The Game has always been one of my favorite rappers. The Documentary is one of my favorite albums ever, I had all his mixtapes, and I thought he was always a highly underrated lyricist. But for as much as I loved his music, there’s no denying that he never fully lived up to his immense potential. Whether that’s through his constant beefing, excessive name dropping on albums, or over reliance on features, he just never became as big as he could have been. With the featureless 1992, he tries to remedy at least one of his constant criticisms.
“Crips on the corner in Dodger blue with they gold chains
Bloods sportin’ corn rows and Chucks with the red strings
Sun goin’ down so them Chevys ’bout to roll out
Fiends scratchin’ themselves, stumblin’ out the dope house
Niggas tyin’ bandanas, ’bout to put the drum on
Kids tryna make it home ‘fore street lights come on”
1992 is an ode to one of the most active years in L.A., with the gang wars, maturation of gangster rap, and the now infamous Rodney King beatings and OJ white Bronco incident. It was a time that had a clear influence on The Game and it’s a feeling he tries to capture on the album. The most impressive thing about the production on 1992 is that he was able to get all of the samples cleared. There are some heavy hitter samples like The D.O.C.’s “It’s Funky Enough”, Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues”, Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M”, and others; and a large majority closely resemble the originals. Not all of the samples are used to their full potential however, and some of the best tracks off the album are the ones that don’t have an obvious sample like “The Juice”, “Baby You”, and “92 Bars.”
Lyrically The Game has never been a slouch. In fact, when he doesn’t get too distracted by name drops and just lets his bars speak for themselves, he’s one of the best lyricists out there. While 1992 isn’t entirely without name drops, they are greatly diminished, making this one of his bar-for-bar best studio albums in years. On “The Juice” and “92 Bars” in particular, he goes off. It’s a refreshing thing to hear from him and I hope this trend continues.
“Runnin’ ’round, stealin’ cars, dreamin’ about the better days
Duckin’ strays, catchin’ fades, tryna make it through this maze
Teachers out here smokin’ J’s and wonder why we misbehave
Same book, different page, another year, different age
Cross colors, colors cross, bows turnin’ into fades”
What’d you think about 1992? Do you think he did the samples proper justice in their production? Did you like hearing an album from The Game without features? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave a rating for the album.