The Rundown: Game, Jesus Piece

Published by Rondell Conway on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm.

(Photo: Interscope Records)

The Rundown, Game’s Jesus Piece

Despite his name, it’s difficult to discern when Game is playing and when he isn’t. He’s one of rap’s biggest provocateurs and most effective trolls, after all. So it was hard to know what to make of the controversial cover to his new album, Jesus Piece. The image, which blended a seeming gang member with a saint, suggests a deep exploration of the lines between good and evil, between religion and real life.  Because Game’s never been one for album-length statements, it was easy to think the only one here was “any publicity is good publicity.” Which way did Game end up going? A concept or just a product? And more importantly: Does it sound good? Check out this track-by-track rundown of Game’s Jesus Piece to find our answers to these questions and more. — Alex Gale

(Photos from left: Mike Yarish/PictureGroup, Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET, C.M. Wiggins/WENN.com)

“Ali Bomaye” feat. 2 Chainz and Rick Ross

Another scary beat from Black Metaphor (who also produced the previous track) matches the murderous motives the title suggests with a sped-up soul sample, relentless hi-hats and thumping tuned 808s. Chainz’ verse opens the song, but misfires with an offbeat, out-of-place line (“I like clubs where all the women working naked”), and his sense of humor seems superficial compared to the gravitas of the beat and verses from Ross and Game, who ramps up his energy level here.

(Photos from left: WikiCommons, Jo Hale/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“Jesus Piece” feat. Kanye West and Common

Game finally begins to explore the conceptual meat-and-potatoes promised on the album cover with the title track. Over a fantastic beat laced with building piano chords and reversed choir samples, Game is at his gravelly best. Kanye, a master of mixing the profane and holy, assists on the hook, but Common sounds like an afterthought.

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