Published Jun 17, 2016If 2015 was the year Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar led a triumphant parade down the streets of Compton, 2016 is when the Game comes along, a year late and a dollar short, trying not to trip over the discarded confetti while he waves a big sign saying "Me Too!"
Streets of Compton feels a cynical attempt to benefit from the massive interest in Compton, a contractually obliged soundtrack album for an A&E documentary series of the same name. It's a similar strategy to what Dre did with last year's Straight Outta Compton biopic, only it doesn't work half as well: it's a cash-in without the cachet.
Everything about it feels phoned-in, from the bargain-basement beats to the lazy rhymes. It's particularly annoying because Game, when he chooses to, can be brilliant: last year's well received The Documentary 2 proved that. There are snatches of that brilliance here — in "Death Row Chain," for example, a gorgeous tune with a sleazy bass line and sinister verses telling of encounters with West Coast legends. It was produced by Jelly Roll, a journeyman producer who should probably just have been given full rein on this whole project; at least it would have sounded coherent.
The Game has some stupendous records out there. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. (Entertainment One)