RECENT REVIEWS
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MF DOOM - MM.. FOOD

PICARESQUE - THE DECEMBERISTS

MIKE DOUGHTY - LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE

AC NEWMAN - LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE

G. LOVE - THE HUSTLE

RATATAT - MIXTAPE

TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS - SHAKE THE SHEETS

GARDEN STATE SOUNDTRACK

KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - RIOT ON AN EMPTY STREET

BEASTIE BOYS - TO THE 5 BOROUGHS

Thursday, January 27, 2005

THE GAME - THE DOCUMENTARY  

Album: The Documentary
Artist: The Game
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Saying Game's debut album on Aftermath has been hyped is kind of like saying NWA sort of enjoyed wearing Raiders and Kings gear in 1989 (If you're too young to remember, LA hardrocks started the silver & black trend and not so hardrocks everywhere followed their lead). The man who bills himself as the "One Man NWA" managed to align himself with Doc Dre and the G-Unit and you could hear the buzz that built around him. Is it justified? He does have the 50-Cents like drama in his past of being shot multiple times and deciding he needed to rhyme to stay alive. Apparently he woke up from a coma, decided he wanted to rap, and within a year was talking to hip hop's heavyweights about signing a major deal. So can someone so new to the game (ha HA, Big Pun intended) deliver under all that pressure?

Yes. Well someone new to the game with a low-rider trunk full of the beats from the absolute biggest producers can deliver under all that pressure. I have heard this album being discussed as a classic, I don't know if I'd go that far with it. But the beats could certainly bring it up to that level. There's not one mediocre track on this album, nothing that feels like a throw-away or a bone tossed to Dre's newest prodigy. Along with 6 Dre (& friends) productions, Kanye, Just Blaze, Cool & Dre, Timbaland, Hi-Tek, and Eminem all contirbute tracks. An impressive list for someone coming fresh out the box.

But this album isn't all about the producers, The Game brings some skills of his own. Thankfully he doesn't follow the slow-flow pattern of his G-Unit peeps 50-Cents and Lloyd Banks. Game is hungry, and his rhymes show it. The album has the almost required club tracks (How We Do, Higher) but most of the songs are about Game's gang-banging past and how real he's still keeping it (Westside Story, Dreams, Runnin'). Game seems obsessed with hip hop's fallen legends, shouting out Biggie, Pac, and Eazy a number of times. Although he can't have paid much dues in the couple years he's been rapping (what would WC and DJ Aladdin say?), The Game does seem to have repect for hip hop's past. He also seems to respect for kicks, sprinkling sneaker references throughout the album. In fact he says once "I'll kill you if you try me for my Air max 95's". I'm certainly not advocating killing, but as an owner of 3 pairs of 95's, I can feel his pain.

Can The Game bring the Westside back? I don't know, but this album will certainly help. It will probably be the best produced album of the year, but if you aren't down with the gangster-talk then you'll want to give this one a pass. Get the instrumental instead.

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