The Game is not an innovator. What makes him special is skill. Incredible skill.
The Game just dropped the sequel to his debut album, The Documentary–a multi-platinum, certified classic album–and get this: It’s even better. Remember when Dr. Dre tried to do The Chronic 2 and the result was something underwhelming with a few good tracks? That hasn’t happened here.
But let me get back to my point: He’s not original. What he is, is a fanboy. A scholar of hip hop. On most of his albums, he’s been a name-dropper and style-biter who outdid the people he emulated. The Documentary basically was a 50 Cent album with much better lyrics, tougher flow, and way more real shit. So what is the sequel? It’s cut after cut of superstar guests, and on each track The Game proves he can do it better. He starts with “On Me,” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly album is the most off-beat and fascinating album of 2015, and this track easily could fit on the record–in fact, Lamar (who is NOT a gangsta rapper) seems so convinced by Game’s ability that he promises to do a drive by for him. Next comes “Step Up,” where Game gives Berkeley Place favorite up-and-comer Dej Loaf a turn at the mic, with a chorus by Sha Sha, and where he steps up his street lyrics.
And then Game, who makes no secret that NWA is is favorite band, gets a dream come true: Ice Cube and Dr. Dre appear on the same track with him. It’s a solid cut, but it’s odd: It’s produced by Will.i.am, and it sounds more like Black Peas than NWA.
On the next track where Game hits all tens: “Standing On Ferraris.” P Diddy appears, and Game proves he can spit over NY beats like Biggie. This starts the strongest part of the album, with “Dollar And A Dream,” “Made In America,” and a bizarre blues track called “Hashtag.” Sha Sha appears again on “Circles,” with Q-Tip, which actually feels like a real conversation between a gangbanger and his wife. It feels as honest as anything Eminem ever did–but instead of raw venom, it’s got the smooth, jazzy feel of Tribe Called Quest.
And this is only part one. A second album is coming soon. Game said he recorded 700 songs before releasing this album–that’s definitely too many, but one album is definitely not enough.