Game is far from alone on this work, inviting more than 20 artists, mostly other rappers, to join him. In fact, he only flies solo on one song. Some of the features certainly wouldn’t be missed, but guest spots from great rappers like Kanye West, J. Cole, Common, Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar are refreshing.
Although the amount of guest spots may seem unnecessary — and at times, it is — this album is pretty high-quality. Game seems to have recaptured the passion that was mostly lacking on his last effort, and Jesus Piece better shows his true potential. While much of his rapping includes name-dropping and wealth-flaunting, his technique is on point throughout.
Production on Jesus Piece is pretty great, with beats coming from the likes of Boi-1da, Cool & Dre, Jake One and the relatively unknown Black Metaphor.
Not surprisingly, the features kind of dictate which of the songs are better. For instance, the title track, featuring Common and Kanye, is outstanding. Kanye only assists with the hook, but Game and Common come on strong with quality verses over a great Boi-1da beat.
The J. Cole-assisted “Pray” is another track that stands out. Joining the two rappers on the Cool & Dre-produced song is singer JMSN, who handles the hook. Game and Cole lay down some excellent verses over a fantastic beat that includes a great sample from Sleep Party People’s “I’m Not Human at All.”
Also strong is “See No Evil,” which features Kendrick Lamar and R&B singer Tank, who drops a solid hook. The two Compton rappers put forth some great rhyming over another solid beat. It’s refreshing to see Game, who is approaching veteran status, welcome assistance from a West Coast rookie like Lamar.
A few complaints about the album are related mostly to the abundance of features. A few tracks, like “All That Lady” and “Celebration,” arguably include too many guest spots. These songs have a feel like they would be on a DJ Khaled album, which is never a good thing. While they’re not terrible and have their moments, they bring down the overall quality of the disc.
The Game has had an interesting career, dropping mostly good albums ,but never being able to maintain a solid reputation as a great rapper. Jesus Piece has its problems, but shows flashes of the great rapper that Game is capable of being. —Ryan Querbach