THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a salute to the greatest songs of all time. One song per artist, with suggested further listening and covers!
The Game is in my top 10. Seriously. I know he’s not innovative, but his ability to weave a rhyme is amazing. And what makes “Hate It or Love It” so good is that it uses 50 Cent in the best way: On the hook. Fiddy is not a great rapper. He’s a decent rapper, and a great front man. The Game has tattoos all over his face, constantly scowls, and generally has a grimey attitude. He’s a terrible front man. But he’s a great rapper.
Hate It Or Love It was produced by Cool & Dre (and also Dr. Dre), and went all the way to the #2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100—but it couldn’t knock 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” off the top slot. That’s amazing. A song nobody remembers kept one of the best “posse cuts” ever made from reaching #1. Then it lost at the Grammies to “Don’t Phunk with My Heart” by Black Eyed Peas. What a horrible year for music.
The music on the song is instantly catchy—with the over-modulated finger-snaps and Dr. Dre’s characteristic West Coast bump, all tinged with a soul flavor. It stood out against the rest of The Game’s debut album, which tended to be much harder. Pretty much as soon as they were done recording it, Fiddy and Game’s famous beef started and the two couldn’t even be brought together for the video, shooting their segments separately. The video also failed to win any awards, losing the MTV Best Rap Video award to Ludacris’ “Number One Spot.”
Hate It Or Love It may be the losingest greatest tune of all time.
Further Listening: For Game: West Side Story, Dreams. For 50 Cent: In Da Club (obviously), and “How to Rob,” the best work of his career (created before he had a career).