In an unofficial count, the Game mentions Dr. Dre's name thirty-one times on Doctor's Advocate. At first I thought the constant name-dropping of the "Doc" or "Dre" or the countless other aliases for Andre Young would get repetitive, but even Game's evident disappointment at not having production from the D-R-E on his sophomore LP cannot ruin what is a very good, if not great, album.
On opener "Lookin' at You," based on Ervin "EP" Pope's cheap imitation of a Dre beat, Game spits a bunch of hold-your-crotch bars talking about how he's out to save the West and can survive without his mentor. In fact, "the West Coast Rakim," as Game anoints himself on the second track, "Da Shit," doesn't really get going until about the fifth song on the album, "Remedy" (first single "One Blood" is a pleasant little hiccup that falls between those two).
On the Just Blaze-produced "Remedy," the album finally begins to gain a little steam. Game gets off his Dre trip for about three minutes before going on to shout out the good doc five more times on his second single, "Let's Ride." Quickly, though, Game gets back to hitting his stride on the Scott Storch-produced and Nate Dogg-assisted "Too Much."
One of the best tracks comes by way of Kanye, who produces and guest stars on "Wouldn't Get Far," where the Boost Mobile alums go on to vent at video hoes. Game rhymes: "Like Vida Guerra/ She'll give you some brains, if you let her throw up the Roc," and "All these new video bitches trying to be Melyssa Ford/ but they don't know Melyssa Ford drives a Honda Accord./ She a video vixen, but behind closed doors/ she'll do whatever it takes to get to the Grammy Awards."
Swizz Beats helps out on the addictive yet mildly annoying "Scream On 'Em" before Game finishes the album out with a bang: The best material on Doctor's Advocate is on the final seven songs, minus "Around the World" featuring Jamie Foxx. On the self-titled track, featuring Busta Rhymes, Game finally gets all of his Dre-rage out, rhyming while nearly sobbing: "Even though sometimes I run loose/ you still my homeboy Doc, I'll take a bullet for you/ I'm not asking you to take my side in the beef/ but you told me it was okay to say, 'Fuck the police.'" That's followed by, "Sitting here looking at my platinum plaques/ thinking, What the fuck am I without a Dr. Dre track/ When Doc say it's a wrap, it's a wrap/ it's still Aftermath, and ain't nothing after that."
Game may have missed getting Dre on the album, but he found a nice rhythm working with such producers as Just Blaze, which is made evident by the highly anticipated and well-worth-the-wait "Why You Hate the Game?" featuring Nas. Esco spits over Just's keyboards, horns and a Floetry hook:
"My nigga Game, light another L, pass the bottle/ Pro-black, I don't pick cotton out of aspirin bottles," followed by Game verses including, "Nigga it's 'Game Time,' that was Dre's favorite line/ back when Proof was in the booth and I recited his lines/ and I still think about my nigga from time to time/ make me want to call 50, and let him know what's on my mind/ but I just hold back, 'cause we ain't beefin' like that/ he ain't Big, and I ain't Pac, and we just eatin' off rap."
50 may be right and Game may not sell as well without him singing hooks on his albums. But if anyone questioned whether or not Jayceon Taylor had what it took to stand on his own post-G-Unit, Game answers all of his critics with a resounding yes on Doctor's Advocate.
"Let's Ride" MP3
"One Blood" video