The Top Six Game Show Appearances By Rappers

The news of a rapper-packed revamp of Hollywood Squares has been greeted positively, not least because everyone has been able to join in the fun of Googling the demographic term "malennials" to find out if they are going to be allowed to watch the show. It's also allowed some people speculate on which special secret rapper will get to occupy the show's hallowed center square! So before Hip-Hop Squares premieres next month, here's a look back on past instances of pre-fame and established rappers testing their mettle (mental and otherwise) on TV game shows.

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The Game Gets Lost In The Crowd On The R.E.D. Album

The Game's R.E.D. Album arrives, limping and bloodied, in stores this week. The culmination of three years of development, innumerable push-backs, and a humiliating trail of failed first singles, the occasion of its release feels less a victory lap than a death spasm; Interscope Records has finally given up and decided to cut its losses. The remaining crowd of message-board lurkers can now click "download" on the .rar file and move on with their lives. And Game now owes his record label an unimaginable amount of money: the "R.E.D." in the album's title might stand for deficit-column ink.

Indeed, The R.E.D. Album might go down in history as the costliest losing battle a rapper has ever waged against his own irrelevance. Game's albums have always been community affairs, and The R.E.D. Album is no exception: the guest roster this time is the most crowded ever. But no amount of shared pushing can get the doomed project off the ground, and hearing a murderer's row of collaborators—including Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Big Boi, Young Jeezy, Beanie Sigel, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator and even Dr. Dre—step up and pitch their talents into the void over the album's interminable 21-track expanse is one of the year's most dispiriting experiences.

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The Top Ten "Otis" Freestyles


In the run-up to yesterday's release of Watch The Throne, the project's first official single, the Otis Redding-sampling "Otis," was re-done and freestyled over by many a rapper. So to tide you over until the physical version of Watch The Throne (packaged with a bonus CD-ROM containing a vector graphics screen-saver of the planets and stars) becomes available to buy on Friday, here's a rundown of hip-hop's best "Otis" freestyles and flips.

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The Game Crams An Entire Mixtape's Worth Of Disses And References Into Four Minutes

Categories: The Game

It doesn't twist the "Try A Little Tenderness" sample used by the song its title's piggybacking off, but the Game's "Uncle Otis" is full of peevish references to recent happenings in hip-hop and pop—Tyler, The Creator (who he claims to have "created," because he's clearly looking for a Twitter fight); Lupe Fiasco; Kreayshawn; the Jennifer Lopez-Marc Anthony split; Frank Ocean—and, of course, to the relative age of Jay-Z and Kanye West. He also quotes from BeyoncĂ©'s "Run The World (Girls)," Lil Wayne's "6'7"" and "How To Love," and Miguel's "Sure Thing" (although come to think of it, it might be Weezy's cover of the same). Oh, and he also makes reference to Detox being in the works for a long time, which, no offense, but that might not be the best thing to lightly mock given his own recent trials? Clip below.

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The Top Ten Failed First Singles Off The Game's The R.E.D. Album

This list began as a joke, but the longer I contemplated it, the more depressing its basic concept became. Consider: not only could I easily string together ten of Game's fruitless attempts to force label executives to release The R.E.D. Album, his followup to 2008's LAX; I had to make decisions about which ten to include. If you can think of a more damning condemnation of both commercial gangsta-rapper woes and major-label wastefulness, I'm all ears.

For mid-level major-label rappers like Game, keeping your fans satisfied while they wait impatiently for a product you keep desperately promising is right around the corner has become a melancholy fact of life. Unless you currently have at least two Top Ten hits currently floating in the radio-playlist soup, your album is a theoretical construct, no more "around the corner" than universal health care.

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The Five Most Controversial Summer Jam Moments

The rat who symbolized 50 Cent at Summer Jam 2005. Ah, memories.
Verbal insults! Wanton violence! Temper tantrums! Comical jpegs of foes! Mock lynchings live on stage! Sunday brings us another installment of Hot 97 Summer Jam, wherein rap's leading lights get the chance to prove the accuracy of the adage about modern hip-hop being closer to the world of professional wrestling than anything Afrika Bambaataa ever envisaged back in the '70s. So as a glittering lineup of Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, and the peculiarly titled Lloyd Banks And Friends—which may just be a titular ruse to get committed Ross enemy 50 Cent into the venue, what with rumors of Curtis being banned from Summer Jam events—all prepare to take the stage this Sunday, here's a far-from-virtuous look back at Summer Jam's most controversial moments.

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Perhaps You'd Enjoy An International Relations Perspective on the Jay-Z/Game Feud

Yup, an article called "Jay-Z vs the Game: Lessons for the American Primacy Debate" does in fact exist. And it's pretty good! (What Jay-Z/Game feud, you ask? Listen to this, and then this, and then have a moment of silence for the Game's career. And a slightly shorter one for Jay's, which will survive, though what he's doing right now talking about the Game is anyone's guess. Nobody is winning here.) Anyway, Marc Lynch:

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