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Game, Jesus Piece Review

From Lecrae’s newfound favorable reception within the entire hip-hop community to Pusha T’s and Meek Mill’s respective versions of “Amen” to G.O.O.D. Music’s “New God Flow,” religion’s muse on hip-hop has risen over the past two years. With Jesus Piece, Game reinvigorates this trend by framing a praiseworthy album blessed with sterling features that imparts many believers’ choice, including his own, to keep their faith without altering their nature.

The Compton MC’s record gets underway with “Scared Now,” the type of street banger that most have grown accustomed to hearing from him. In the first verse, he allusively addresses the incident with 40 Glocc, while his other verse includes a hypothetical phone call with former affiliate 50 Cent. “Interscope asking will I take 50′s call/’Hello, put up 10 mill for a real nigga/Drop this joint album, and we’ll kill niggas/G-Unit!,’” Game expresses. Into the bargain, the opener is indicative that Game’s tentative final album on Interscope would not be saturated with religious metaphors. Since releasing his first-rate debut LP The Documentary in 2005, the self-proclaimed Handsome Ass Nigga has been one of the most controversial, but consistent rappers. And Jesus Piece drives that streak home a little further. Only difference? This go-around includes more passengers.

Chuck Taylor presses on with “Ali Bomaye,” a high point of the album thanks to bang-up verses from himself, Rick Ross and 2 Chainz. “First you get the power/Then, you get respect/I’m getting so much money I can buy your bitch/Take it how you wanna, if you wanna take it/I like clubs where all the women working naked,” Chainz spits. Contrastingly, the only leftover track from Five (the initial title for the fifth album), “Jesus Piece,” does not live up to expectations; unlike Common, whose verse is spot on, Kanye West astonishingly adds very little to the song, making his presence on the record unfelt. But the other Roc-a-Fella chain bearer J. Cole fills up the gap as he adds a keen verse on the tender, narrative track “Pray” that is illustrated over the LP’s warmest production. Most instrumentals on the record are, appropriately, soulful but not identical, as highlights more thump, such as the album’s first single “Celebration” and the potential single “All That (Lady);” Lil Wayne appears on both, contributing his best verse on the latter. “We could make babies/Let’s be creative/She said leave them tricks alone, but I’m a skater,” Tunechi phrases.

Compton’s new poster child, Kendrick Lamar—who Game shouted out in the thank you note of his sophomore effort Doctor’s Advocate—also plays a standout role as a supporting act and a song subject. On “See No Evil,” Lamar supplies a laudable verse, yet not one that compares to the scene-stealing verse he provided Game for “The City” on The Red Album. What’s more, the collaboration with K-Dot brings out one of Game’s best 16s on the entire LP. “Say it’s a blessing when you die in your sleep/’Cause the coroner don’t need no sheets, capisce?/I’m saying, stop playing/Wrap him up in what he lay in/Fold a nigga arms, now a casket what he pray in,” Game articulates in the opening verse.

Likewise, on “Can’t Get Right,” the one-time Dr. Dre protege flexes on the second verse, revealing why he composed diss tracks for Dre after believing the legendary producer disregarded him to focus on Kendrick—even though he did not bear his young homie any ill will. “Felt he shitted on me for Kendrick/Recorded diss records/And Kendrick my nigga, put him on his first mixtape/I popped champagne when I heard he was with Dre/And, I’m telling y’all this true story ’cause I’m real/Dre first time hearing bout it, wonder how he feel,” Game confesses.

Rap as a sport has changed over the last seven years, but Game stands the same, kicking poignant rhymes, namedropping as much as critic Gene Shalit, expressing remorse about his troubled history with Dre, taking light shots at Ma$e (the start of “Hallelujah”), flip-flopping his opinions on Jay-Z once again (the end of “Heaven’s Arms”) and more. Even if Game signs with Cash Money (“Freedom” includes a brief interlude of Birdman recruiting him), to another major label, or goes independent, Game will certainly look to persevere and hold his fort in the West Coast. Jesus Piece is another evidence of Taylor making the most of God’s gift to him, but with friends, or how he described it on “Freedom” (“My album like a Rari, a lot of dope features”). –Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)

  • TopNotchN3gro

    I’m definitely copin’ this cd.

  • DiamondsOva

    one of the best reviews on this album so far..

  • NorthBest

    Way Better than R.E.D. and it was made in 1/4 of the time

  • InfectedAND

    FUCK XXL, MAD CAUSE GAME SAID I DON”T READ NO XXL ON SEE NO EVIL! THE BEATS AND LYRICS DEFINATLY DESERVES XXL STATUS! FUK XXL! WON’T READ ANYMORE OF YOUR SHIT! UNPROFESSIONAL BITCH!

    • limitless

      yep thats the only reason he not xxl rated … iknow that ish had pure origanality from ideal to completeness ..beats were dope.. lyrics were xxl …too who the fuck rating this ish ..i need a job.. did they listen to it… did they see that sunday service he released along behind it what a nigga got to to do .. say he read yo ish come xxl
      #westcoast

    • drugmoneysick

      GAME HAD TO MUCH FEATURE ITS WAS GOOD ALBUM THO

    • drugmoneysick

      T.I. ALBUM WAS BETTER THAN THIS SHIT, GAME ALBUM YOU WOULD THINK A DJ MADE THAT ALBUM THATS SAD THIS ALBUM WASNT ORIGINAL AT ALL IF YOU A FAN YOU WOULD KNOW THAT.. STEALING KANYE FLOW, DOWN SOUTH BEATS C’MON GAME

  • http://twitter.com/jlabella11 Joe LaBella

    pleasantly surprised.. this album is real nice. game gave us something that wasn’t totally wack for once. salute.

  • KUBA

    JESUS PIECE = XXL.

  • werk

    How can you give a rapper who steals flows and songconcepts and has wack rappers like: big sean, tygo, future, young jeezy, 2chainz and meek mill on the album a XXL??????

    Game is a rapper who is consistent but TOTALLY not original or inventive. He follows trends. Listen to the beats is could easylee been beats from a Meek Mill or Young Jeezy album. Game has not an own indentity.

  • fiddy

    You’ll go to hell game

    • limitless

      that post might help u join him…

    • chris

      No he won’t, it’s not real

  • dr.

    better than R.E.D, compared to red this deserves xxl but in reality an xl is just. beats deserve xxl and i think his best album lyrically yet, its not The Documentary but its classic compared to what most rappers put out today.

  • FUCKXXL

    I dont ready the xxl (the game’s voice)

  • Zee

    @b8caadb84e38ad59dbce25553bf4d448:disqus I Agree Completely… Also Pitchfork were also kinda disrespectful to tha legend…. fuck critics. Every Game Album was as classic including LAX which overlooked.. Game is a legend pointblank.. underrated for certain

  • srucker

    yo @ werk..you couldn’t have stated it any better.. this dude is by far the most unoriginal artist ive heard in a long time.. and none of his shit is cohesive…just a bunch of name dropping, flow stealing and voice sounding material… get the fuck outta here wit that shit game…

    • limitless

      u wack..

  • Limitless

    project was well put together ..lyrics were dope ..beats were dope..

    not many people can speak they truths like that game big ups my rating

    originality xxl (never heard know shit like this)subject wise
    Lyrics . xxl (was on point, and had dope ins and outs .. sliding punch lines
    beats xl (they dope …

  • JSams

    I think cause all the wack artists that was on it, it deserved the rating it got.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwahn.denson Dwahn Denson

    I do believe XXL needs to change up the way albums are rated once and for all why not give ur readers a chance to give input on reviews before u give an album a final rating just to make it fair there are a lot of politics that go into the way u currently rate an album right now and its just not fair to the fans are to the artist because this album is a masterpiece and should have been given its props!!!! Game Deserves a XXL this is a better album than Kendrick Lamar’s and u rated it XXL REALLY !

    • Jaeki Cho

      Can’t wait to read your review proving why Game’s album is better than Kendrick’s.

  • Lebron

    This album had WAY too many features. 13 tracks with 22 features, are you kidding me? That’s not original, that’s not creative. This might of well been a various artists album instead of a Game album. I hate when great solo rap artists put an excessive amount of features on their album. Show the world you can compose a classic album mostly on your own, not having features on all but one track. Get the fuck outta here with an XL, he gets a L in my book. SMH.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ctwice100 Chris Carter

      I guess you’ve never heard of Raekwon then, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Considered a classic right? 18 tracks, 16 with features and a few of them joints were skits so you get the point. Ghostface was featured on it so much the album cover says “featuring Ghostface Killah.” The point is it doesn’t matter how many dudes are on your tracks, its about the content in your own verse and what the song sounds like as a result, if all of that is on point then it shouldn’t matter. Learn your rap history.

      • Tim Brown JR.

        HELL YEAH MAN you nailed it on that comment Chris Carter^^^^^^^^

  • Jaykay Zv

    Game sucks, apollo brown did nice job this year

  • 1000

    Lyrics: XL
    Beats: XXL
    Originality: XXL

  • Belize

    Fuck this nigga b

  • Keeping it real

    SOLID ALBUM! The rhymes, the beats, and THE GAME delivered on this album. He kept it straight real and event kept it real with XXL. HAHAH!

  • drugmoneysick

    THIS CANT BE XXL TO MANY FEATURE ON THIS SHIT CALLED IT A DJ Khaled ALBUM

  • drugmoneysick

    ALL YA NIGGAS JUST MAD THAT Kendrick Lamar HAS A BETTER ALBUM POINT BLANK THE GAME ALBUM WASNT ORIGINAL IF YOU A FAN OF THE GAME YOU WOULD HAVE NOTICE THAT… STEALING FLOW, DOWN SOUTH BEATS

  • AnonymousG

    Jesus Piece, was an amazing album, with amazing performance from all, I just wish Game could acquire his own fuckin style like he had on Documentary. It aint hard to tell, listen to this entire album and you hear him biting off new rappers styles every other fuckin bar. The concept of the album was great, and it speaks for itself, Game just cant seem to get on his own level. This was better than The R.E.D. Album, but I’d take L.A.X. over this. Dont lemme steer anyone wrong though, its worth coppin.

  • http://twitter.com/iamyungkizz YungKizz

    excellent work from the game

  • senzh

    I agree with everyone who want a XXL for lyrics. Game got some smart ass lyrics in it.

  • chiefgreen42

    why does my jesus piece cover not look like that? way!!!!!!!!! to many features sean shits though toy story’s lol

  • Julio G

    this game album was only good to me because it was better than red. But in all actuality it was a shitty feature filled knock off of kendricks album, i only say its a knock off of kendricks because game took the concept of thugs & religion; those same things were in good kid m.a.a.d. city. The fact this album only has two songs without features shows that game has really fallen off as an Mc, in my opinion. I think game needs to go broke for a while and find some new inspiration because im sick of hearing him whine about dr.dre. Although ive got to say it is the features and production that made this album worth listening too, other than that the concept isn’t too original at all

  • Angus

    A quick note on the Kanye thing: the song Jesus Piece was a quite obvious throwback to Crack Music, which featured Game on the chorus. Game even explicitly mentions Crack Music and the fact he didn’t do a verse on it. So given that, Kanye’s chorus hook makes sense.

  • S Banks

    The Game did his thang on this one. The lyrics are what it is.

  • pickaname

    The fuck these niggas complaining bout the beats being original or not its rap music! It’s about the lyrics and flow. I know beats are part of the experience but c’mon the beats always reflect the current trends.

  • 123

    L at most for this bipollar dude’s latest effort.

    is this supposed to be his album or a compilation of wankstas?

    to all his dickriders who’s gonna hate on this comment, do a solid one for your favorite rapper, jayceon the stripper: go and sign that petition he started, to get the unit back together. dude’s gotta eat, help yo boy out!

  • http://bit.ly/10mGDTH Michael

    This is Game’s weakest album yet but Game does bring quality to the table. Ali Bomaye, Celebration, seen no evil really bring good stuff. 6.0 out of 10.0

  • AngryCitizen

    LMAO this feature full car.

  • Tim Brown JR.

    This album is 100 times better and more original than anything that Lil Wayne has ever put out and yet for some reason look at the attention he receives for ALL of his albums. Minus all of the features and even the 1 from Lil Wayne this is a SOLID ALBUM.