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Music: “The Documentary 2” Album Review


When The Game announced that his next release would be a sequel to his classic “The Documentary” the anticipation grew.

When The Game dropped “The Documentary” in 2005, he was riding an incredible high and was being backed by Dr. Dre and 50 Cent.  Although the album was a modern-day classic – the “fallout” that the Game had with those on his first album was immense.

Still, that didn’t deter The Game.  He is one of the hardest working artists out in the industry and his record catalog is actually pretty impressive.  Although many have their reservations when it comes to “L.A.X” and “Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf” – there is no doubt the Compton native has come a long way from the infamous “fallout.”

The Game is now on reality TV trying to find “love” on the VH1 show “She’s Got Game” and  with the release of “The Documentary 2,” The Game is looking to dominate on all media surfaces.

Kendrick Lamar joins The Game on the opening track “On Me” which is produced by Bongo ‘The Drum Gahd’ – who handles the lion’s share of this album’s production.  The Game is a “friendly competitor” who invites artists to collaborate with him and gives them a backdrop that fits their style more than his.  He does this in ways to elevate his artistry and show his versatility.  Even on this laid back track he still emits the slick gangsta’ talk: “Spoon feed you n*[email protected] like toddlers, from the city of Impalas / When shot-callers take their pitbulls and feed them n*[email protected] rottweilers.”

The Game always pays homage to his hometown and to the legends of the craft – he kills two birds with one stone on “Don’t Trip” which features Ice-Cube and Dr. Dre. The track is produced by will.i.am who sampled the bass line from the Digable Planets classic “Rebirth of Slick.” It’s still weird hearing the now family-comedy actor Ice Cube do the tough talk on record, but he is an originator of the gangster rap craft, so you have to respect it.

“Step Up” uses the same sample as 2Pac’s classic “I Get Around,” and while the Dej-Loaf feature is barely noticeable, the hook by Sha-Sha is a clever gangster twist on Brandy’s old school classic “I Wanna Be Down.”  The Diddy featured “Standing On Ferraris” has elements of Notorious B.I.G’s “Kick in the Door” and while Diddy’s spoken word outro is neither funny or entertaining, The Game handles his business on the track: “I’ve been shot, stabbed, left for dead / Walked through every hood in L.A., bandana on my head / Guarantee that sh*t was red/ Machetes and them choppers out/B*tches with their knockers out/I done f*cked them all, that’s why I’m standin’ on Ferrari’s n*[email protected]

Surprisingly, the collaboration between The Game and Future works out harmoniously.  The Game even weighed in on Future’s situation with his baby mother Ciara and her new beau Russell Wilson : “Had a n*[email protected] focused on the future, now a n*[email protected] feelin’ like Future/We both dealing with a new n*[email protected] ’round our kids/And we ain’t kill him yet, n*[email protected], I salute you/ And I still bang like I used to, red Impala, gold things like I used to.”

The Game made a big deal about the guest production on the album and those big features turn out being  a disappointment.  Scott Storch came out from the rock he was under to produce the uninspired effort on “B*tch You Ain’t Sh*t.” Kanye West even turns in a let down effort on “Mula” with an awkward chorus and a simple loop for the beat.

“Dollar and A Dream” features Ab-Soul, who is kind of all over the track and never really settles into a consistent flow, while The Game’s routine – honestly, just starts becoming tired.

He’s an infamous “name-dropper” and all of his metaphors consist of a verbal formula that goes like this: “I do ______________ like _____________ when he _____________.”

The album gets weird with “100” featuring Drake.  It’s “weird” because this is one of those rare occasions where Drake lets down as the featured artist, which works out for The Game who easily outshines Meek Mill’s assassin.  .  .  Another “weird” moment is on the track “L.A.” where will.i.am actually has a better verse than The Game or Snoop (who is also featured): “LA native, LA Raider, LA Rams – motherf*ck*n’ traitors / LA Clippers, LA Lakers, trippin off Kobe, you the motherf*ck*n’ greatest/LA Dodgers, finger to the Padres/East Los n*[email protected] sayin’ ‘china tu madre.’” 

The Game gets it right on the Dr. Dre and DJ Premier production collaboration on the title track “Documentary 2,” – but who could really screw that up? He really did go in though: “I’m like sixteen Jay’s but the beat I can manage/so every sweet 16 is like Duke and Kansas/You about to lose advantage, I will come through crews and bandage/Bruise and damage/ f*ck your rules and manners/I kick back, click clack, bump the Wu in Phantoms / F*ck rap, I only respect Ja Rule and Hammer.”   

If there was more of that version of The Game on this album it would leave a lasting impression.   “The Documentary 2” is a far cry from its predecessor.  This would’ve been better off as a mix tape to be honest. . . “The Documentary 2” actually takes away from the light that once shined on the “The Documentary” which has the unfortunate fate of sharing a legacy with it’s “adequate at best,” sequel.

Rating 5 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio


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