UPDATE (11/9/2016 11:09am): The world is still processing the results of the election, so talking about The Game might seem pretty trivial, but even though a giant punch to the gut just hit this nation, the world must move on and fight on. For me, music is my release, and talking about it is my comfort and my escape, so here goes nothing. If anything, just humor me today.
If you forget who The Game is, he was the first person to get signed by legendary producer and N.W.A. rapper Dr. Dre from Compton, CA, and he’ll never let you forget it. In fact, pretty much every song he’s ever written makes a point to remind you so, even if it has nothing to do with the song. All The Game ever talks about is how his first two albums went platinum, how he knows every one in the game (ha) as personal friends, and about how he’s from a dangerous place like Compton. The Game digs a little deeper on ‘1992,’ a time when he was only 13 years old, but when you really look at it, whether it’s 1992, 2006, or 2016, it’s all pretty much the same for The Game, though I doubt he’ll think the same now.
Last year’s The Documentary 2 was surprisingly good, with Game showing that he can double time on a verse and break his usual flow, as well as incorporate classic sounding beats and a plethora of amazing features. Up until that record I hadn’t been a fan of The Game since his second record in 2006, but The Documentary 2 turned it all around and his “Ooouuu Remix” diss to Meek Mill entitled “Pest Control” had arguably one of the best lines of 2016. 1992 follows the mindset of more classic sounding beats for The Game to spit his usual flow over, and while he doesn’t vary too much from what he’s used to, the lyrics are actually a bit more interesting here. Describing his life as a young kid in 1992, he incorporates samples and beats from his childhood which often mask the monotony of Game’s flows.
He also presents some interesting ideas like that of the flag’s colors on “True Colors”, some classic Game on “Bompton,” and even lets rising rapper Osbe Chill get a whole verse and then some on “It’s On.” Tracks like “Baby You” with Jason Derulo and “All Eyez,” the bonus track with Jeremih don’t really need to exist, and songs like “However Do You Want It” are mostly enjoyable just because I love the original song sampled, but 1992 is more than just another The Game record about the same old topics like Jesus Piece or OKE, LAX, and R.E.D. were. Plus if anything, I’d rather listen to The Game ramble on about being signed by Dr. Dre and feuding on and off again with 50 Cent for 12 tracks than the near-unlistenable chalkboard screech that was Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown. 1992 shows that last year’s record wasn’t a fluke and that The Game’s formula, if done right, can still work in 2016.