The Game, The Documentary (Aftermath, 2005)
I think we all know what I'm about to say, and as much as I hate to say it, I will anyway because it's true: This new Game album = Not all that. It's cool for what it is and I'd imagine that it's way better than that Lloyd Banks' album, which I'll never hear. But, as far as commercial-sounding rap shit is concerned (not really my thing anyway), it's nowhere near seeing that Cam'ron album from a month ago. And it's not for a lack of trying either: Everybody and their fucking grandmother contributed to this album in one way or another. I think what it comes down to is that The Game is just not that compelling of an MC.
Like my man (no homo), Johnny Whitewater, said, it's just another dumbass intro, but the quote (is that movie dialogue?) is kinda cool and at least the thing is short and kinda crescendoes into the first track.
This sounds just like some other 50 Cent, or otherwise Aftermath-related, song from a couple years ago; I just can't place it. At any rate, I'm pretty sure I didn't really care for it the first time either. That insistent, clanking piano sound just bothers me for some reason. Also, I should mention that Fiddy pretty much dominates this track, which is never good when it's your first song on your first album.
Kanye West "produces" this one. I kinda outline here why you can never be too certain who's really responsible for what on a Kanye West production. With that said, this beat's aiight, but not even up there with the best of his shit. If there's an upside, it's that there's no Harlem Juvenile Delinquents Choir, superfluous violin solos or spoken word bits. If that's your thing, I guess you'll just have to wait until Late Registration.
HATE IT OR LOVE IT
Scratch what I said about 50 Cent dominating that first song on this album. I'm pretty sure he just did the chorus there. Here, he completely owns the first verse and makes you not care what Game has to say for the rest of the track. Read more about this track on the typically-undertrafficked (will these kids ever learn?) Sean Fennessy venture, Popadopolis.
I've heard this before on the J-Station aka Squirrel's sattelite radio. The Game (what a ridonkulous name) makes reference to the incident at last year's Vibe awards and otherwise does what he does on pretty much every other track on this album: Talk about how gully he is and try to compare his ascendance in the rap game to the likes of NWA, Snoop, Nas, Pac and Biggie. Yeah, right! I do like this Dre beat a lot better than that first one he did for "Westside Story."
HOW WE DO
Speaking of Dre beats I like, some are saying that this is Dre's best work since that "Xxxplosive" beat that he ripped off from that Missing Linx album like 6 years ago. Man, that motherfucker's a musical genius! The Game is, again, an afterthought on his own freaking song. Also, is 50 Cent writing his shit for him? I'm just saying.
DON'T NEED YOUR LOVE
Which brings me to one of the main points I'd like to make: The Game spends a ridonkulous amount of time comparing himself to jigs who were, at one point in time or another, incredible MCs. Probably The Game's most distinguishing feature at this point in the, um, game is that he's so not an incredible. If he wanted to be more realistic, he might compare himself more often to MCs with real questionable rhyming skills who still managed to find success in the music biz. A more apt title for this album would be, Lil' Cease, Vol. 1. He should run out right now and get a Memphis Bleek tattoo.
CHURCH FOR THUGS
If Just Blaze can put down his Colecovision for long enough, he'll be the fucking man this year. Not only can this jig produce incredible rap records, he can produce incredible rap records with motherfuckers who can't even rap. I will be bumping these dumbass Game records this year just like I was bumping that dumbass Faboulous record last year, albeit with my windows rolled all the way up just in case. You know how I do.
PUT YOU ON THE GAME
Eh, another one of these dumbass Timbaland beats. Depending on your orientation, I suppose you'll either find this "fucking brilliant" or "entirely skippable."
START FROM SCRATCH
This is especially bad because it's slow as shit (The Game sounds especially retarded rhyming slow) and it's got a really foul-sounding R&B chorus courtesy of one of the chicks from Floetry. Which one: I'm not sure, but something tells me it's the one with the fucked up teeth.
I really am getting tired of hearing this jig rap about his own rap career, trying to compare himself to Pac and Biggie and the rest of them. Peep the chorus to this one: "I'm Ready to Die without a Reasonable Doubt/Smoke Chronic and hit it Doggystyle before I go out/until they sign my Death Ceritifcate/All Eyez On Me/I'm still at it Illmatic/and that's The Documentary."
Hi-Tek hasn't produced anything I really cared for since I was in high school and this definitely doesn't break that trend. This sounds like it could be a leftover from Snoop's Last Meal album. But the most annoying part about it is that high-pitched synth that sounds like a fucking cell phone going off. Second most annoying part: Tony Yayo, who really can't rap at all.
NO MORE FUN AND GAMES
Like I was saying before about Just Blaze, the dude produces some incredible shit. I actually like this the best out of his two tracks on here. It has a really layered and raucous sound to it like old school Public Enemy. I also like the fact that Game says, "I don't like half and half Alicia Keys dyke bitches." Ha!
This, produced by Eminem (need I say more?), and that fucking Floetry song definitely should've been left off of here. But I guess Mr. Hardass Game didn't have the balls to say no to his bosses. Also, The Game's flow on this (very Em-esque - he even mentions Michael Jackson) will only add to the specualation that he's not writing his own shit.
WHERE I'M FROM
Yet another one of these songs that sounds like Dre might've done it, but it's actually some other guy, even though it's always just some other guy (got that?). The laid back vibe of this would've been more suitable for a Snoop Dogg record. Nate Dogg is on the chorus.
And also on this chorus, apparently, even though it doesn't really sound like Nate Dogg. Maybe my MP3s have fucked up tags. You know all of those other G-Unit love raps (and I know there's like 40 of them at this point), well this is that.
This is more like a Mary J. Blige song featuring The Game. And not a very good one at that. Also, he sounds suspiciously like Lloyd Banks on this one. Hmm...
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Why in the world Busta insists on being down with these Aftermath clowns is beyond me. Does he not see that he's well on his way to becoming the next Xzibit: Famous yeah, but nobody's gonna buy his album. But maybe that's what he wants. I'd like another Future Without a Past.
COMMENTS: Does anybody else find it interesting that The Game only started rhyming when I was like a Junior in college and that his frame of reference doesn't extend beyond The Chronic/Doggystyle/Illmatic/Ready to Die/ All Eyez on Me. I don't want to sound like an old person here, but Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, get over the mid '90s already. There was good rap music made before and since, even though, despite what other people might tell you, there's been a lot less since. I think it goes without saying that The Game doesn't really produce his addition to that pantheon here. He wasn't about to anyway because he's just not that good.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS: In the early '80s, Mark Knopfler's schtick was basically that he was a young guy who sung the kind of songs you might expect to hear from a really old guy. Now he actually is old and, as far as I know, still singing, but obviously the novelty is just not the same.