The Doctor’s Advocate
October 31, 2006
Okay, Game’s new album is official. The first time I say the cover of the Documentary, I was pretty psyched about it. The Chuck Taylors, the screw face, the hundred spoke wheels; all that West Coast iconography is a trip. There is a reason we love regionalism in hip hop. Each region brings their own flavor and we’d been missing the West for a minute there. I thought maybe we could get some of that laid back, needlessly nihilistic, gangsta shit that’d been missing from radio for a while. I’d been for hoping forthis guy, Balance(he’s got a hell of a laid back flow) to deliver, but it’s been three years since I first put one of his tracks on a mixtape and I’m still waiting for dude to blow. So Game looked like the cat to do it. And he sort of did.
In spite of his questionable rap skills and all the name dropping , The Documentary was kind of a hot album. Lot’s of great beats, some fun tracks with 50 and once in a while The Game even managed to come correct as a rapper (see “No More Fun and Games,” over Just Blaze’s monstrous track). Lyrically, he’s been getting better in the gap between albums. I can’t believe that Obie Trice’s album didn’t have the track they did together, “Growing Up in the Hood.” G-Unit feud or no, that is one of the best tracks either artist has ever done. If you haven’t heard it, find it and listen to it. It’s definitely worth it.
Because in this new day, one doesn’t listen to an album but a whole series of leaks, I heard 8 or so tracks from Doctor’s Advocate before the whole scorcher landed on my desk last night. When I said I wanted West Coast, this is what I meant. This is not new music, this is classic stuff. All of Dre’s signatures are on this album, everything he did with N.W.A and subsequently studied and reproduced with attention to detail. Game is still no general in the rap field; he’s more like a private but his flow works nicely on most of the tracks and when he gets an appropriately scorching beat, he steps to it like a man.
Exhibit A? “Compton.” Someone described this track as Game doing a one man N.W.A impression and that description pretty much fits. The song is entirely in their mold, from the ultra abrasive “nigga, nigga, nigga, I’m from Compton” that he starts every verse with to Will.I. Am’s mythologizing hook, the insane, insane drums and all those lovely WestCoast signifiers on the beat, the spare piano loop, the multiple breakdowns, this track is a monster. If you disagree, listen to it three more times, dip quickly intoStraight Outta Compton and The Chronic and then come back and say thank you.
More West Coast goodness on “Remedy” and “Ol’ English.” “Remedy” has a nice bounce to it, riding music, while “Ol’ English” is smoked out on a really big blunt with a bottle of, what else, Ol’ english type music. “Wouldn’t Get Far” is a pretty cool track featuring Kanye, with both rappers going on about girls and the way they love stars on a chill but fairly typical Kanye produced beat.
“Let’s Ride” and “One Blood” are both already on the radio; the first so so and the second a nice shot of adrenaline, Game spouting angry bluster at everyone and everything.
“Why You Hate the Game,” with Nas features the beautiful line (and my next tagline), “Pro black, I don’t pick cotton out of aspirin bottles” and Game holds his own against the God son pretty well, if only causeNas is pretty laid back anyway. I don’t like the production on this track that much. Just Blaze did far better work on Documentary with “Church for Thugs” and “No more fun and games.” This beat is merely okay and the verses deserve far better, although it is kind of a nice closer for the album in it’s own way.
I’m not in love with the title track featuring Busta. Game often acts like an immature kid unable to decide who he wants to be that way and tracks like this where he sounds weepy and choked up over minor things highlight that immaturity unnecessarily. I’m also not a fan of the track withJamieFoxx . What do you all say we impose a moratorium on that guy continuing in the music industry. We’ll keep watching his movies and he’ll leave our music alone? Sound like a plan?
Altogether the album is pretty cohesive, with one absolute monster of a track, a handful of very good ones and not enough bad tracks to seriously drag it down. It also gets major points for repping that West Coast sound hard. Considering I wasn’t expecting anything at all, I’m very pleased. I rate this highly listenabl.