Game’s Jesus Piece: Album Review Roundup

By Henna Kathiya

For Game’s highly anticipated fifth studio album, Jesus Piece, the Compton MC managed to feature 23 guests across 13 tracks. With that many different voices on the compilation, critics were looking to find out if Game’s voice got lost or if he managed to shine through. Features included Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Dr. Dre, and even Kevin Hart on the skits, and while that seems to be too much for some people, others are applauding the body of work. See what the critics had to say below.

Bold, Thought Provoking Collection
And the award for best new gospel artist of 2012 goes to .?.?. the Game? Not quite. But on “Jesus Piece,” the Compton rapper’s fifth studio album, God enters the mix amid the usual talk of gangs, women, money and Dr. Dre. The album is a bold, thought-provoking collection of songs, most of which ponder whether one can smoke a little weed, hit the strip club on occasion, knowingly do the wrong thing to make ends meet and still have a relationship with God. A few songs stray from the main concept, but for the most part, Game’s latest effort sticks to its compelling theme and is an interesting look at the religious gray area that lies between wearing a diamond-studded gold Jesus piece around one’s neck with little thought to its significance and sitting in church every Sunday.- Sarah Godfrey, Washington Post.

Great Storyteller
The Game returns with a heavy dose of guest appearances on his fifth offering, including Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx and 2 Chainz. But like his last album, “The R.E.D. Album,” he isn’t outshined by any of the features on “Jesus Piece.” With his hoarse delivery, Game’s words are full of bravado, his topics are concise and his rhymes are easy to digest on these well-produced tracks. That’s certainly evident on “Pray,” featuring J. Cole and JMSN, where the Game tells a compelling story about being a “guardian angel” for a woman struggling with drug abuse.- Jonathan Landrum- SFGate.

Thoughtful Duality
“A savvy assessor of hip-hop’s shifting power structure, Game hasn’t blocked Lamar’s ascent; in fact, the younger MC’s voice is one of the first you hear on Game’s underrated 2011 disc, The R.E.D. Album. Yet the success of “good kid” appears to have galvanized Game, who spends his new record pondering the gangsta’s paradigm with a Lamar-like eye toward faith and family. At its best, “Jesus Piece” thoughtfully embodies that duality, as in “Ali Bomaye” (with Rick Ross) and the brooding “Heaven’s Arms.” Game makes a better villain than he does a good guy, however, and on this often-earnest album he seems hard-pressed to accept that.”-Mikael Wood, LA Times.

Inconsistent, Homogenous
“Game has crafted several outstanding albums through his ability to make extremely judicious use of varied producers (his ear for beats might be second-to-none) and featured guests. On Jesus Piece, these strengths aren’t nearly as prominent. The production is generally strong and memorable, yet inconsistent at times. Where the album really falters is with the features. Listeners can’t help but wonder whether Game sat back, identified Maybach Music Group, Young Money, and G.O.O.D. Music as the hottest crews in the game, and simply decided to pick a few from each. Sure, there’s a lot of talent amongst those lineups, but there’s also a lot of homogeneity. As the features go, so does an album so replete with them.” – Slava Kuperstein, HipHopDX.