“But I’m dreamin’ Las Vegas Boulevard/
Afeni’s son, bullet scars/
everybody king of diamonds till the feds pull they card/
not the deck though/
hip hop was better off when it was just Dre, Scarface and Esco”
– Game, Jesus Piece
First and foremost, I’d like to set the record straight and establish that at this point in his career Game is a West coast legend. Say what you want about his propensity for starting unnecessary drama, his borderline dick riding of Dr. Dre, and this classic hillarious video. None of these factors take away from the fact that The Documentary and Doctor’s Advocate kept the West coast on the Hip-Hop radar, and LAX was pretty damn good too.
Since putting out his first three albums, Game has been fairly inconsistent, as shown by his Purp and Patron mixtape, which featured a whole lot of dope material, but just as much mediocrity. After dropping R.E.D. last year, a solid album that still managed to suffer from the pitfalls of trying to appeal to a larger fan base, Game has come right back to bless us with Jesus Piece. As his final album on Interscope, Jesus Piece is Game’s most complete body of work since his ignominious break up with 50 Cent and the ensuing fuckery.
Now I wasn’t surprised when the first four or so songs were fire; Game is a beast and has proven his ability to make good music. But after this initial wave of dopeness, which features contributions from 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Kanye West, Common, JMSN, J. Cole, and some comic relief from Kevin Hart (dude is funny as fuck on the whole tape), the quality just doesn’t stop. Cool and Dre flipped the classic D’angelo track beautifully on ‘All That’, and Game kills ‘Heaven’s Arms’ all by himself before enlisting Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar for the assist on the next couple of tracks. At this point I looked down and realized that Game had just rattled off nine consecutive good tracks to start an album. This is some twilight zone shit we’re dealing with here.
From there on, the album doesn’t disappoint. The next three songs feature three R&B artists, and while this usually signals that the ride is over on a Game album (check out LLoyd, Mario and Chris Brown’s contributions to R.E.D. if you really want to hear an example of this), he gasses each of them and keeps them in line with the conceptual vibe of the project. Next comes the single, ‘Celebration’, which had left me shaking my head when I first heard it, but I’m willing to overlook it as the exception, rather than the rule here on an otherwise stellar album. Rounding out the album are ‘I Remember’ (feat. Future and Young Jeezy), ‘Blood Diamonds’, and ‘Dead People’. Guess which one is the uninspired, yet catchy club anthem.
So there you have it. Jesus Piece is probably the closest thing to a revival of The Documentary’s consistency as we’re gonna get from Game. What’s even more impressive is that it could have been better. Prior to and following its release, Game has dropped one heater a week for at least a month. Far from the album’s throw away tracks, these songs, including ‘Holy Water’, ‘Black Jesus’, ‘Murder (ft. Scarface and Kendrick)’, ‘Judas Closet (ft. Nipsey Hussle)’, are all pure quality. The only reason I can think of that Game would leave them off the album is that he really just wanted to shit on everyone with his conceptually cohesive #SundayService series.
Cop the album if you haven’t already, and check the links above for those bonus tracks. If none of this has convinced you to fuck with the album, just know that Dr. Dre thinks its dope, and then ask yourself, what would Jesus do?