Music » Livewire

The Game

With Snoop Dogg. Tuesday, April 26, at Scene Pavilion.

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Dr. Dre has discovered a foolproof method for creating superstars. First he casts an unknown with the right profile -- in this case, Jayceon Taylor (aka the Game), who hails from Compton, used to deal, and has been shot five times. Then he introduces him via a disc whose high-profile producers (Timbaland, Hi-Tek) and megawatt guests (Eminem, 50 Cent) make him seem as if he's already famous.

Although the skill of the support staff on the Game's major-label debut The Documentary can make it difficult to objectively judge his talents -- Jaleel "Urkel" White could rap the Kanye West-produced "Dreams," and it would still work -- he's blessed with a sandpapery, Method Man voice and a flow that underlines his respect for the genre's forefathers. Granted, he name-drops too often; "Higher" mentions seven celebs prior to the couplet "I won't fuck Mariah/Even if she had Ashanti butt-naked in bed." But when he keeps clichés at bay, the Game nearly justifies the hype.

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