Loyal to the Game [Clean Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Loyal to the Game, the ninth 2Pac album released by his enterprising mother-turned-executive producer, Afeni Shakur, is one of the more unique entries in the martyred rap legend's extensive catalog. Produced entirely by Eminem, it carries on with the approach the man otherwise known as Marshall Mathers took with his production contributions to the preceding year's Tupac: Resurrection. Eminem had produced a few songs on that soundtrack, most notably the landmark 2Pac-Biggie duet "Runnin' Dying to Live," and his work here on Loyal to the Game isn't too much of a departure from the style of that song. In the wake of that song's popularity, Afeni gave Eminem some old ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Loyal to the Game, the ninth 2Pac album released by his enterprising mother-turned-executive producer, Afeni Shakur, is one of the more unique entries in the martyred rap legend's extensive catalog. Produced entirely by Eminem, it carries on with the approach the man otherwise known as Marshall Mathers took with his production contributions to the preceding year's Tupac: Resurrection. Eminem had produced a few songs on that soundtrack, most notably the landmark 2Pac-Biggie duet "Runnin' Dying to Live," and his work here on Loyal to the Game isn't too much of a departure from the style of that song. In the wake of that song's popularity, Afeni gave Eminem some old tapes, and he went to work, stripping them of their productions, giving them his own trademark backing characterized by his style of punchy, syncopated, unfunky beatmaking, incorporating some guest raps for secondary verses, and polishing them off with various sorts of hooks. Eminem's efforts here work, even if they aren't ideal. On the one hand, there's no questioning Em's integrity. He pens some reverent liner notes, explaining his position or justifying it, depending on your viewpoint, and Afeni also pens some touching liners, likewise explaining why Eminem, of all people, gets the green light to produce this album in its entirety. And Em doesn't take his job here lightly. His beats hit hard and are well crafted, most similar to his more hardcore self-productions like "Mosh" or "Lose Yourself." His hooks are also well crafted: he takes the hook himself on "Soldier Like Me"; brings in 50 Cent and Nate Dogg for "Loyal to the Game" and "Thugs Get Lonely Too," respectively; samples Elton John "Indian Sunset", Curtis Mayfield "If There's a Hell Below", and Dido "Do You Have a Little Time" for other songs, and he lets 2Pac handle his own hooks elsewhere. On the other, more cynical hand, Eminem simply isn't a good fit, and the four bonus tracks here testify to what could have been. Produced by Scott Storch, Red Spyda, Raphael Saadiq, and DJ Quik, these bonus track "remixes" are clearly the highlights of the album and quite fantastic highlights at that, perhaps reason enough alone to pick up this album. These guys produce beats much more fitting to 2Pac's rhyme style. Sure, Eminem is a great producer, but he produces these 2Pac tracks as if he were producing himself, and 2Pac is a much different breed of rapper than Slim Shady, especially in terms of cadence and delivery. This is all the more evident because the source tapes of these tracks date back to the early '90s, when 2Pac was at his funkiest and least hardcore. While the dates aren't provided in the credits, the original producers are credited: Randy "Stretch" Walker, DJ Daryl, Live Squad, and Deon Evans, all of whom worked with 2Pac during his early years, namely the early '90s, just as he was leaving Digital Underground and getting his career off the ground. Various time-specific references within 2Pac's lyrics are further evidence of this, such as passing references to the L.A. riots. How much Loyal to the Game ultimately appeals to you will likely depend on how much you like Eminem. After all, this is as much his album as 2Pac's -- a labor of love, no doubt. If you're fond of his lock-step beatmaking and big hooks, you'll find much to like here, for 2Pac's rhymes are undoubtedly fascinating in any context, even at this early stage of his career. [Interscope released a clean edition of Loyal to the Game in conjunction with its standard edition. While there's not too much profanity here to clean up, this edition indeed does its duty in earnest.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/14/2004
  • Label: Amaru / Interscope
  • UPC: 075021032958
  • Catalog Number: 000386202
  • Sales rank: 211,034

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Soldier Like Me (A.K.A. Return of the Soulja) - Eminem (3:50)
  2. 2 The Uppercut - Noble (3:50)
  3. 3 Out on Bail (3:54)
  4. 4 Ghetto Gospel (3:58)
  5. 5 Black Cotton - Kastro (5:03)
  6. 6 Loyal to the Game - G-Unit (3:23)
  7. 7 Thugs Get Lonely Too - Nate Dogg (4:48)
  8. 8 N.*.*.*. * (Never Ignorant About Getting Goals Accomplished) - Jadakiss (3:02)
  9. 9 Who Do You Love? (3:28)
  10. 10 Crooked N**** Too (2:55)
  11. 11 Don't You Trust Me (4:55)
  12. 12 Hennessey - Noble (3:27)
  13. 13 Thug 4 Life (3:03)
  14. 14 Po N**** Blues - Ronald Isley (3:39)
  15. 15 Hennessey - Sleepy Brown (3:18)
  16. 16 Crooked N**** Too (4:03)
  17. 17 Loyal to the Game - Big Syke (4:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
2Pac Primary Artist
Luis Resto Keyboards
Kastro Track Performer
Steve King Bass, Guitar
Technical Credits
Elton John Composer
Live Squad Producer
2Pac Producer
David Blake Composer
David Brown Composer
Anthony Criss Composer
DJ Quik Producer
Ronald Isley Composer
Nicole Johnson Personal Assistant
Luis Resto Composer, Producer
Scott Spencer Storch Composer, Producer
Bernie Taupin Composer
Raphael Saadiq Composer, Producer
Johnny Jackson Composer
Johnny J Producer
DJ Daryl Producer
Daryl Anderson Composer
Gretchen Anderson Producer
Deon Evans Composer
Dido Armstrong Composer
Afeni Shakur Executive Producer
Eminem Producer, Executive Producer
Mark Bates Composer
Marshall Mathers Composer
Tony Campana Engineer
Tyruss Himes Composer
Curtis Jackson Composer
Lloyd Banks Composer
Tupac Shakur Composer
Red Spyda Producer
Nicole Frantz Creative Assistance
TreMayne Maxie Personal Assistant
Brian "Big Bass" Gardner Mastering
Steve King Composer, Engineer
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