Album Review – The Game – 1992

The Game is easily one of my favourite rappers that I grew up to. I was 15 when he dropped “The Documentary” and tracks like “Put You On The Game” and “Hate It Or Love It” would go on to be anthems that would define those times.

2005 was a weird time in India, Hip-Hop was just exploding and the culture was seeping through into daily life. Eminem had conquered the world and would be the voice that resonated with me the most. Then there was 50 cent with those party numbers that would be played in every club in the city.  In school, kids had taken to wearing G-unit sneakers and would be playing Em and G-unit tracks on their CD players and walkmans all day. Dr. Dre’s brilliant production skills would provide the backdrop as these talented rappers spit out lyrics that changed our lives. But for me the guy that stood out, for me, in the unit was the lyrically fresh and vivid scene painting – Game.

While we would explore old school hip hop later, and flow with bars by Biggie, Pac, Nas and Jay-Z, hip-hop would be the soundtrack of growing up as a teenager in Mumbai. And it was fitting because the hustle and grind was evident all around us although we weren’t thrust into it yet.

Jayceon Taylor is a hard ass mot*******er for sure. Born and bred in Compton, which is the mecca of violence and gangs. Of course, I don’t know what it would actually be like in real life to grow up among all that violence. But The Game gives you a pretty good account of it through his lyrics through the years.

On 1992, Game takes a trip down memory lane reminding us of life back in Compton in ’92. The opener “Savage Lifestyle”sets the theme for the album as Game dishes our verses inspired by his life in ’92 that essentially made him the man he is.

The news reporter, reporting about the 1992 riots opens the album which is hauntingly brutal. Lyrics like “It’s a trap/Why don’t they tell us that red and blue don’t matter when you’re black” – A direct reference to the Bloods and Crips (The rival gangs of Compton) . “We in blindfolds/Kids shot dead in the streets/ Now they eyes closed”. And references of “Police brutality” and “Selling crack cocaine/ Making a teachers salary”. The opener is one hell of an attack on listeners with the game spitting in superfluous flow.

“True Colors/ It’s On”continues the narrative about colours defining young black kid’s lives. It borrows  Ice-T’s “Colors” which serves as the theme for Game’s childhood as he paints the picture.

The production by Nigerian producer Bongo, on the album, is slick and smooth, with a number of old school samples from hip-hop’s golden age and sick drum beats to complement it. 1992, shines bright for Game’s storytelling coupled with great production which keep things interesting.

“Bompton” and “F**k Orange Juice” are freestyles over D.O.C’s “It’s Funky Enough” and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” respectively. Which is very reminiscent of a mixtape, rapping over some old school break beats.

“Juice” is slightly addictive and pretty decent to hear especially the chorus that goes like
“You got the juice now baby”.

“Young N***as” has got a darkish vibe but an interesting melodic piano sample. A good track as well.

With a complete old school vibe to it. The track “I Grew Up on Wu-Tang” which is a
stand out track on the album, at least for me, is a stark reminder of The Game’s musical influences being Wu-Tang Clan’s records of the 90’s. Sampling C.R.E.A.M by Wu-Tang Clan but Bongo the producer changes the beats well enough making it a worth enough track. The chorus “Cash rules everything around me” reminds us of the sad truth of life.

“Baby You” feat Jason Derulo is for Game’s ex-girl which is a decent track as well. Guess Game is still in love with her. We’ve all been there man.

“92 Bars” is another full on assault which is another killer track on the album, possibly the best.  It’s a Game classic.

“The Soundtrack” is another good one. Game’s made a pretty solid description of things.

The remaining ones like “What Your Life Be Like”, “All Eyez” feat Jeremih and “However Do You Want It” and  are the fillers which aren’t that great.

All in all, it’s quite a trip back to ’92. The Game could’ve done better though, although it is pretty good. This one is strictly old school and will appeal to you if you were growing up in the 90s. Hip-hop needs more albums like this one.With all the s**t out there now Game has certainly reminded everybody of the class of old school tunes. Not his best though, but a breath of fresh air nonetheless. And it’s surely worth bumping to a few times.

It’s a good enough album. But not as slaying as his previous work. I mean listen to him here!

The Track Breakdown

1. Savage Lifestyle – 8/10
2. True Colors/ It’s On – 7/10
3. Bompton – 5/10
4. F**k Orange Juice – 5/10
5. The Juice – 8/10
6.  Young N***as – 6/10
7. The Soundtrack – 7/10
8. I Grew Up On Wu-Tang – 9/10
9. However Do You Want It – 6/10
10. Baby You – 7.5/10
11. What Your Life Like – 6/10
12. 92 Bars – 9/10
13. All Eyez – 5/10

A solid album that deserves a proper listen. The Game has brought back the ’90s and it’s quite boss.

Total Album Rating – 7.5/10

Cheers!

Peace 🙂

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