The Documentary

Studio Album by released in 2005
The Documentary's tracklist:
Intro (Produced By Dr. Dre & Che Vicious)
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Westside Story (Feat. 50 Cent) (Produced By Dr. Dre & Scott Storch)
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Dreams (Produced By Kanye West)
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Higher (Produced By Dr. Dre & Mark Batson)
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Don't Need Your Love (Feat. Faith Evans) (Produced By Havoc)
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Church For Thugs (Produced By Just Blaze)
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Put You On The Game (Produced By Timbaland)
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Start From Scratch (Feat. Marsha Of Floetry) (Produced By Dr. Dre & Scott Storch)
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The Documentary (Produced By Jeff Bhasker)
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Runnin' (Feat. Tony Yayo) (Produced By Hi-Tek)
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No More Fun And Games (Produced By Just Blaze)
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We Ain't (Feat. Eminem) (Produced By Eminem)
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Where I'm From (Feat. Nate Dogg) (Produced By Focus)
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Special (Feat. Nate Dogg) (Produced By Needlz)
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Don't Worry (Feat. Mary J. Blige) (Produced By Dr. Dre & Mike Elizondo)
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Like Father, Like Son (Feat. Busta Rhymes) (Produced By Buckwild)
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The Documentary review

If a gangsta rapper's true measure of success is the number of times he has been shot, then Compton rhymester the Game (aka Jayceon Taylor), who has only taken five bullets, will have to settle for being a close runner-up to 50 Cent. However, he's got G-Unit crew behind him, Dr. Dre's production on his side and a serious NWA/ Notorious B.I.G. fixation to work out, resulting in a debut, The Documentary, which is amazingly solid. His rap career started in 2003 after getting shot and left for dead in a drug-related robbery at his home. Recovering from his wounds, he listened to dozens of classic hip-hop albums and decided to become a rapper. He recorded an independent album called Untold Story, which was released shortly before The Documentary. Lyrically he keeps it strictly gangsta, for the most part, avoiding thug-love balladry in favor of straight street anthems. Though some rumors have questioned his criminal credibility and a few emcees have already targeted him with dis tracks, the Game shakes off any haters, poised to become one of the biggest crossover rap stars since 50 Cent and Kanye West.

With everyone from Dr. Dre and 50 Cent to Nate Dogg, Kanye West, and Just Blaze contributing to the album, The Documentary made it clear from the outset that geographic squabbles weren't a part of the Game's agenda. The Game elegizes Easy-E, Tupac, and Notorious B.I.G., even lovingly hails Nas and Puff enough times to let you know there's no East-West beef happening here. On his debut, the Game pulls no punches as his gruff flow molds itself around always-frank – sometimes-emotional – raps. The album starts with the head banging Westside Story where the Game reminisces on his lifestyle when he was gangbanging in Compton. It doesn't hurt that besides Dr. Dre's signature beats, the Game's support team includes Kanye West (Dreams), 50 Cent (How We Do), hook man Nate Dogg (Where I'm From) and diva Mary J. Blige (Don't Worry). But such support only enhances, rather than outshines, the rough-and-ready Game, who also unveils his sensitive side on Like Father, Like Son, a tale about his son's birth with Busta Rhymes singing the chorus. While some songs don't click (We Ain't featuring Eminem), The Documentary still shapes up as one of the best rap albums of the year thus far.

After many years of the West not having a voice in the music industry, here comes this rapper out of Compton named The Game who is putting the weight on his shoulders to put the West Coast back on the hip-hop scene. The stage name, coined by his mother while he was an athletic youngster, is entirely fitting: verses are constructed with album titles, label heads are mentioned as if scholarly attention is paid to the industry's inner workings. Dr. Dre and an all-star cast of fellow producers are in top form, and none of the features steal any thunder from the star. The Documentary resurrects the truth, spirit and hope of hardcore rap. It is an excellent debut that also hints at a lot of potential.