With 10 years experience in the game, several albums and classic mixtapes under his belt. It’s needless to that say that The Game has done pretty well for himself since leaving G-Unit in 2005. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of his debut, The Game took on the challenge of releasing a sequel to his debut The Documentary. He also took on the challenge of releasing TWO different albums naming the second disc 2.5 which is geared more to the streets. The question is will the main album live up to the hype?
The album kicks off with a banger titled On Me featuring fellow Compton Emcee and current king of the West Kendrick Lamar. Backed by the On and On Erikah Badu, The two reflect on the average day of living in Compton and picture painting the LA lifestyle. Kendrick shows in his verse that he’s willing to murder any rapper on their own shit which led Game to actually try to use the double time flow that Kendrick used. It was the perfect opener.
The followup to On Me is Step Up where Game channels the late Notorious BIG’s flow as he spits with aggression about his enemies wanting to murder him. He pays homage to both Gangstarr(through the Step in the Arena sample) and Brandy’s Wanna be Down with Dej Loaf and Sha Sha on the hook.
One of the album’s main highlights is when Game reunites his mentor/hero Dr Dre and Ice Cube to give the fans a taste of a NWA reunion on Don’t Trip. Cube’s verse was ok, Dre’s was solid but Game stole the show with his last verse when he described how he came up in a Crip neighborhood and had to survive through it as a blood. It was great PR for the NWA movie.
The album continues a winning streak of dope material throughout surprisingly considering he featured alot of Industry people. You also get to sense Game’s growth as in terms of his content, his approach 10 years later, and how much of a better emcee he’s become since debuting. He tackles more personal issues on Documentary 2 which he talks about his struggle with dealing with new fame and adjusting to his new position. He also talks about how he was rejected by Death Row and Murder Inc while recapturing the state of mind he was in when trying to get put on.
He tackles the sickness of racism and false religion on the album’s most politically charged “New York New York” where Game lets his anger splash through his bars. You can feel the venom of his words when he talks about the Country’s hypocrisy of Rick Ross being in holding while people shrug of the Dylan Roof:
They locked Rick Ross up and they ain’t give him no bail
But a cracker shoot a whole church up and it’s “Oh well”
Oh well, oh well
Hang him with a confederate flag in his cell
Let him sit there and rot ’til his body turns to bones
Just remember who casted the first stone
The album has its light moments and isn’t entirely dark or hardcore. Standing on top of Ferrari’s pays homage once again to the late Notorious BIG(Which samples Kick in the Door) and has Diddy playing side kick with the ad-libs. Summertime and LA pay homage to the West Coast lifestyle without indulging heavily on the old G-Funk sound. Snoop shows that he can come correct on LA when he’s rapping in his comfort as he paints the picture of life out west and telling his peers “We’re where you got your swag from, Write that down“. Fergie and Will I Am(Yes from the Black Eyed Peas) surprisingly do justice with the hook.
100 featuring Drake was a surprise considering Drake was mostly known for commercial singles. Drake actually wanted to take a more hood approach this time around. The theme of 100 is based about how fame can drive wedges between friends and staying true to those you came up with.
The album has some misaps. Kanye West continues to show his musical regression on Mula. Hashtag, and the Future featured Dedicated clearly has Game attempting to aim at different demographics to sell and out of his lane. There are also times where Game emulate different peoples flows and styles which may annoy listeners at times. But overall Game really came back and put together a strong followup to his classic. It definitely lived up to the hype and should be supported.
Vic Da Ruler.
9.0 outta 10