The Game's Documentary 2.5 Proves Absolutely Mind Blowing

Screen-Shot-2015-10-27-at-4.02.06-PM.png The Game did not disappoint on the second installment to the multi-platinum history-making debut album “The Documentary." The 35-year-old rapper released his second disc, “The Documentary 2.5” on October 16th, 2015, and the album is essentially 77 minutes of mellow funk. His fresh take on the west coast g-funk movement of the 90s immediately had me reminiscing on Snoop Dogg’s debut album “Doggystyle” and “Regulate” by Warren G & Nate Dogg.

The Game is a master at making chill music you vibe to—the consistent funk samples with horns and slow bass mellow you down to the core. This disk in particular includes big-name artists such as Nas,, Scarface and Lil Wayne.

“Magnus Carlsen” sets the tone for the album with its classic soul sample from Stevie Wonder’s “Rocket Love." The songs title is a reference to the Norwegien chess grandmaster and world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen. The song plays on the theme of chess, a game of domination, but acknowledges that there is never a winner in the chess game of life. The Game's lyrics show he is focused on “what’s happening” around him instead of focusing on the past. He makes references to ISIS, El Chapo and church shootings, while also speaking to the current state of hip-hop on the west coast.

The star of Dr. Dre’s album “Compton," Anderson .Paak dominates the first ten minutes of the album, providing the vocals for the songs “Magnus Carlsen and Crenshaw/80s and Cocaine." Anderson .Paak comes at us with the clever wordplay of a veteran, hitting us with lines like “we are fighting over two colors in the crayon box," (a clever reference to the gang violence between Crips and the Bloods) and “Pac’s gone, Brenda’s still got a baby (a reference to the storytelling track “Brenda’s Got A Baby” by Tupac).

The fifth track on the album is “Ghetto” featuring Nas and This song is my personal favorite on the album as it has the feel of a modern rap song while also tapping into the classic hip-hop elements. The song comments on the massive degree of poverty in the world today and cleverly references the popular War song “The World is a Ghetto." Nas comes in with the first verse and does not disappoint. He uses his slick rhymes and mellow accent to bring the struggles in the low-income urban areas to light. The bass line fused with the light horns behind Nas’ voice brings me back to ‘Illmatic.' The Game uses his verse to address the discriminatory treatment of African-Americans by the police and government.

In the next track, “From Adam” featuring Lil’ Wayne, The Game and Weezy rap about the struggles of fame and dealing with death. The church choir sample used behind the track highlights the passion in their voices… it sent chills down my spine. Wayne drops a passionate hook about the struggle to find his identity after a friend’s death, and how the experience influenced his ability to trust people. He is out to avenge his friend but instead of feeling angry, he described feelings of despair and hopelessness. Throughout his career, Lil’ Wayne has struggled with his own identity, going through many phases (including a skateboarding stage). Recently, he's been dealing with a split with his former mentor and business partner, Birdman.

The Game slows down the tempo even more with “Gang Related." The mellow piano beat allows Game to open up about his life and what it was like to come up in the gang life while R&B singer Asia delivers a soul-shaking hook.

The next track, “Last Time You Seen” is a tribute to the late legendary Tupac Shakur who passed away in 1996. The song features 90s rap legend Scarface.

The Game pays homage to another rap legend, Snoop Dogg, in the next song, “Intoxicated." The slow funky groove breaks up the hard rhymes and noble hooks with a radio skit. DJ EZ-Dicc, who made multiple appearances on Snoop Dogg’s debut album “Doggystyle” on the fake radio station ‘187.4 FM on your Dial’, gets tapped to do another taping of ‘the jack off hour’.

The funk continues with the next three tracks, “Quiks Groove” produced by DJ Quik, “Outside," and again with the track “Up On The Wall." The Game taps the funk and soul that 90s west coast gangster rap is known for.

He continues his 90s sampling with “Sex Skit," where he pays his respects to TLC and De La Soul by sampling their “Me, Myself & I."

The Game calls in Skrillex for the final song on the album, “El Chapo”. This song has a different pace than the rest of the album and is most likely to get radio play. Skrillex lays down an EDM beat while The Game raps about drug dealing. The songs name comes from the infamous drug lord, El Chapo, also known as Joaquín Guzmán.

I didn’t think The Game could do top the first disc of “The Documentary 2” but the second disc straight up blew my mind. I don’t think I’ll be listening to anything else for a while.

MusicJamie ZaslavComment