The Game almost impresses with “Documentary” follow-up


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Patrick Kernan, Managing Editor

Back in 2005, rapper The Game released his first album, entitled “The Documentary.” This year, after a decade and a series of other albums, he released a double-album sequel to it, releasing the two halves, “The Documentary 2” and “The Documentary 2.5” a week apart this October.

Combined, the two halves stretch to just over two and a half hours. And that is my biggest complaint about it, as it feels like a 40 minute album with 110 minutes of filler thrown in.

The Game seems like he isn’t entirely sure where he wants to go with this one. Some songs feel like old school west coast g-funk, while other songs have that New York boom bap sound, while still others take on the trap sound that’s been blowing up in the hip hop scene over the past few years.

To do this, The Game gets basically every rapper you’ve ever heard of to help him out. This includes west coast icons like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg, New York biggies like Q-Tip, Diddy, and Busta Rhymes, modern conscious rappers like Kendrick Lamar and the rest of the Black Hippy crew, and trap rappers like Future and Ty Dolla $ign.

And that doesn’t even begin to mention Drake,, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West, who also show up on this album.

If that list seems exhausting to you just reading it, don’t worry. It’s even worse listening to it.

Some of those rappers make no sense together. Can you really picture Q-Tip, with his laid-back and humorous flow, working with the aggressive sounds of former N.W.A. members Dre and Cube? It just doesn’t work, and it ends up feeling like the Game simply couldn’t decide what sort of sound he wanted to use on this one. Some of the individual songs work, but they don’t combine well.

On top of that “2” feels too cleanly produced and not nearly as raw as the image that The Game is trying to put out.

“2.5” does a bit better with this, sounding a bit less clean and approaching some more serious topics, including The Game’s beef with 50 Cent and even blaming Suge Knight and the LAPD for 2Pac’s death.

However, The Game quickly undoes that seriousness by having some rather impressive cognitive dissonance. For much of the album, The Game frankly discusses his connection to the Bloods (even making sure to sport red Chuck Taylors on the cover of “2.5”), and he follows this up with some snippets from the Game’s children talking about how good of a father he is.

Overall, this is just an uncomfortable album. It’s uncomfortably long, has an uncomfortable variety of subgenres, and has some uncomfortable lyrics. I’m giving the combined album a 2 out of 5, with slightly more praise being given to the second half of the album.

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