The Game
Unleash Your Music's Potential! is your all-in-one platform for music promotion. Discover new fans, boost your streams, and engage with your audience like never before.

Does Game's The Documentary 2 Live Up To It's Predecessor's Legacy?

Artist reviewed by:

Serial albums are not a new phenomenon in the world of hip hop. Many top artists have released them over the years, for instance Jay-Z’s Blueprint series, Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 1 & 2, Method Man and Redman’s Blackout 1 & 2, Dr Dre’s The Chronic & Chronic 2001, Timbaland’s Shock Value 1 & 2, Gucci Mane’s Trap House series, and even Nas’ Stillmatic can be considered a sequel to his debut album Illmatic.


Each artist has had his/her own motive behind releasing albums under a united name in the same series, but in most cases the 1st album was either a critical or commercial success, and my assumption is that part of the reason for following up with a new album in the series is due to wanting to add on to the legacy of that album, or trying to replicate its success. The outcome tends to vary based on the artist, the timing, the music, the lyrics, marketing, and many other factors. For instance Jay-Z’s Blueprint 1 and 2 are considered classics while the Blueprint 3, although critically acclaimed, is not in the same ball park. On the other hand while Redman and Method Man’s Blackout! [1] was highly successful, Blackout! 2 did not really make a dent in hip hop.


West coast rapper Game has attempted to enter this league of rappers with serial albums by releasing a sequel to his commercially and critically successful debut studio album, The Documentary. The follow up, titled The Documentary 2, was released a few days ago on the 9th of October 2015. But the news doesn’t end there. He’s set to release a second disc titled The Documentary 2.5 on the 16th of October. Wow! That’s a lot of content in a short period of time.


Say what you may about Game, but he’s a veteran in the rap industry, having released many albums, and mixtapes since his debut in 2005. But when I initially heard that he’s releasing The Documentary 2 the first thought that popped in my mind is that he’s a bit desperate to replicate the success of his earlier studio albums. His album sales have declined significantly over the years, but then again that’s not completely his fault as it’s something that has affected the music industry as a whole. Albums just don’t sell like they used to. Not many artists go gold anymore, let alone platinum – unless you’re Taylor Swift.


Game’s last few releases have been rather disappointing so I didn’t have high expectations for The Documentary 2. I expected an album full of trap beats, but boy was I surprised. The most amazing thing about the album is the production. Game really chose some good beats for this project. It’s not the pure west coast sound like in The Documentary or Doctor’s Advocate, but it’s solid nonetheless. The sound is very eclectic and clean.


The title track, The Documentary 2, is the one which stands out the most for me. It’s a DJ Premier produced track, complete with Premo’s signature scratches and east coast bounce. Dollar and a Dream, which was produced by Cool & Dre, is another standout track which features one of TDE’s lyricists Ab-Soul. Kendrick Lamar stole the show on the 1st song of the album, On Me, which sampled Erykah Badu. But then again what else would you expect Kendrick to do? Most of the songs are really solid tracks in their own right.


Another great thing about the album is the seamless flow between tracks. The transition is flawless from one song to the next. It really feels like it was put together to be listened to from start to end, not as a collection of individual, unrelated songs. One track that surprised me is Summertime, which was produced by Mike Will Made It but sounds nothing like his typical trap production. It’s a pure, laid back hip hop banger with a piano loop. Mike Will showed his range as a producer on that joint.


Despite The Documentary 2’s good points it feels like a compilation rather than a solo album due to the overwhelming number of features. Of the album’s 17 songs only 4 don’t have a credited, guest artist. That tends to take away from the Game’s ability to tell a consistent story from one track to the next. The first Documentary took me deep into the gangland of LA, and it made me feel like I was walking down those streets with him from track to track. That same consistency was not achieved in this release.


It also feels as if Game has run out of material to rap about. There’s nothing particularly exciting about his lyrics. When listening to most of the lyrics I was thinking “I’ve heard this all before”. One interesting thing that noticed is that Game name dropped other musicians and celebrities at least 145 times on this album. That’s a lot for one album by any measure.


So the question remains, is the album worth listening to and has it done its prequel justice? And as usual the answer to that question is subjective. If you’re a hardcore Game fan you’ll probably enjoy it. The best part of this album is the production. It’s a refreshing sound from the usual trap beats that have flooded the mainstream, and I’m waiting for the official instrumentals of this project to be released. However, there’s nothing particularly new on the lyrical front as it’s mostly the usual Game content we’ve grown accustomed to over the years.


In my opinion I think this album doesn’t live up to the standard that The Documentary set 10 years ago simply because of the inconsistency in its lyrical content as a whole. If anything I think Doctor’s Advocate is more deserving to be called The Documentary 2, as that contains most of the qualities that made me fall in love with Game’s music and it maintained a very strong west coast sound and theme throughout. That doesn’t mean The Documentary 2 is a bad album at all – it’s actually pretty good. It’s just not a fitting sequel to Game’s most successful work to date. I still listen to The Documentary on occasion – something I doubt I’ll do with The Documentary 2. However, The Documentary 2.5 will be released in a few days. So let’s wait and see how that turns out.