Last year, The Game dropped enough songs on The Documentary 2 and 2.5 to take about 2 years off. With the release of 1992, he proves that he’s doing anything but relaxing.
1992 was one of the most pivotal years in Black America, especially if you lived in California. This is the year of Snoop Doggy Dog’s debut, the introduction of The Chronic album, Ice Cube’s Predator dropped, and Too Short put out Shorty The Pimp. Then you have the historic yet tragic L.A Riots, spawning largely from the Rodney King verdict. Add all of that to the California earthquake and The Lindhurst High School shooting and you can already see, there’s a lot to talk about.
The Game takes himself in and out of 1992 as a young and impressionable. This Game is not really sure what kind of man he should be. That is, until tragedy and survival mode kicks in. He also speaks as a man who’s come to terms with his involvement in a lot of f****d up ish. “True Colors/It’s On” “Young Ni**as” and “Bompton” are prime examples of this as well as “Savage Lifestyle”.
Game is still on that West Coast gangsta s**t but it doesn’t feel glorified. Instead, it feels more reflective. At times he sounds like he’s just happy to be alive, with a little survivors remorse attached to that happiness. It’s also time to realize that hit singles and coaching from the greats aside, The Game really raps and raps a lot. I still don’t think he can go bar for bar with Jadakiss, but you can’t rap for 11 years at the level he’s rapping and not gain respect, as well as benefit of the doubt that you truly are doing the bulk of your pen work.
You can’t talk 1992 and west coast rap in the early 90’s without some reference to Ice-T [“True Colors”] and DOC [“Bompton”]. Homage is paid to both, as well as crate digging for samples from Soul 2 Soul, [“However Do You Want It”] Marvin Gaye [“Savage Lifestyle”] and Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five [“F**k Orange Juice”].
This album really does feel like the 90’s. “I Grew Up On Wu-Tang” is a great track that any Wu, hip-hop or Game fan should love. To show some of my age listening to this album made me remember a lot of the old West Coast rap videos and movies I saw growing up. I never made it to Cali in the 90’s but you can get a real feel for the lifestyle there at that time through this album.
Of course, we can’t forget “92 Bars” which kicked the buzz off for the release of this project. The somewhat odd parallel of “street ish” becoming “rap ish” inspired bonus bars at the end of this track for Meek Mill. The same Mill who, mainstream wise, can’t seem to catch a break for what is closing in on 2 years now.
Does Beef sell records? No. I don’t really think it ever has. Great music has, though. The Game may have dropped another album that belongs in the top 5 of his discography. Unfortunately, it dropped in a time where the current generation of artists and listeners only want to hear something specific. They want to see and feel product relatable to themselves. They don’t feel the need to know much about what came before them. 1992 is a dope album from a cemented artist who really has nothing to prove. The Game may be the only “big homie” that is actually trying to make great music right now. Other big homie’s need to follow suit.