"Guess who's back on the west coast tracks. / Its the mutha fuckin messiah of gangsta rap."
"Lookin At You" - The Game: The Doctor's Advocate
The funny thing is, that line above could easily be misatken as something removed from Dr. Dre's celebrated catalog. In fact, the first two tracks on The Game's 2nd studio album, The Doctor's Advocate, eerily embody the Good Doctor himself; vocally and sonically...and it doesn't sound bad. Actually.....its damn good.
Boasting a newfound top-tier flow, The Game laces The Doctor's Advocate's impressive soundtrack (especially considering Dre isn't behind the boards....ghost production?) with west coast gangsta slang mixed with a dash of east coast lyricism; harnessing his inner Andre Young all along the way. The high keys and pounding synth horns (Dre?...is that you?) on the album's opening track, "Lookin At You," immediately re-introduces that classic Cali flavor while the Will.i.Am produced BANGER, "Compton," showcases bouncin drums reminiscent of mid '90s NY boom-bap.
The album's high point comes on the aptly titled "The Doctor's Advocate," where a drunken The Game (it couldn't just be Game could it? No, this muttaskutta's gotta name himself The Game....well I guess I can't talk since I am The Company Man...pardon me for a moment; I just went off on a tangent...continue...) reflects on his life's trials and the real possibility that he's squandered a relationship with the man who created him; Dr. Dre:
"Sittin here lookin at my platinum plaques thinkin 'what the fuck am I without a Dr. Dre track?'"
"The Doctor's Advocate" - The Game; The Doctor's Advocate
The concept isn't brand new since he used the exact same drunken perspective on "Start From Scratch" (The Documentary), but what he's sayin is honest; its real...and its on tracks like these where a rapper becomes an artist; where he lets you know who he really is. You have to respect that (on another note, what if this becomes his signature character? Think DMX and Damien. Think Sooperman Lover....don't be suprised if two albums down the line...The Game is still puttin back the "Belvee and Banana Snapple," lettin his inebriated soul flow.......this could end badly).
In fact, The Game is at his best when he steps outside of the gang-banger persona and discusses tangible life issues. On "One Night," he uses the Babyface inspired hook; "I only think of you on 2 occasions; / when I'm drunk and when I'm high" to opine on how people would rather 'get you f*ucked up' than feed you (my college roommate Sean P and I would literally hide our food from each other just to make absolutely sure we wouldn't get GOT for our Ramen Noodles after we left the room...but Black-N-Milds and Miller High Life's were like community property)! This track definitely hits home.
Unfortunately the album faulters when attempting the obvious. The obligatory 'sit back, smoke and ride' track, "Lets Ride," sounds like a left-over from The Documentary (it even comes complete with The Game singing a generic-50esque hook) and the Jamie Foxx assisted, "All Around the World" is mediocre at best. On top of that, premature braggadocio taints the album ("N***** in New York say I'm the best"....no The Game....n***** in New York do not say you're the best. I'm so sincere about this) and the occasional random, sub-par bar dings The Game's still developing lyrical credibility ("I'm back like Flava Flav's clock to handle my business"...I don't even know what that means) . Plus, homie still has a chronic name-droppin addiction. He should seek help for that.
But overall the album is quality. And as all quality albums do, The Doctor's Advocate ends on an exclamation point with the Just Blaze produced 9-minute opus, "Why You Hate the Game" (featuring Nas and Marsha of Floetry). Here, Godson reminds us why his upcoming album Hip Hop is Dead...the N is so highly anticipated:
"Green fatigues on. My niggas I'll bleed for 'em. /
I can show them the water but can't make 'em drink it. /
And I can show them my fortunes, but can't force 'em think rich...ignore the ignorance."
"Why You Hate the Game" - Nas
Not to be over looked, The Game ends the album by finally putting THE BEEF in perspective:
"...make me wanna call 50 and let him know whats on my mind. /
But I just hold back / cause we ain't beefin like that. /
He ain't BIG and I ain't Pac and we just eatin off rap. One Love."
"Why You Hate the Game" - The Game
So there it is...16 tracks. 14 guest appearances. 10 super producers. 1 Nigga Wit an Attitude. No interludes. Mix it together and what do you get?
Vindication...sittin on chrome 24in rims.
After all, whats the best way to make sure your detractors choke on their haterade? Come-correct and let the music do the talkin.
"My flows opposite of handsome. Its ugly. /
Hip Hop tantrum. Sick. Call this shit cancer. /
One-man show cause I f*cked all the dancers. /
Let the critics ask questions. My album we'll be the answer."
"Scream On Em'" - The Game: The Doctors Advocate
No Fiddy. No Dre. All Game. All good.
'Though The Doctor's Advocate falls well short of earning the coveted (The) Company Man Classic Status...its definitely worth owning. The Game has crafted a high-quality LP and deserves all of the credit for its success. The album didn't necessarily break the mold; but its certainly another body blow to G-Unit. I'm sure The Game can find gratification in that.
Wouldn't Get Far
Scream On Em
The Doctor's Advocate
Why You Hate the Game
The Company Man