The Documentary 2
Blood Money Entertainment
Man. It has been a long time since The Documentary, The Game’s first big release. A whole decade, in fact: back in ’05, Game put out the album just after recovering from a three-day coma, the result of getting shot on his own doorstep. Back then, the rapper was produced partly by 50 Cent, and the two put out the hit How We Do and Hate It or Love It, which both stand as solid tunes to this day.
The clue’s in the name for The Documentary 2: 50 Cent is nowhere to be seen, but the vibe is much the same as the first documentary, dealing largely with Game’s personal past and gang affiliations (the rapper is an out-and-out Blood) as well as the standard theme of bragging that accompanies most hip-hop.
However, as Dr. Dre noted in ’01, “thangs just ain’t the same for gangstas”. A lot of change is evident, which is to be expected after ten years, but most of the change really isn’t something to advertise. The album’s tracklist suffers from a serious lack of notable songs. Standing on Ferraris is nice to listen to once (and is one of the only songs that’s made it into any charts), but it’s a passing interest: nothing particularly notable.
Much like its prequel, The Documentary 2 features an enormous amount of guest appearances from other artists. This is partly a mark of the times – guest appearances, for reasons beyond my comprehension, are very “in” for hip-hop right now – but also a general trait of The Game’s work, who seems to love getting his friends into the studio. However, in the Documentary 2 it worked: the rappers Game meshed with passed verses back and forth with him easily.
Here, they literally feel like guest appearances, which is to say that they really don’t belong. Kanye West? Will.I.Am? Fergie? Why are these people here? They have little in common with Game, unlike Yayo, Nate Dogg and 50 Cent, who all either had common ground to build on Game’s themes with or stylistically worked well in tandem with him.
There is some interesting material here. 100 is strong despite having Drake on it, but truthfully this is mostly because of its thick and muscly instrumental, which provides a solid backing. Don’t Trip is also fairly strong, although one has to wonder how much this owes to the presence of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre featuring.
And that’s The Documentary 2 in a nutshell. Mediocre, with a few interesting bits. It’s not worth grabbing the whole thing: listen to it once, grab anything you like, toss the rest. Even then, you’ll fast grow bored of what you’ve scavenged.