January 18th, 2005 a west coast rap legend was born and he knocked it out the park on his 1st swing of the bat. The rapper legend I am talking is known as The Game and the home run he hit was his debut album, The Documentary.
I created this blog on January 18th, 2017, 12 years to the day that my favorite rap album of all-time was released and in my opinion an album that doesn’t receive the credit it deserves and one that should be labeled as a modern classic. I felt that it was only right that this would be my 1st album post.
With the backing of one of the greatest rap producers of all-time in Dr. Dre and having the sponsorship of G-Unit and co-sign of one the hottest rapper at the time, 50 Cent, Jayceon Taylor was about to do something no one had done since the death of Tupac Shakur and that was giving the west coast rap scene a rapper who could be at the forefront of Hip-Hop and become a mainstay for years to come.
The Documentary is an album that comes in at 69 minutes of beats that the great people at Interscope and Aftermath records spare no expense for. The production list on this album is insane to say the least, you have a massive list of the best producers of the late 90s and 2000s. You get your ear fix of Dr. Dre, Kanye, Just Blaze, Timberland, and much more.
The reason that this album resonates as my favorite is the fact that I am a sucker for piano keys and this album is lathered with them. From the dark and dreary sound of Westside Story and Higher to the sound of hope in the penitentiary love song Don’t Worry with guest vocals of one Mary J. Blige. Next are the examples of visual imagery masterpieces in the form of Don’t Need Your Love and Dreams.
This album has its fair share of bass bangers in the form of Start From Scratch, How We Do, and Put You On The Game that would leave you needing to give your speakers a rest. But don’t fret The Game has you covered with the songs Like Father, Like Son, Where I’m From, and Hate It or Love It which is widely considered one the greatest rap songs of all time. In these cases this is where The Game takes a turn from street gangster from Compton and show his range of lyrical prowess and willingness to show you a more personal side.
The best explosion of The Games lyrical prowess are evident in the tracks No More Fun and Games and Church For Thugs, which I will argue is The Games best track of all-time. Lastly the tracks Runnin’, The Documentary, and We Ain’t, a track with a supporting act of one Slim Shady, gives us those 2000s bravado songs that this album wouldn’t be complete with.
This album is The Game’s magnus opus and is a Hip-Hop masterpiece that needs more credit than it has gotten and like a fine wine, an album that has only gotten better with age. January 18th, 2005 a legend debuted, brought the west coast back, and paved the way for rappers like Kendrick Lamar, YG, and the whole west coast rap scene. The Game should go down as a Legend and The Documentary is his Mona Lisa.
Best Line:”If I could start from scratch, I wouldn’t change shit / Same red bandana, same four-fifth”
Best Track: Church For Thugs
Worst Track: Special…Fuck that song, it is the worst.