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Album: The R.E.D. AlbumReleased: 2011Charted:
This joint is the first official single from West Coast rapper The Game's, fourth studio album The R.E.D. Album, released through Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. The record marks Game's return to Aftermath, who released his debut album The Documentary before a beef with his former G-Unit labelmate 50 Cent caused him to release his two following albums on Geffen Records. The song finds Game spitting lyrics about sticking by Dr. Dre and Aftermath until the end: "It's Aftermath for life, and all I do is ride / Before I turn on him, I kill Satan / And stick my red flag in the ground, it's red nation!"
Dr. Dre originally discovered Game after hearing a mixtape produced by his brother and he acted as a mentor on the West Coast rapper's debut album. Game told Billboard magazine regarding working with his old mentor again on The R.E.D. Album: "Dre and I have always been on the same team, I've just been too wild for him at times. He's older and legendary and he's been through enough drama."
Lil Wayne also contributes some rhymes to this joint, which also features a sample of Zombie Nation's electronic dance anthem, "Kernkraft 400
." It was produced by Miami producers Cool & Dre, and this can get kind of confusing as the latter is a different Dre - Andre "Dre" Christopher Lyon - not Game's record label boss and mentor.
"Red Nation" represents the Bloods, which is the street gang Lil Wayne and The Game are associated with. The Bloods use red to identify themselves, and the album title is also a nod to the gang.
Cool & Dre and The Game go back a long way, and the Miami duo have provided a number of the beats for the Los Angeles rapper's catalog including his 2005 hit "Hate It Or Love It
." Game told MTV News that Cool & Dre already had Lil Wayne in mind when they submitted the track to him. "They called me on the phone and they was like, 'I got a song, it's "Red Nation," and you're going to love it and you put Weezy on the hook and it's going to be crazy, right?!'" Game explained. "That's how they always kind of make the song, and then tell you who they think you should put on it. It's just fun to see it come to life, man."
The video was directed by Parris, whose previous credits include Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Loving You
" and Ludacris' "Undisputed
." The clip was filmed in downtown Los Angeles and underneath the 4th Street Bridge. "It's like 'Mad Max' mixed with Nas' 'One Mic
' video, where there's riots going on in the background," said Game to Billboard
magazine. "We did this thing where I'm on top of a burning car rapping, and we had some flares and a lot of fire, fireworks and all of that. It's definitely the most fun video I've ever shot."
The video was banned by MTV and BET because of its gang references. Game was once affiliated with the notorious Los Angeles Bloods gang, and the use of red imagery and lyrical references was seen as a link to his affiliation.
Game told Billboard magazine he understands why this song got banned. He said: "I thought it was pretty safe until Lil Wayne turned the hook in and I was like, 'Oh dammit, now we really ain't getting on the radio with this.' It was 'blood this blood that.' I understand what he was trying to do. He used blood in a metaphorical sense where it was broken down as different meanings on the hook. Media, radio, Viacom, BET, MTV, everybody took it the wrong way. But I understood they have a certain demographic they have to please and I got kids so I definitely understood. It was no hard feelings. But I kind of wish they would ban everything cause that video has over 10 million views on YouTube and people love it. It was never my intention to have it be gang affiliated or for anyone to listen to it then want to join a gang. It was just a good hip-hop song."