The Game shows he’s still best in the west

Mohamed Bafakih, Reporter

The Southern California rap scene has found its life and catapulted over the past couple of years with the likes of YG, Kendrick Lamar, Problem, Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy, Schoolboy Q, and Sage the Gemini.

For over 10 years strong, and counting, the entire West Coast rap game has been on the back of veteran Compton, Calif. rapper Jayceon Taylor, better known as The Game. Under the wing of West Coast rap legend Dr. Dre, The Game debuted his first studio album, The Documentary, on Jan. 18, 2005, which is arguably on the list of top 5 best rap albums of the 2000s.

Before the sequel to that album, The Documentary II (set to release on the 10th anniversary of the first Documentary – Jan. 18, 2015), Game gave us a little appetizer before the entrée. On Oct. 14, he dropped Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf. Now, before I get into some track list details, lets give a little appreciation to the album cover first and foremost.

Ruben “WestSide” Ramos, a fellow Kern County resident, just destroyed the Fan Appreciation Album Artwork Design Contest for The Game’s cover. After a 16-hour hand-drawn session, Ramos submitted his art peace and was crowned the winner.

The Game wrote after announcing the winner on Instagram, “In the end; it was the concept (the world sees me as a big bad wolf, but to my daughter [Cali Lynn] I’m just dad and her every wish in life is my command), simplicity, white background, and Documentary style font had me sold.”

So as I’m sitting in the BC library where the Wi-Fi strength is superb, I hopped onto ITunes and downloaded the number one Hip-Hop/Rap album prior to my 1 p.m. class. After listening to the first song “Bigger Than Me,” I automatically knew The Game is still the best rapper in the west coast. “Who needs Hulk Hogan when you got Sting? Less than five albums, Kiss the Ring. California throne and I’m the King.” Hearing those lyrics in that song, I couldn’t help but to crown him with that title.

It wasn’t the prettiest Tuesday in the South Central Valley so I couldn’t ride with the top down (sunroof and windows) in my ‘02 Toyota Solara bumping the rest of his album, but I could definitely imagine South Central L.A. doing so – perhaps in their ’64 Impalas and low-rider’s. Nevertheless, I’m excited for the early success of this highly anticipated album.

Blood Moon had several big-time features including the best of the best in the industry; French Montana, Yo Gotti, 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, T.I., Young Jeezy, Tyga, Too Short and up-and-coming phenom, Bobby Shmurda — heck, even Soulja Boy dished out a hook for the song “Really.”

Bet he couldn’t “tell me” how great the potential of this album could have been, though.

With such a great supporting cast to go along with The Game, I was ultimately surprised at the outcome of their product. Many of the songs including the features didn’t justify the greatness of these guys. The Game pointed out that the world sees him as a “big bad wolf” and clearly his lyrics set the record straight. Almost at the age of 35 with four kids, it may be time for him to turn it down a bit and make a difference with his wordplay.

“The Purge” is a song in Blood Moon that emulates what I envision of him at this stage of his career, which I had hoped to see more of. Regardless, I do expect to see a lot more of that on The Documentary II.

With The Game’s vulgarity and lack of productivity from some of his features, I saw it more mixtape-worthy rather than album, but it was generous for him to give us a feel for his California tunes before the release of his next project.

rate: 4 album cover: 5+++++