The absolutely legendary Compton rapper’s ninth full-length is supposedly his final album – but we should know better than to trust rappers’ retirement announcements by now. If this really is the end, The Game rides off into the sunset with over 90 minutes of legacy talk and the boundary-pushing braggadocio he’s been known for his whole career, and his last words are a Trump diss. Not bad.
You have to give The Game credit for being such a ubiquitous force in rap without many bells and whistles, getting by on the strength he has simply matching bars with anyone else. In fact, he’s so confident about his placement on rap’s Mount Rushmore that he invites a list of rappers to challenge him (including battle-rap king Eminem) on “The Light.”
Most of Born 2 Rap sees The Game sitting on a throne made of stacks of money and reminiscing on all the twists and turns his life took to get where he is today. He’s always been a great street storyteller, and this is the definitive narrative of his whole career. Dropping allusions to some of the biggest tracks in rap history, he’s clearly interested in cementing his name amongst the greats.
Over almost exclusively hard-hitting boom-bap beats, he proves the style is far from dead. Complete with a litany of features, this is the hardest album you’ll ever hear that both opens and closes with Ed Sheeran’s voice.