Rating: 7.5 / 10
After a strong, underrated LP release in The R.E.D. Album, Game is back once again with yet another onslaught of music. His latest release, California Republic, serves as more proof that Game may be one of the hardest working MCs when it comes to making and releasing songs. Unfortunately, it also serves as an awkward reminder that sometimes quantity does not equal quality in more ways than one. Sadly, the DJ Skee-hosted project is an overall average mixtape from an artist that’s proven time and time again to be much so more.
Game is an incredibly versatile artist that enjoys what he does, and that’s clear to anyone who listens to his music. However, most of Republic suffers from the aforementioned flaws. “Skate On” has a show-stealing verse from Lupe Fiasco, “The Drill” has decent cameos from Meek Mill and Ace Hood, “Greystone” (feat. Fat Joe, Young Chris, and Sam Hook) has a smooth vibe to it, and the Neptune-produced “It Must Be Tough” may be one of the more addicting songs you’ll hear this year as of now. These, along with a few others, are thorough, well-rounded, and, simply put, hot tracks. However, there’s far too much filler here to appreciate it.
Although most of the production is well done and helmed by the likes of Cool & Dre, Boi-1da, Lex Luger, and Mars (of 1500 or Nothin’), Republic suffers from being average due to the lackluster appeal of the filler tracks and the length of the project (the play time is well over 90 minutes). Game could’ve easily cut several tracks off the project and made it much more focused, or even perhaps saved a few to release later in the month (similar to his approach with last year’s “Purp & Patron” and “The Hangover”, a mixtape including the excess tracks from P&P that was released a week later). To compound issues, several of the features here take the focus away from Game and aren’t enjoyable to listen to, such as the “Yonkers Freestyle Base” featuring Nobody.
Overall, it’s not a bad project by any means; California Republic is worth the download if you need more music from Game, but unfortunately due to the sheer amount of filler songs here and the limited amount of tracks that warrant a replay, chances are that it won’t remain in your musical rotation long. Game’s done much better before (see: “The Hangover”), but this one feels like it’s stuffed with extra songs that were lying around that he just wanted to release to his fans. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and fans appreciate things like this. But you can’t help but notice that if you hold this project to the standards that Game himself has set in music with his personal discography (previous mixtapes included), this doesn’t quite hold its own.