‘Documentary 2’ keeps The Game afoot

Back to Article
Back to Article

‘Documentary 2’ keeps The Game afoot

Fair use image from

Fair use image from

Fair use image from

Conor Battles, Editor-in-Chief, Arts & Entertainments Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Sequels to seminal albums have a dubious legacy. From The Marshall Mathers LP 2 to Stillmatic, the results range from an impressive followup that delivers more of the same acclaimed formula, to a bland, uninspired rehash that actively scars the reputation of the original.

In 2005, West Coast emcee The Game had lofty shoes to fill. The premier protege of Dr. Dre, real name Jayceon Taylor, The Game had to live up to not only Dre himself, but the scores of other industry heavyweights who owed their success to the pioneering N.W.A. producer. Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Eminem, and more all chalked up successes after a Dre cosign. Would this newcomer, with his ego-baiting moniker, live up to the hype?

2005’s The Documentary did just that. A decade later, it lives on as a modern West Coast classic. Over the years, everything from a bizarre stint on VH1’s reality show wheelhouse to a bitter feud with former labelmate 50 Cent threatened to topple The Game’s position in, well, the game, but come hell or high water, The Documentary remains a certified classic. It’s a landmark, lightning-in-a-bottle moment in West Coast rap.

So why would anyone in their right mind try to top it, especially this late in their career?

This month, The Game released a two-part sequel, titled The Documentary 2. The first half dropped on October ninth, with the second installment arriving a week later. It’s an unconventional way to release a double album, but it works in The Game’s favor: listening to both discs together, it all kind of blends. But when taken in separately, the two halves of The Documentary 2 combine to live up to its stellar predecessor.

The production across both discs is impeccable. DJ Premier, Dre, and even will.i.am. have a heavy hand in the mix, imbuing the tracks with a charming throwback style mingled with modern sensibilities. Game spits over each beat with seasoned, veteran gusto.

The features, however, almost outshine Game’s own verses. Kendrick Lamar, YG, Ice Cube, Dre, Q-Tip, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Future, Drake, Kanye, the list goes on. It’s a veritable “who’s-who” of hip-hop history, and practically all the guest artist positively kill their features.

The things The Documentary 2 gets right are commendable in their own right, but the record is not without its faults. The overlong, overblown runtime gets tedious, and suggests that Game’s sense of quality control is somewhat diminished of late. The Whitman’s Sampler of features is positively insane, but it forces Game take a backseat to his own album. His unique, compelling voice gets lost in a flurry of unique, compelling voices.

At its core, however, The Documentary 2 is a solid LP that, despite its wavering quality and offputting length, lives up as a suitable sequel to a West Coast classic. He may not command the spot he once did in the rap canon, but The Game is still a worthy contender for the throne.


7/10

Print Friendly, PDF & Email