Various Artists - Game Tight      
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written by NewJeruPoet    
Game Recordings is known for hungry hardcore emcees that release singles with beautiful half-dressed women on the record sleeves. Game is also the home of the collaboration Bad Meets Evil (Eminem and Royce Da 5'9"). They have released singles for 8-Off Agallah, Pretty Ugly, Thirstin Howl III, Blue Warta and Lord Digga. While they only officially released one full-length LP (Royce's "Rock City V2.0"), they have an extensive back catalog of singles and b-sides. "Game Tight" is a collection of these singles and b-sides. For those of you who love the ladies on the record sleeves, all of the covers are in the inner CD sleeve.

Eminem is the most well known artist here and his Bad Meets Evil collaborations with Royce are the best tracks. The opening cut "Nuttin To Do" (produced by Reef) has this mid-tempo old-school beat with very new school hunger and humor. The hook, handled by Royce and Em together, possesses this insane energy and wit that is reminiscent of "The Slim Shady LP": "...If it wasn't for your whip, I'd have nothing to strip / If it wasn't for a wrist, I'd have nothing to slit / If it wasn't for the shrooms, I'd have nothing to chew / I'm just fuckin with you, cause I got nothing to do..." Even though Eminem has incredible verses, Royce does hold his own. It's one of the best tracks on the album. "Scary Movies" (also produced by Reef) has an excellent beat with a lush orchestra-loop and a pounding bass line. Royce And Eminem both spit hungry and sinister verses. The only problem with this song is the hook. Chanted by both Em and Royce, They start it off: "...Y'all want drama? Wanna make a scary movie? / Rappers coming in with they team and carry toolies..." The rhyme of "toolies" with "movies" is acceptable but not on par with Eminem's abilities. We know he can do better. Still, there are enough dope aspects of this song to make it good. "Boom" (produced by Premier) is Royce's solo track. Also on "Rock City V2.0", this song is amazing. Premier's sliced hook uses Lady Of Rage and other hip-hop gems. It is a perfect track. Royce Da 5'9" also shows up on 2 other tracks. The Alchemist produced single "I'm The King" is a non-LP track with a hunger. "I'm gonna rhyme till I can't rhyme no more!", Royce chants in the hook as the minimalist keyboard melody trickles over a militant sounding snare-led beat. "Spit Game" (produced by Rush) features Pretty Ugly And Royce together. They both have a hunger to rock the mic and the cocky lyrics to match it. The sung hook adds a nice sinister vibe. The wit is evident here too: "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson, but your daughter is a hoe!"

Some tracks stand out and shine very bright. "My Flows Is Tight" by Lord Digga is a catchy track that uses a sample of the theme song to the game show The Price Is Right. Digga does a wonderful job rocking the mic too. The self-produced, "Rising To The Top" by 8-Off Agallah features Sean Price & Bazaar Royale. This posse cut (used on the "Grand Theft Auto III" soundtrack) has an amazing performance from the incredible Sean Price aka Sean P aka Ruck of Heltah Skeltah / Boot Camp Clik. The ghetto sounding sung hook proves to be an anthem for success. The Sha-Self produced "Hit Em Up" by Pretty Ugly features P-Dap & 50-Cent. This posse cut has an intense energy as all 3 emcees rip the mic. The chanted call-response hook calls for violence and action without mercy. While 50 Cent's lyrical content does not amaze, his energy is what shines. Pretty Ugly's "Stack G's Regardless" (produced by Ric Riggler) is a brutal and clever assault on the rap industry. The slow tempo chugs along as Ugly spits wicked rhymes: "…I hate Lil Zane / I wanna kill him / He sounds like Pac but his words have no feelin'…" While the hook does not move well, Ugly's verses have enough passion, wit and anger to make the song worthy. "This Is Luv" by Blu Warta (produced by Smooth Denali) uses a great vocal sample reminiscent of Kanye West's production. Blu also has a strength and desire on the mic as well as a very energetic chanted hook. 8-Off's "Five Star Millas" has an incredible beat and a vigorous performance by 8-Off. This is a grimey track that should not be over-looked.

Like every compilation, there is a good amount of filler. Blahzay Blahzay's "Federal Reserve Notez (FRN'Z)" is a decent track but not a good pick for a single. While PF Cuttin's mid-tempo beat is very full and has an eerie quality to it, it does not pack the same powerful punch as his previously produced classics (ie. "Danger", "Pain I Feel" or his work with Thirstin Howl III). Also, the hook is nothing special. Unlike the classic "Danger", "FRN'Z" does not have memorable verses. Tre Little's "Rowdy Niggaz" is an upbeat wannabe anthem track that is slightly above filler status. Although, Tre's hook has an energy and insanity that does work well with Ric Riggler's minimalist beat, this song does not stand as strong as the other tracks. Ric Riggler and Shecky Green have the compilation's final track "Game Tight". (Note: Green is the President of Game Recordings and Riggler is Game's in-house producer.) Using the same melody as Notorious BIG's "What's Beef", they replace "Beef" with "Game" and change it to their theme. While it is an interesting little track, it is another filler cut.

Overall, "Game Tight" is an entertaining compilation of singles and b-sides from hungry, underground emcees. There are enough somewhat well known and well-respected guests to give the LP a familiarity. Sean Price, 50 Cent, and Eminem all deliver wonderful performances. While the best tracks are "Nuttin To Do" (Eminem And Royce), The DJ Premier-produced "Boom" (Royce), "My Flows Is Tight" (Lord Digga) and "Rising To The Top" (8-Off f/ Sean Price and Bazaar Royale)", the others songs all have a specific quality to them. Sometimes (on the other songs), the beat shines ("This Is Luv" by Blu Warta) while other times, the rhymes steal the show ("Stack G's Regardless" by Pretty Ugly). "Game Tight" proves to the hip-hop industry that Game Recordings have more to offer than just sexy women on album covers. Many of these songs have substance. Most of all, they have a deep and intense hunger. This hunger is evident in Royce's flow, Pretty Ugly's fierce lyrics and 8-Off's insane delivery. While most "Best Of" record label compilations have tracks that have already been released on albums, most of the tracks on "Game Tight" have not been released in CD format until this compilation. "Boom" by Royce 5'9" (from "Rock City V2.0") and "Rising To The Top" (from "Grand Theft Auto III") are the only songs that are on a previously released album. While there is some filler, there is not one song that can be considered bad or wack. Overall, "Game Tight" proves to be a truly tight compilation. And yes, there's a sexy Game Girl on the cover too.

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