The Bomb Product
The lyrical content of hip hop is often packed with pop culture references. Anything considered a household name has somehow found its way to becoming a lyrical metaphor. The Game has simplified the process with his debut, The Documentary, referencing every artist, album and product that his prospective fan base already has embedded in their brains. Pac, Biggie, NWA, Nikes, the list goes on. Is this just brilliant marketing or is The Game really what he claims to be; a product of rap culture? Whatever the answer, it works for this album.The Documentary begins with “Westside Story,” establishing Game as a West Coast loyalist, citing every west coast reference in the book. Bloods, Crips, Converse, Dr. Dre, Snoop, it’s all there. The next track is “Dreams,” which is brilliantly composed by Kanye West. Aside from an obvious Martin Luther King reference on the hook, Game steps up his metaphors taking control of the niche that he created, carrying right into the album’s centerpiece, “Hate It or Love It.” The name-dropping metaphors continue yet they are so well distributed that it is impossible catch everything on the first listen. The downfall is that these metaphors are wasted on those who either aren’t in the know or otherwise just don’t care.
It is hard to say if The Game’s success will continue in future endeavors. His raspy monotone delivery, while respectable, is carried by all-star production from the likes of Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, Hi-Tek and others. It may be difficult with such streamlined lyrical content to match what has been labeled by some as an instant classic, but who is to say he won’t have other sources of inspiration?