With his sixth studio album The Documentary 2 long time rap vet and Compton native The Game bookends what has been (by rap standards) a well seasoned career. Releasing it only one year after Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf was a gamble, but surprisingly The Game comes through with a solid effort; one that has him digging deeper than he’s ever done before.
On paper The Documentray 2 doesn’t look any different than Blood Moon; a project flooded with guest features, suggesting your classic Hollywood treatment. But the difference is in who The Game is choosing to feature. It’s like a block party set in Compton with both the TDE crew and NWA standing front and center. The familiar faces reassure The Game and he’s able to stay within his wheelhouse, sounding as comfortable as he did on his debut.
“Dollar and a Dream” is a straight-laced banger. Ab-Soul pays respect to the Game citing him as a key figure in his development, and The Game returns the gesture with a nod to the new school. It’s a collaboration that isn’t so much about hype and business as it is fraternity and brotherhood: [LISTEN]
An album like this is risky especially for someone who has been in the industry as long as The Game has. More often than not artists in his position sound old and dated, their lyrics stuck in the past. The Game avoids that pitfall by curating a strong cast of producers. They root his sound firmly in the present.
The album certainly has its blemishes. The Game can’t help but try his hand at different styles, which is an attempt at netting a few fans before the window slams shut. And it’s when he steps outside of Compton and into the current mainstream that his lyrics become geriatric. On “Dedicated” featuring Future he sounds bored, with one foot already out the door: [LISTEN]
The Documentary 2 is likely a curtain call. I’s not that he doesn’t have anything left but his sound has now given way to a new crop, specifically the TDE family. But what makes it a success is that he’s accepting the inevitable and going out with class and style.