The Game Sounds Reinvigorated on ‘The Documentary 2.5’ (Review)


The Game, The Documentary 2.5 © Entertainment One

The Game • The Documentary 2.5 • Blood Money / Entertainment One • Release Date: October 16, 2015

West Coast MC The Game has been ‘on a roll’ in 2015. First, he kept it real on The Documentary 2, arguably among his best albums in years. Now he drops the ½ – better yet the .5 – sequel’s continuation, The Documentary 2.5. With The Documentary 2 clocking in at 74 minutes, one has to ask the question, how in the world can there be a Documentary 2.5? Ultimately, The Documentary 2.5 is even longer, running 77 minutes! Who does that these days…The Game apparently! The good thing is that The Documentary 2.5 has plenty to sink one’s teeth into, just like The Documentary from 2005, and The Documentary 2. Here are some highlights!

“Magnus Carlsen” features West Coast musician Anderson . Paak, who also appeared on Dr. Dre’s Compton album. Maybe more notable about the first full-length track on the set is the prominent Stevie Wonder sample. This isn’t unlike “On Me” from The Documentary 2 (featuring Kendrick Lamar), where Eryah Badu’s “On and On” was inescapable to the ear.

On “The Ghetto,” The Game pairs with Nas as well as will.i.am, whom he paired with on The Doctor’s Advocate (“Compton”). Nas fits right in, as the production is non-flashy with that old school sensibility that the MC has oft been backed by over the years. Even stronger is the soulful “From Adam,” which pairs The Game back with Lil Wayne. Game and Wayne previously had a minor hit with “Red Nation” from R.E.D. How does “From Adam” stack up comparatively? It arguably trumps the aforementioned; despite the fact Weezy has something of a subdued role. The Game’s ‘real talk’ is the draw, not to mention the throwback production.

On “Gang Related” what stands out is the hook, where the game uses the letter “B” as opposed to “C” when he spits, “I seen some BRAZY sh*t, my n***a…” Why a “B” instead of a “C”? Because the Bloods don’t use the letter C, something that YG informed the world on “Bicken Back Being Bool” from My Krazy Life. Authenticity for sure, sigh.

“Last Time You Seen” is another shining moment, with the Game honestly referencing the many dead and gone. He mentions 2 Pac (the main attraction), Biggie Smalls, and Hussein Fatal, dropping brilliant rhymes like “So many n***as in caskets, then turned ashes / some get shot, some Hussein Fatal in car crashes / I think it’s a conspiracy theory, Illuminati…” He gets a rock solid assist from Scarface and Stacy Barthe.

It’s not all grimy and dark – a portion of The Documentary 2.5 dives into sex, triggered by “Intoxicated” where ‘DJ EZ-Dicc is “killing you softly with intoxication and a song that’s guaranteed to put some dip in your hip.” “Quiks Groove” follows in feel-good fashion, much like, well, sex.

“My Flag/Da Homies” is malicious, unapologetic, and The Game on autopilot. It doesn’t hurt that the ever-popular DJ Mustard handles production duties – always good for a hit track. Arguably, “Da Homies” is the crème de la crème, particularly the infectious, yet ‘no BS’ hook: “The homies in the cut that’s on E, n***as turnt up and we ‘bout to hit the street / the homie on probation, make him sit up in the back / ‘bout to hit the weed spot and get another sack.”

The Documentary 2.5 packs a mighty punch at the end. “Like Father Like Son 2” follows up the original installment from The Documentary, featuring Busta Rhymes. “Life” samples Whitney Houston and finds The Game references the Charleston Church shooting, Farrakhan, Christianity, and NBA player Klay Thompson among other things. ‘Course it is closer “El Chapo” that steals the show – a killer collaboration between Game and Skrillex.

Ultimately, The Documentary 2.5 is as awesome as The Documentary 2. It’s too long, but at least what’s being offered is top-notch, West Coast gangsta rap. The Game definitely sounds reinvigorated in 2015.

Favorites: “From Adam,” “Last Time You Seen,” “My Flag/Da Homies,” “Life” and “El Chapo”

★★★★

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