With ‘Drillmatic’ delayed, The Game turns his album release show at The Novo into a hometown party alongside Kanye West & Lil Wayne

The GameBy Joseph Gray //

The Game //
The Novo – Los Angeles
July 8th, 2022 //

The Game always has a lot to say. Since the Compton native was introduced to the masses as Dr. Dre’s protégé ahead of The Documentary, his breakout debut album in 2005 that guided the West Coast back to mainstream hip-hop relevancy, the boisterous confidence which helped turn him into a star has never seemed to waver. And along those lines, he emphatically made his appearance in downtown LA under one condition: he would not be the only one in the building going home with a strained voice at the end of the night.

An eager crowd, which was sprinkled with fans hoisting their favorite pictures and vinyl copies, to fulfill the request piled into The Novo last Friday for what was billed as The Game’s album release show on the day his 10th studio effort Drillmatic was scheduled to be released. The 42-year-old emcee recently promised that the Hit-Boy-produced LP, which has yet to be unveiled due to sample clearance issues, will be the best of 2022 and his finest work ever while staking claim as the “best rapper alive” in a now-deleted Instagram post. Though certainly a lofty pledge, the brazen veteran would have it no other way.

The Game also previously wrote that controversy — the latest being his acknowledged hurt over not getting to perform during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show orchestrated by Dre, his relentless remarks about being far superior to Eminem and his surprising testimony earlier this year that Kanye West did more for him in two weeks than Dre did for him during his entire career — “has always stepped on my greatness.” Despite that, he says things will all change after we hear his first album in three years.

The Game - Lil Wayne


Lil Wayne

It’s typically wise not to count The Game out because no matter the controversies, he has been more than consistent when it’s time to demonstrate his talent. That history mixed with his self-assuredness helped set the stage in his hometown as he arrived in a plush silk shirt and polished shoes to the live instrumentation of “Violence”. The presumed track off of Drillmatic sees The Game at his best, mixing name-drops ranging from Beyoncé to the late John Madden and defiant wordplay over a climatic score with a chorus that tips it hat to Young Jeezy.

Soon after working his way through his first single “Westside Story”, he confirmed the reasoning behind the delay on Drillmatic. The crowd’s disappointment, however, was short-lived as he soon after jumped into “Eazy” — his most recent collaboration with West, who surprisingly joined The Game onstage in a ski mask without performing or saying much at all. Yet, the rare dead air from West was more than fine for the raucous audience on hand.

“He ain’t come to perform no songs,” a humbled Game said of West before a series of unexpected visits turned the whole performance into one big party. “He was clear about that. He came for his brother. He told me how he was coming, he told me was going to be three minutes late. He said he might show up in the middle of the verse ’cause he got shit to do. I said, ‘… you can come at the end of the show just to give me a hug … I love you.'”

The Game - Blueface


The Game & Blueface

Before The Game delivered Documentary classics “Higher”, “How We Do” and “Hate or Love It”, the contrasting modest side of an artist who has always considered himself a hip-hop historian took over. Almost like a kid watching his favorite superheroes, he took a step back from the mic and enjoyed the show at one point. As he offered some deliberate introspection via “My Life” on 2008’s LAX, Lil Wayne emerged to perform the song’s chorus and his own hit “A Milli” for another crowd-rocking moment. But surprise appearances by West and Wayne were just two of many over the course of the evening as we got subsequent jolts of Southern California energy from Kurupt, DJ Quik, Suga Free, Blueface, RJMrLA and O.T. Genasis.

“I couldn’t tell you what the game would be without The Game in this,” rapped Symba, the rising Bay Area lyricist whom The Game co-signed as his next rising star, to put a bow on a special night with a lighthearted, back-and-forth freestyle session between the duo. “I don’t think you get enough credit.”

No album yet? Well, no problem. But if it’s anything like The Game’s album release show at The Novo, my money is on the critics being pleasantly surprised when it’s finally here.

Goldenvoice brings back Coachella sideshows for 2022

Goldenvoice Presents: April 2022

It’s Valentine’s Day once again, and Goldenvoice is honoring its long-running tradition now of unveiling Coachella’s sideshows in and around the greater Los Angeles area.

With the three-day, two-weekend music festival returning to the desert this April for the first time after a three-year layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert promoter has lined up a slew of gigs over a stretch of more than two weeks. And although most of the venues hosting will be the same as before outside of the newly added Sound Nightclub, two in Pomona — the Fox Theater and The Glass House — will be the home for a good chunk of them starting April 12th with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.

The festivities, meanwhile, will officially kick off a few days earlier on April 9th when Rina Sawayama performs at The Fonda Theatre. In addition to the Japanese-born singer-songwriter, the following acts will also take the stage inside and outside of LA County:

Epik High, Chicano Batman, Denzel Curry, Pabllo Vittar, Role Model, 100 gecs, Molchat Doma, Honey Dijon, Arooj Aftab, BADBADNOTGOOD (with Freddie Gibbs and Madlib aka MadGibbs), Beach Bunny, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Masego, MEUTE, Wallows (with The Regrettes), Amber Mark, beabadoobee, Chelsea Cutler, L’Impératrice (with Inner Wave), Purple Disco Machine, Still Woozy, Code Orange, Crumb, Damian Lazarus, Måneskin, Mika, Spiritualized, Viagra Boys, Ed Maverick, girl in red (with Holly Humberstone), Hot Chip (with Ela Minus), Koffee (with Mariah the Scientist), Michael Bibi, Nathy Peluso, Nilüfer Yanya and Altın Gün, PUP (with Skegss), The Marías, Dixon, Yard Act, Fred again.. and Omar Apollo. See the full list of sideshows in the poster above.

Unlike in previous years, no TBA dates are listed this time or a special showcase like there was back in 2017 at the Palm Springs Air Museum the night before Coachella’s first weekend.

Since 2012, Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett and company have made a point of monetizing off Coachella more and more by adding these sideshows to its portfolio and despite the number of them falling to 34 in 2019 after scheduling as many as 53 in 2018 and 62 in 2017, this year’s slate has climbed to 44 in total even with an average of 160,000 new coronavirus cases being recorded in the U.S. each day. But while Goldenvoice may have finally found a “sweet spot” when it comes to how many sideshows to book each spring, it has always showcased an eclectic array of genres and 2022 will be no different with a Brazilian drag queen (Pabllo Vittar) and a self-described “techno marching band” (MEUTE) on the bill.

Other highlights worth sharing include LA four-piece Chicano Batman at the Fox Theater Pomona, two nights of Canadian instrumental trio BADBADNOTGOOD with Freddie Gibbs and Madlib at The Novo in downtown LA, 28-year-old R&B singer-songwriter Amber Mark at the El Rey Theatre and London-based producer Fred again.. at The Fonda Theatre.

Tickets for the sideshows go on sale here this Friday, February 18th at Noon PT with the rest of them available on Friday, February 25th at Noon PT or Friday, March 4th at Noon PT.

Goldenvoice