effort it takes to move my fingers to do so. The only feature worth a *** (and that goes for singers, rappers and producers) is Dubb, who is solid on all accounts during his multiple appearances, a full bred wolf.
When this album starts with “Bigger Than Me” the listener is shocked by The Game’s wit and has the feeling a MLB pitcher might get after a first inning shutout: “this could be perfect”. That candle of hope doesn’t die out entirely until track four, and it isn’t until the tracks 10-12 that an industrial size fire extinguisher is emptied on the candle before it is tossed into the Arctic Ocean. The Game says he is sick of “weak ass lyrics, cryin on the hook, thinkin we gon feel it” on the first track, but the rest of the album ironically shows he is precisely the opposite. He has progressively made this singy style of rap a bigger part of each of his albums since his third album L.A.X.
. His reluctance to rely on his own vocals for hooks, or do without hooks entirely, has destroyed his career that was once nearly as promising as mainstream rap has ever seen. After producing three superb albums, The Game seems like he is in no shape to do so ever again unless he stops associating with terrible pop artists and wack rappers. Game’s talent is still present, he is just wasting it making albums with half frivolous music and half real rap. He loves hardcore hip hop, but more people were feeling his radio raps and he followed the money. He went from "Game Time!" to "that time of the month".