Snoop Dogg shows his padawan the Game just who is the master

Apparently, the West Coast is back, and Snoop Dogg and the Game roll into RIMAC Arena May 20 to show “How the West Was One.” At first glance, this pairing seems to make sense, but upon further review, one has to question Snoop’s motives. Snoop has been a true legend in the rap industry since his debut on “Deep Cover” and appearances on The Chronic, but now, ironically, it seems that the West Coast’s P-I-M-P has been relegated to pimping himself off for the advancement of Game’s career.

The concept of being “put on” is nothing new in hip-hop, and, in fact, some of the brightest stars in hip-hop may have never achieved stardom without the help of their friends. EPMD brought us Redman, Ice Cube brought us Mack 10, and Dr. Dre has introduced us to Snoop, Eminem and now Game. However, what separates Game from the rest is his lack of history or any interaction whatsoever with the industry until quite recently. Credibility is crucial in the rap game, and artists usually must pay their dues or earn their stripes in order to qualify themselves as viable hip-hop artists. Game was somehow able to circumvent this whole process and skip directly to the major-label record deal without more than a bump in the road.

This is not meant to be an indictment of Game, because the man has truly been through many hard times in his life, but he has also been searching in vain for his meal ticket for years now, and rapping wasn’t at the top of his original list. Many years ago, Game tried to be a model for GQ, a little known fact that became publicized thanks to his feud with Yukmouth (one has to wonder why there wasn’t a mirror handy at the time to convince him otherwise), and also appeared on the dating show, “Change of Heart,” where Game wanted to stay together only to have his girlfriend go for the other guy. It was only after Game awoke from his coma after being shot in a botched robbery that he had his brother go out and buy Doggystyle, Reasonable Doubt and Ready to Die, among other hip-hop classics, to guide his way toward becoming a rap superstar.

Boasting a violent past proved to be not quite enough for much of hip-hop, so Game proceeded to instigate beefs with a variety of underwhelming opponents, such as Joe Buddens and Yukmouth, in order to further his credibility. Whether Game even came out on the top of these beefs is highly debatable, but mainstreamers wanted to accept up-and-comer Game over a disappointing, uncharismatic New Yorker and a little-known Bay Area rapper, respectively. Riding this supposed momentum as well as tall tales of gang lore, Game released his debut album, The Documentary, which has gone four times platinum worldwide. It would seem that Game has finally made it, that his success can’t be denied, but many in hip-hop are having trouble stomaching what has been unforgivably force-fed.

And that is exactly where Snoop comes in. The presence of Snoop and Tha Dogg Pound add the credibility, longevity and sense of accomplishment that Game lacks. Unfortunately for concert organizers, the only people that they are going to fool with this trick are the people who have already been fooled into thinking that Game is one of the best in the business. Continue to thump your copy of The Documentary as a classic, shell out your $40 and claim that Game put the West back on the map; the rest of us will be listening to E-40, Ras Kass, Too Short, Ice Cube, Andre Nickatina, Living Legends, Kurupt, Hiero, Mac Dre and Cali Agents, confident that the West Coast was never gone.