20. Game f/ 50 Cent "Westside Story" (2004)
Producer: Dr. Dre, Scott Storch
Album: The Documentary
Label: Aftermath, G-Unit, Interscope
In 1994, Dre's beats were instantly recognizable for the sound of the Minimoog Voyager, which created the "gangsta whine" that became emblematic of the West Coast hip-hop ethos. Ten years later, in 2004, the chunky Steinway piano of "Westside Story" was as much an insignia of Game's West Coast credentials as the whistling synth had been for Snoop ten years prior.
Rolling Stone described the song as "an L.A. version of 'In Da Club'" but Game's song is a much more unnerving piece of work, devoid of the sociability that made 50's single a crossover smash. It is true that the songs share one of Dre's essential rhythmic principles: A forward-walking tempo with an irrational tilt to it. It is the sound of a fighter shuffling to the ring, the sound of revenge.