It seems like yesterday, but it was ten years ago already that I was pulling out of my high school parking lot, windows down, blaring “How We Do” scareaming G-G-G-G-UNIT!! A lot has changed in my life since then, as well as with rap music, but one thing remains constant, and that’s Jayceon Taylor.
With ‘The Documentary 2’ coming in at two discs and 37 tracks it is a lot to digest, this wasn’t an album that could be reviewed in a day or two. As a whole album this may be his best work since ‘The Doctor’s Advocate’, the songs flow from one another seamlessly, so much so that you rarely feel the need to press skip.
With my first listen of disc one, I was instantly hooked on “Dollar and A Dream” featuring Ab-Soul. The hook on this song is great and some of The Game’s best pen work, “Started with a dollar and a dream and a pistol, On the corner rag hangin’, slangin’ crystal, I said you gangbanging let me see credentials.” The song ends, without you knowing it you’re 45 seconds into the next song “Made in America” featuring Marcus Black, whose verse starts the track and is a highlight of the song. After this the features just keep on coming, Future, Q-Tip, Kanye, Drake, and Snoop, with great production from Will.i.am. The album takes some missteps with tracks like “Bitch You Ain’t Shit” and “Mula” featuring Kanye West, but jump right back on track for the rest of the album with “New York, New York,” “100,” “Just Another Day,” and “LA.” The lead single off the album, “100” is catchy and has some great lines from Drake that are already flooding people’s Instagram captions, including mine. “Keep it 8 more than 92 with me, 100!”
“Just Another Day” is a classic Game track where he reminisces about some of his hip hop idols and past accolades, and a great way to bring disc one to a close:
I think about the day I first met Dre
I got my Aftermath Chain, I iced out the A
I stayed on some gangsta shit but still bump that De La
Dippin’ down Green Leaf, Cherry Six Tre
I felt like I ain’t need your love, wrote the song “Hittin’ Switches”, then I recorded the shit with Faith
I did the BET Awards with Mary J
I stayed on top of California like the bay niggas
My first reaction when Game said this would be a double disc was a little bit of disappointment, I figured with so much material it would be hard to make each song great, I thought maybe it was a move to push out more material to free himself up from contract obligations, but I was wrong, dead wrong.
Disc 2 keeps the same mood going except with the West Coast dial turned up to 1,000. The songs on disc 2 in my opinion are his most West sounding material to date, besides “The Doctor’s Advocate.” The album starts with a skit of him and Sway sitting in a car talking about why and how he left G-Unit, Game states it’s because 50 had beef with New York artist, such as Nas and Fat Joe, who Game says he respected and wasn’t going to start shit with just because 50 was trying to sell more records. This is a huge reason why I always respected Game and stuck by him during his beef with G-Unit. I think this is also the reason why his career survived, because he had respect for hip hop as a culture and was a fan of other peoples work. Those people recognized that and returned the favor with features and production that made his first album after leaving G-Unit, “The Doctor’s Advocate,” his best album to date.
Each song here has its highlights, Nas and Will.i.am on “The Ghetto” is electric, while Lil Wayne on the hook of “From Adam” brings you back to when Weezy was F Baby. From tracks 10-14 you literally feel like you are next to a palm tree at DJ Quik’s house, I love every track here and The Game shines like nothing else.
I can’t end the review without talking about “Like Father, Like Son 2,” an updated version of the first one, features his oldest son Harlem, which for me, is the best part of the track. his son opens the song by rhyming,
Winning like Steph Curry in the chip though
Used to be the only one, now I’m the big bro (I’m here too)
Know my daddy schizo, don’t mess with his kids yo
Me and my brother tight (yeah), we like the Klitschkos
I love you daddy
If that isn’t enough to pull at your heart strings, Harlem also ends the song, this time not rhyming but just stating hard facts,
I’m Harlem, The Game’s oldest son
I make straight A’s and I’m a good kid
But more importantly, I’m safe
Because my daddy hustled his way out of Compton
So I could have a better life
That’s my daddy
And I wish all kids had one like mine
The world would be a better place
This shit literally had me tearing up, if you’re like me, you wouldn’t be anything in this world if it wasn’t for your father. I can relate to Harlem, and he is right, the world would be a much better place if everyone had a father like Game.
This album gets a 4 out of 5 glasses here at The Playa’s Punch, Keep doing you Jaceyon! Hip hop appreciates you!
Buy both disc on iTunes now!