The illest doctor

The Game returns with his new album ‘Doctor’s Advocate’

Megan Kadrmas

>The Game lends an unpolished edge to the album that so-called gangster rap has been missing in recent years. His lyrics are true and raw, the beats are dark and hard and the album gets down and dirty with some of the drama in The Game’s notorious public and private lives.

The Game
ALBUM: “Doctor’s Advocate”
LABEL: Geffen Records

Controversy has followed The Game since he first burst onto the scene with the G-Unit crew in 2004. Sparking rap feuds with the likes of Memphis Bleek, Joe Budden, Jay-Z and Roc-a-Fella Records, Suge Knight and Death Row Records and, eventually, 50 Cent and G-Unit.

While lyrics on “Doctor’s Advocate” work to end these feuds, there is still controversy surrounding the album. Dr. Dre, who picked up The Game for Aftermath Records and later gave him to Geffen Records during the 50 Cent feud, was rumored to have produced multiple tracks on the album. The Game himself perpetuated these rumors and later recanted them, saying Dre has no production credits on “Doctor’s Advocate.”

This is curious, considering the album is a reference to Dre and almost every track on the 16-song album mentions Dr. Dre’s support of The Game and vice versa.

The lyrics themselves are contradictory, at times perpetuating feuds and at others claiming no beefs.

On “It’s Okay (One Blood),” which is one of the strongest tracks on the album, The Game says, “I ain’t got beef with 50, no beef with Jay”, but also makes a stab at Jay-Z when he says, “You 38 and you still rappin? Ugh/I’m 26 nigga, so is the dubbs.”

The album is reminiscent of the heyday of West Coast ganster rap. The Game does a great job of smoothing out the rough edges of his vocals with guest spots by the softer sounds of Kanye West (“Wouldn’t Get Far”), Junior Reid (“One Blood”), Nate Dogg (“Too Much”), Busta Rhymes (“Doctor’s Advocate”), Snoop Dogg and Xzibit (“California Vacation”), Jamie Foxx (“Around the World”) and Nas (“Why You Hate The Game”).

The best of these are “It’s Okay (One Blood),” which remixes Junior Reid’s reggae with a hard-thumping West Coast beat, and “Wouldn’t Get Far,” on which Kanye West lends his vocal and production skills to cut up a 1970s R&B hit and turn it into a legitimate gangster melody.

On “Scream on Em,” debatably one of the most hardcore tracks on the album, The Game says, “My flow opposite of handsome/it’s ugly hip-hop tantrum.”

The Game’s flow might be ugly, but in a beautiful and real way. He’s got the street credibility missing from popular gangster rap today, which might help revive the West Coast rap scene that has been all but missing since the late 1990s.