The Game – “The Documentary” review

After releasing 2 independent albums under JT the Bigga Figga’s Get Low Recordz, Compton rapper The Game is coming out with his official full-length debut & he’s giving it to us with the help of legendary West Coast producer Dr. Dre & G-Unit leader 50 Cent as well as their own individual labels Aftermath Entertainment & G-Unit Records respectively. The album features production from Dre himself (who is credited for producing 7 tracks & co-producing 2 tracks) as well as those such as Kanye (“Dreams”), Havoc (“Don’t Need Your Love” which was one of the 2 tracks to be co-produced by Dre), Timbaland (“Put You on the Game”), Hi-Tek (“Runnin'”) & Buckwild (“Like Father, Like Son”). The album starts off with the album’s lead single “Westside Story”, which features nicely played keys by former Roots keyboardist turned Dr. Dre protégé Scott Storch & Game hungrily spitting about some G shit. The next track “Dreams” has a soulful beat & as much I really like Game’s ambition & passion on here, I still think the opening line on this track (“I woke up out that coma 2001, ’bout the same time Dre dropped 2001”) is one of THE stupidest lines I’ve ever heard in a hip hop song. 50 spits some bars along with Game on the victorious “Hate It or Love It” (the other Dre co-produced track) as well as the speaker knockin’ “How We Do” & it’s a shame that the 2 had a falling out shortly after the album’s release because they sounded great together on these tracks. However, they finally made amends with each other about a month ago so hopefully we’ll get to hear them on the same track at some point in the future. In the middle of these 2 tracks, we get the track “Higher” which is just Game going in over an abrasive Dre beat & Dre actually appears at the very end of the final verse telling us to “look out for Detox”. Listening to that line makes me laugh when I hear it now because Dre actually dropped his final album last year & it WASN’T Detox at all rather it was the soundtrack of the N.W.A biopic that came out a week after the album did. We also hear Game collaborating with Eminem for the only time on the track “We Ain’t”, which is a aggressive track about how Game & Em aren’t leaving hip hop any time soon. The track “Start from Scratch” has a somber beat from Dre & Game is just telling us that “wouldn’t change shit” if he could start all over. Throughout this entire track, Game sounds dead ass serious & Marsha Ambrosius’ hook enhances the emotion. The track “Runnin'” sees Game teaming up with fellow G-Unit member Tony Yayo & while I like the churchy production & Game’s verses, Yayo’s verse on this track is EASILY the weakest verse on the entire album. The track “Don’t Worry” is a beautiful duet with Mary J. Blige & it’s a concept track about how Mary will always be for Game even when he’s incarcerated. The album closes out with the “Like Father, Like Son” which is dedicated to Game’s first born Harlem & the sample Buckwild used throughout this entire track goes PERFECTLY with Game happily describing the day his son was born. Some people rip on Game for constant name-dropping (which he still does to this very day), but it actually didn’t bother me that much on here. Matter of fact, I think we can all agree that this is unquestionably Game’s best work & a West Coast classic. The production is flawless & Game is at his hungriest, most ambitious & passionate hour. I REALLY really hope that Game will work with Dre & 50 again after 1992 comes out next month because I personally haven’t thoroughly enjoyed a Game album since Je5us PiecE. Don’t get me wrong The Documentary 2 + 2.5 definitely had some bangers on each disc but as a full album, I didn’t think it lived up to the original over here

Score: 4.5/5

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