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The Documentary 2 is the first of two albums The Game released this year. The Game is easily one of the top three most polarizing rap artists of all time, but even with a heavy slew of detractors he’s 10 years in still successfully putting out album after album. The Documentary 2 is number seven to be exact. It seems as if his work since 2006’s Doctor’s Advocate has gone under the radar, but with West Coast emcees dropping two of the year’s most important projects (Dr. Dre’s Compton, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly) this was an opportune time for Game to seize the moment with a follow up of his breakthrough debut.
The Game is a student of hip hop. From his rhymes, content, features, and production it’s easy to see that Game is one that studies culture norms and implements it into his music. His stories aren’t necessarily new, but it’s rooted in that of personas that have came and went in hip hop history. He’s a gangster who does gangster shit, nothing more to the story. It’s akin to Brock Lesnar as a beast-like wrestler. He’s not an original character, but fits his part and plays it very well. His bars aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they sort of hit and in some cases even surprise you. Game’s up to old tricks name dropping the likes of your favorite rappers, actors, athletes, and brands. The glass is half full though as they’re easy references for a listener to grasp.
On “Standing On Ferraris” he puts all his cards on the table. Jahlil Beats flips Biggie Smalls’ “Kick In The Door” giving it a 2015 knock. In braggadocios form Game raps about the Cincinatti Reds, Lamborghinis, Peyton Manning, Red October Yeezy’s, Craig Mack, Rick Rubin, Jay Z, Trey Songz, Khloe Kardashian, and Cuban cigars. Can the references cater any more to a hip hop listener? To top it off he adds Diddy to the outro. He’s a student in the sense that he knows exactly what the cultural norms are and doesn’t stray from it for a second, or in his words “go weird like Lupe.”
The features are in abundance and rich. Who can complain when an album has legends like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Q-Tip, and Snoop in the vicinity of today’s stars like Future, Kanye West, Ab-Soul, and Dej Loaf? Most importantly, there’s a feature from Kendrick Lamar and Drake who both are on their A-games and help deliver two of the record’s best songs in “On Me” and “100.” The guest list lights a fire under Game who comes to play himself with a new found vigor in his delivery and a sharper pen.
There’s a lot to say about this album. Game is in a new mind frame here, playing the role of an OG who has lived to tell his tale. A tale from the streets and tale of being a hip hop star, both games that many can’t say that they have lasted as long as he did in. Game has never wore the crown for lyricist of the year and can make you cringe at some of his antics, but he does deliver with The Documentary 2.