Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The Game ft. Drake – 100

In which Drake reaches his highest score of the day by falling back to featured status. Hmm…


Andy Hutchins: How amazing is it that the best response to Meek Mill alleging that Drake did not write his guest verse on Meek’s June 29-released album is a song on which Drake sings “Y’all bet not come to my studio with that fake shit” released three days prior and raps a guest verse all about authenticity? He’s “dissing” someone in rap here, too — probably Kendrick Lamar, because no one else has a fan base large enough for Drake to give a shit about, and because no one else has actually “stayed on some conscious shit” — but he’s being matter-of-fact about fame, mostly: “I would have so many friends if I didn’t have money, respect, and accomplishments” is the sort of humblebrag that, written out, doesn’t work in any way, but Drake droning it over the Houston-slow Johnny Juliano/Cardo production makes it sound like ether. Of course, Drake has those things because he’s developed the ability to be an effortlessly eloquent technical rapper — multis “unresponsive shit,” “accomplishments,” “out compliments,” “conscious shit,” “my confidence,” “competition,” and “response they get” tumble out sonorously over consecutive bars — and the chameleon’s touch for showing up everywhere with everyone and making their music better. The Game, now as ever, is best as a tabula rasa, and he may as well rap white noise around the Drake verse and hook here; his Meek Mill mention in the song’s third verse may remind you that this is, in fact, his single. It’s the man who counsels that “y’all are better off realizing that there’s nothing that y’all can do wit’ me” in the hook that stars here — and, keeping it eight more than 92, as long as he makes more music like this than anyone else can, he’s probably right.

Alfred Soto: It’s long, so he better hope he’s got “L.A. unified,” especially with those Nas-indebted inflections. Points for dropping Dre and “finicky” in the same verse. The Game could be referring to his co-star, making his eighty-fifth appearance this week.

Thomas Inskeep: My favorite Drake verse in at least a year. My favorite Game verses in multiple years. And one of my favorite hip-hop instrumentals of the year (courtesy of Johnny Juliano and Cardo), all 808 drum pads (sounding like they’re being played manually), ghostly old soul samples, and a minor-key choral line weaving through the background.

Micha Cavaseno: Featuring production by Johnny “Damn is it Prince of the City-era Wiz time?” Juliano, everyone’s favorite habitual name-dropper and abuser of similes returns sounding rather invigorated after being the world’s most highly rewarded struggle rapper. Game seems oddly thirsty to brag about his affiliation with OVO, as if hanging around someone like OB O’Brien is a positive aspect of one’s life. Meanwhile Drakk provides some more shots from the top of his pedestal and a particularly lifeless and languid hook to compliment the humidity of the 808s. Ultimately it’s a muted, glum affair — and it’s supposed to be — but the masturbatory flexing of these two for creating a generic “buzz getter” is just a bit underwhelming.

Jonathan Bogart: Four points for the woofer-buzzing bass. A couple more points for the Game’s surprisingly up-to-date growling, the same deducted for Drake making everything about him. Which you don’t get Drake to do anything else, so just mark me off as an unreconstructed hater of Drake the solipsist. It takes one to know one, I guess.

Megan Harrington: There are some heavy September intonations to “100.” The month that heralds fall always feels like a bittersweet relief, the end of the oppressive weather I begged for in April. The beginning of a long fallow period for everything seemingly alive. Drake is droll here, affecting a deadpan as a signal of how little he’s asking for, just you to keep it “eight more than ninety-two.” His combination reflective and defeatist attitude is as autumnal as crunchy leaves. He’s still the star of any track he’s on, perhaps in a less exciting way than a couple years ago, and The Game does well to not bother trying to outshine him. The Game is, like everyone in Drake’s vicinity for the past season cycle, grateful for the co-sign.

Jonathan Bradley: Game can holler L.A. all he wants, “100” is 100 per cent T.O.; that’s Drake on the hook, Drake on verse two, and Drake’s pet peeves about fake friends and ill-fortuned fame creeping into every bar and every beat. Oddly enough, this dropped before Drake’s most recent beef; shouting out Meek Mill on a Drake collab is such a Game move it’s as if he’s figured out how to white-ant his well-wishers even before their feuds begin.

Brad Shoup: I can practically see Drake psyching himself up to sound so lethargic on the hook. It extends to his verse too: he ticks off his statements like he’s dropping notecards under the lectern. And yet it works: it works with the glum angels on the track, and it works against Game writing thank-you notes in real time. The stakes don’t get any higher than boosting Jayceon’s profile, and that’s fine.

Madeleine Lee: I love the way this unpacks its themes: in his first verse Game takes Drake and his Toronto crew under his protection in L.A., and talks about who they might need protection from now that they’re famous; then Drake establishes that he already knows, but sounds more weary of knowing than he has elsewhere, so more likeable; then Game returns to reflect on the ones he’s been close to in the past that he couldn’t protect. The sped-up Peabo Bryson sample and mournful bass notes make up a bittersweetness that makes my heart hurt, and the writing also makes my heart hurt, mostly Game’s: “a vest for every n*gga with an owl on his chest”; “blowing kush clouds until his ghost is in my Ghost.” It’s a song that describes carrying both the loneliness of self-righteousness and the loneliness of loyalty, and it does it beautifully.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: More important than Game telling a fascinating story about Drake being the focus of an attempted robbery and his guest totally no-selling it to wax solipsistic is the fact that Cardo and Johnny Juliano are getting nods now. They’ve played a part in hip-hop for a while, working on the perimeters of regional scenes – too melodic to fit in with the aggro bandwagon, too much bump to be pegged as boring pop-rap dudes. They’re essentially journeymen, but rap needs journeymen to make the stars of tomorrow shine, the way they did for Wiz Khalifa. Having them play with soul loops (Game’s best sonic environment, obviously) and swathes of off-centre effects together sounds lovely, and giving them this placement feels like the culmination of hard work.

Reader average: [6] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.