The Game, Doctor's Advocate (Geffen, 2006)
As it turns out, the Game's highly anticipated Doctor's Advocate did see its "Internets release" earlier today. Excepting Diddy's Press Play, it's the first of this fall's uber-massive hip-hop albums to hit the streets, so to speak. Is it any good?
LOOKIN' AT YOU
Sounds quite a bit like something Dr. Dre would do despite the fact that he doesn't have a production credit on here. In fact, a good half of these tracks are produced by relative no-names and you don't notice as much.
Which is not to say that the production here is on the level of the production on the Documentary. It isn't. I'd say its fairly passable though.
Mega single "It's Okay" a/k/a "One Blood" would be the main example where a beat by the Game himself and one of the aforementioned anonymous figures really rises to the level.
I already made my opinion on the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am known earlier today, but this is almost good. It flips the same sample as De La's "Stakes Is High" and doesn't do much with it, but it's still got a nice thump to it.
Just Blaze = hip-hop's new king of ridonkulously wanton sampling. I'm honestly at a loss for how this is any different than the beat from PE's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos." The fuck?
The strip club single produced by Scott Storch which hasn't exactly set the world on fire since it hit the streets a few weeks ago. Next!
Yet another Scott Storch number, this time with Nate Dogg on shitty R&B chorus, where he belongs.
WOULDN'T GET FAR
Kanyeezy, who's a great producer at times, laces this ode to bitches who dance in rap videos and sometimes blow people to advance their career. Note to self: get a career in rap. Wait, I've got one? Blow job, please.
SCREAM ON 'EM
Of Swizz Beatz production credits in the '06, this isn't in the top half. The Game kinda blazes it though. He's become a much better rapper since the last album.
If I'm not mistaken, Nottz may be one of the people who do beats on the last several Snoop Dogg albums. Need I say more? I suppose it's worth noting that the shitty R&B chorus here is a rip of the Babyface classic "Two Occasions" as heard (briefly) in than one Mariah Carey song.
The one with Busta Rhymes that I wrote about earlier today. It's weird to hear the two of them rapping to Dr. Dre like this. Can we presume the Big Bang was the beginning and the end of Busta's work with Aftermath?
I wrote about this one earlier today as well. I like it even more than I did now that I've had a chance to focus on the lyrics, though the production is still kinda meh.
A new West Coast anthem featuring Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, and that same god-awful synthesizer heard in a million early-to-mid '90s West Coast rap records.
Followed by a track featuring Kurpt and Daz and produced by "Jelly Roll," all of whom I'm sure could use the work.
AROUND THE WORLD
Not worse than the few other hip-hop records this year featuring Jamie Foxx, but not particularly good either. As much as he can, the Game saves it by rapping about sex the same way he does about being a bad-ass LA gang banger-type.
WHY YOU HATE THE GAME
The epic, nine minute-long finale featuring Nas and one of the broads from Floetry and produced by Just Blaze - thought by many to be the best producer in hip-hop today. I suppose it would have been fairly monumental either way, but I still find it rather anticlimactic.
COMMENTS: Surprisingly, this is a pretty good album. Dr. Dre and the rest of the Aftermath crew (except for Busta Rhymes) are notably absent, but you don't miss them so much. None of the beats here are as good as the best shit from the Documentary, but most of it's still pretty good anyway. Meanwhile, the Game has become one hell of a rapper, as heard on "300 Bars" and "One Blood," etc. He's still up to his same old name-dropping bullshit, but he's gotten much better at it which is what really saves the album.
BEST TRACKS: "It's Okay" "Wouldn't Get Far" "Why You Hate the Game"