Less than half an hour before the Game began performing, much of the crowd at the Observatory on Tuesday night began to boo.
Hip-hop legends like Ghostface Killah and Lauryn Hill have earned the right to make their Santa Ana fans wait until after 11 p.m. on a weeknight to hear their sets, and younger rappers like Travis Scott and Post Malone can get away with it solely because most of their supporters can just skip class the next morning. The Game doesn't fall into either of those categories, and the audience had certainly lost some of the buzz that circulated around the venue three hours prior when the first opener was gearing up to hit the stage.
The Game didn't seem like he cared too terribly much about the fans' pre-show uneasiness, and that was probably for the best.
From the very first song ("On Me"), the Game made it very clear that the night was going to be all about enjoyment. He was going to have fun with the performance, and the crowd was going to have a good time being entertained by his performance.
Backed by a host of friends (although only his trusted DJ, Nu Jerzey Devil, for the entire set), the Game's performance barely lasted an hour, but crammed plenty into the short time. As the rapper continued with tunes like "Hashtag," "El Chapo," and "Standing on Ferraris," he proceeded to crack jokes, bust out some of his well-documented dance moves, and pour drinks down fans throats. While doing the latter, the Game made the first mention of the piece of banter he would repeat a handful more times that night.
"Don't put your lips on my bottle, Charlie Sheen got AIDS."
Although no one explained to the Game that it's nearly impossible to contract HIV from sharing a drink, his desire to stay away from the disease (and repeatedly point out that he at least heard of the actor's big announcement) became a recurring theme of the night. As one of Compton's finest ripped through "Don't Trip," "Dollar and a Dream," :"My Life," and more, it became obvious that the rapper may have had a pleasant buzz going from drinking backstage and during the set, but he still sounded as crisp and aggressive as ever.
Fast-forward a handful of tracks (like "Westside Story," "Compton," and "100"), and the Game actually decided to introduce his first special guest of the night (since the few other rappers sharing the stage with him essentially as hypemen never received introductions), another Compton native, RJ–who performed his own set at the Observatory last week.
RJ performed one of his tracks, "Get Rich" before more than a few other rappers joined the Game on the stage to perform a roughly half-dozen-man version of "My Flag/Da Homies." Another friend of the Game, AD, dropped his song "Juice" on the unsuspecting crowd before things got really interesting.
Among the Game's other hip-hop homies, O.T. Genasis has likely seen the most recent success, with the first tune he broke out on Tuesday night "CoCo." Before Genasis could even say "I'm in love with the CoCo" for the hundredth time, the Game challenged the relative newcomer to a drinking contest. After declaring Genasis his drinking buddy, the Game came up with a pair of Ciroc bottles and promptly chugged one (literally the whole thing) while waiting for Genasis to finish his.
My first thought was "There's no way that was all alcohol in that bottle, he would be ridiculously drunk." Little did I know, just a few moments later, the 6'4" rapper would appear quite hammered, often rubbing his face and losing his train of thought between songs.
Following the drinking contest, Genasis performed "Cut It" with some help from the Game, before exiting the stage so the main star of the show could play "Higher" and "Put You on the Game" before getting to his grand finale.
Over the last three songs ("Hate It or Love It," "How We Do," and "It's Okay (One Blood)"), the Game managed to take joints from the audience, give away bikes to two dudes dressed as twins, have a discussion with an overeager fan, discuss the size of another fan's breasts, discuss his leaked "dick pic" on the internet, threaten to take his dick out so people would stop talking about the dick pic, mention "Charlie Sheen has AIDS" at least two more times, and put together a tribute for Tupac, Eazy-E, Nate Dogg and all of the other fallen LA-based rappers (and Biggie, because of course). Oh, and he did it all while drunk enough for some people to call an ambulance.
The Game's set on Tuesday night may not have been everything fans were hoping for (although better than when Irvine literally pulled the plug on him at the Art of Rap festival in July), but no one who saw it will ever say it wasn't entertaining.
Standing on Ferraris
Dollar and a Dream
Get Rich [RJ N Choice]
My Flag/Da Homies
CoCo [O.T. Genasis]
Cut It [O.T. Genasis]
Put You on the Game
Hate It or Love It
How We Do
It's Okay (One Blood)