The Game Keeps It 100 on ‘Streets of Compton’
The Game doesn’t depart from the modus operandi – the script is familiar.
On Streets of Compton, The Game doesn’t depart from the modus operandi – the script is familiar. In one sense, it’s awesome because he excels at hard-nosed tails about Compton. In another sense, he’s “been there, done that” many times. A pair of underappreciated albums – The Documentary 2 and The Documentary 2.5 – brilliantly illustrate Compton.
Still, Streets of Compton has its moments. It should be noted that it’s a soundtrack to a series bearing the same name. This isn’t a full-fledged, new Game album.
Streets of Compton
The best moment is “Gang Signs.” Here, The Game spits over lush production work (including vocals), anchored by hard drum programming. From the start, he’s on autopilot. Arguably, “Gang Signs” is the most surefire song that secures multiple spins. “When the gang signs go up / you see your life flash right before your eyes,” The Game spits on the hook, continuing,
“And you know what / that’s how it is on the west side.”
“Gang Signs” isn’t the only worthwhile moment. Opener “Support Compton” sets the album’s tone and keeps the listener invested. A smart sample drives “Support Compton,” fueling the respective MCs (Game’s accompanied by J3 and Payso). All said and done, as always, The Game and his homies “keep it 100.”
“I grew up off of Wilmington and Rosecrans / where n*ggas drink 4-0z cans and throw it up with both hands / support Compton…”
Follow-up “Roped Off” is also noteworthy, particularly key lyrics from the hook:
“Don’t get this motherf*cker roped off…/Y’all gon’ get this motherf*cker roped off.”
It seems as if The Game is suggesting continual issues within the city coupled with its notoriously rough reputation, will cause the city to be shut down if things don’t improve. Throughout Game, Boogie, and Problem’s verses, they depict the state of Compton. Yes, it’s pretty rough.
One final standout, “Like Me” finds The Game flexing, bragging, “they don’t make n*ggas like me.” The Game spits about representing for his city, hustling (drugs), and having “a Z before I seen Jay / I had the West, I used to sling yay.” Punchline after punchline, expectedly, The Game never backs down. And yes, he references Dr. Dre for the umpteenth time:
“Dr. Dre ain’t got time for this, he wearing Beats / I got my ear to the ground, lil’ n*gga, I’m in these streets like…”
There are no misses on Streets of Compton, even if the rest isn’t as distinctive as the aforementioned. Again the reason for such is that The Game has “been there, done that” throughout his career, as well as the fact that this is more soundtrack than a vintage studio album. Regardless of the labels, there are enough thrills that make Streets of Compton worthwhile even if it isn’t Jayceon Taylor’s crowning achievement.
Gems: “Support Compton,” “Roped Off,” “Gang Signs” & “Like Me”