October 5, 2004
Get Low Recordz
1. Intro (feat. JT the Bigga Figga) // 2. Neighbourhood Supastarz (feat. JT the Bigga Figga) // 3. When Shit Get Thick (feat. Sean T & JT the Bigga Figga) // 4. I’m Looking (feat. Blue Chip) // 5. Real Gangstaz // 6. Drama Is Real (feat. San Quinn) // 7. Compton 2 Fillmore (feat. JT the Bigga Figga) // 8. El Presidente (feat. Telly Mac) // 9. G.A.M.E. (feat. Young Noble) // 10. Cali Boyz // 11. Who The Illest (feat. Sean T) // 12. Bleek Is… // 13. Street Kings (feat. Get Low Playaz) // 14. Don’t Cry (feat. Blue Chip) // 15. Exclusively (feat. Get Low Playaz & Young Noble) // 16. Compton, Compton // 17. Outro (feat. JT the Bigga Figga)
The Game’s back story, living the street life selling drugs, getting shot the fuck up and surviving to find mega succes in hip-hop, reads an awful lot like West Coast version of his frenemy 50 Cent’s, hmmm…
Not only that but like Fiddy and Eminem (and the Clipse and the Black Eyed Peas and most likely a shitload of other artists) he has a semi-official debut album, recorded and
leaked released before his official debut album the Documentary. I’m not talking a mixtape here,but an actual album; all of the featured material is original rhymes and beats.
Untold Story is that semi-official debut, after the man born Jayceon Taylor got shot a bunch of times in a drug deal he allegedly got in a coma, which he woke up from after three days suddenly feeling inspired to be a rapper because of the near-death experience.
Well, either that or he felt inspired to be a rapper and thought that this would be a good back story if you are inclined to believe 50 Cent over Game, I certainly don’t claim to know who’s telling the truth there, nor does it actually influence the quality of the music.
What’s however irrefutably true is that in 2001 Game got signed to independent Fillmore San Francisco record label Get Low Records, the very name of which may have gotten Jayceon in an ongoing beef with Roc-a-Fella records because Memphis Bleek’s boutique label is called Get Low Records too.
On JT‘s Get Low Recordz he recorded the double disc mixtape Live From Compton (2004), this album (2004), West Coast Resurrection (2005) and Untold Story, vol. 2 (2005), all of which may consist of original material or may be the same lyrics over newly constructed instrumentals, 2pac’s Nu Muxx Klazzics-style. I wouldn’t know yet as I haven’t heard them. All of these releases came out about three years after being recorded and after Game had already left the label and was already making a name as Dr. Dre’s latest signee, with the purpose that JT the Bigga Figga (Rapper/ Producer/ Get Low’s boss) could finally make some money off “discovering” the Game. After JT was done juicing the material he sold the masters to the mysterious entity FastLife Records which released G.A.M.E. (2006), which is most certainly the same old shit with new beats.
While these aren’t the noblest of artistic intentions they don’t rule out that Untold Story contains some dope music.
As expected Game, who had been rapping for about a year when he recorded most of the material here, sounds both a lot less polished and a lot less husky, which isn’t to say he’s wack, he just hasn’t completely found his voice yet. And the production and guest verses sound a lot less expensive, for lack of a better word, which isn’t ment ass a diss either; JT just isn’t a Dr. Dre and these mostly unknown guest rappers aren’t G-Unit.
Being said that you shouldn’t cop this if you want more Documentary-like music, Untold Story isn’t a bad album. And Game, even though his voice changed since this, already did his signature name-dropping and pop-culture referencing punchline rapping.
Even though songs like Neighbourhood Supa Starz, When Shit Getz Thick and Drama Is Real which have Game dueting local San Francisco rap veterans such as the previously mentioned JT the Bigga Figga, Sean T and San Quinn are nowhere near as jaw-dropping as the Documentary‘s singles, they certainly have their charms. G.A.M.E. and Exclusively both feature Young Noble, this album’s guest artist best known outside of the Bay Area’s Get Low fanbase. Although in 2004 Jayceon was already a bigger name than Noble, these tracks do aid his street cred by linking him indirectly to 2pac, and they certainly don’t bring Makaveli’s legacy to shame.
Compton to Fillmore, again featuring JT, has a decent Bollywood-infused beat in the tradition of Scott Stortch or Timbaland, and should get some asses shaking were you to bump it at a house party and could’ve been a single, were Game still around at Get Low to promote Untold Story.
Don’t Cry, a song dedicated to his daughter, is hands down the best thing on here, what with it’s pounding bassline and Game actually having subject matter beyond archetypical gangsta and guest rapper Blue Chip keeping-up.
Cali Boys, the shortest song on here, is pretty decent, even though it almost exclusively consists of Game listing other West Coast rappers.
Willingness to start shit, also a typical Jayceon Taylor trait, is also already present as proved by the Memphis Bleek-diss Bleek Is… named after Bleek’s debut single Memphis Bleek Is… The main reason behind this track is that Bleek had kicked off a boutique label called Get Low Records with his debut album in ’99, whereas JT the Bigga Figga had been repping Get Low since ’92. Even though dissing Bleek is one of my favorite pasttimes the song isn’t any good, which mystifies me because a parody of Memp Bleek Is… dissing it’s creator should write itself.
With its being seventeen tracks long and having no creative input of Game besides recording the vocals two to three years before this album was released, Untold Story is obviously a flawed release. Game may have figured out how to rap already to the point where doesn’t embarass himself on the mic, but he still doesn’t really come off as that experienced, making Untold Story sounding like the practice round it ended up being. Sean T and JT producing everything on here is a mixed blessing, giving this album some much needed cohesiveness, but also making it so that a lot of it starts runs together and sounds alike. Some pop/rap culture references such as “Make ’em Harlem-shake like the new G-Dep” and “make ’em kiss the game goodbye like Jada” carbon date this to 2002 and JT shouting out Aftermath, G-Unit and Dr. Dre on several of the tracks as a constant reminder that Jayceon had already moved on when this was finished and released, is also not a good thing. Finally; the guests may not be horrible rappers but they all fail to leave much of in impression.
But two of the songs are pretty good, and besides Bleek Is… nothing here outright sucks.
Compton to Fillmore
For die-hard fans of the Game or JT the Bigga Figga this is certainly worth an inspection. For casual fans of rap buying the below two song will probably suffice.