The Documentary

Common Sense Media says

Some interesting music here, but NOT for kids.

Age

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Racial epithets abound.

Violence

Many references to violence, dead friends, prison.

Sex

Sexy and sexist at times.

Language

Very strong language.

Consumerism

A few brand names mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few drug/drinking references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that many kids will want to listen to this very popular CD, but we don't recommend it for anyone under 17. If you can get past the strong language, violence, and mature content (not to mention the name-dropping), there's some interesting, straight-from-the-heart music and an opportunity for suburban families to get an eye-opening look at gang life in Compton, California.

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Kids say

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What's the story?

Containing very strong language; sexist, sexual boasting; death, violence, and prison; racist epithets, and name-dropping that is so frequent that it approaches ridiculous, THE DOCUMENTARY is still powerful and at times even moving. The Game's gruff, honest, in-your-face style is complemented by exquisite and imaginative production. A lot of help from a lot of friends (Dr. Dre, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Faith Evans, Nate Dogg, Busta Rhymes, and Mary J. Blige comprise only a partial list) and the artist's avowed agenda to \"give back to Compton\" provide an aura of sincerity and substance that transcends dance-track superficiality. The last song, \"Like Father, Like Son,\" is The Game's sentimental love letter to his baby boy, and perhaps the first time the phrase \"Lamaze Class\" has ever been heard in a rap song.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's tempting to write off The Game's The Documentary as just another over-hyped product, but that would be selling this interesting album short. With the participation of a virtual who's who of rappers and promoted within an inch of its life as "the CD that will bring back west coast rap," mature music fans who like to make their own discoveries (and make up their own minds) may be put off. But there's some interesting songwriting and social commentary, performed by an unseasoned rapper who is trying with all his might to live up to mighty heavy expectations.

There is an edited version available; as usual it's hard to find. If you do decide to spring for the "real thing," watch the enclosed DVD with your teens. Like the album, it's too self-referential and tedious at times, but it's also a well-produced and eye-opening look at gang life in Compton that more families probably need to see.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the history of rap/hip-hop music, and whether they think it is possible to capture the essence of places like Compton without the inclusion of explicit words and themes.

Music details

Artist:The Game
Release date:January 18, 2005
Label:Aftermath
Genre:Rap
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of The Documentary was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGE
0
QUALITY
 

Stop hatin...

Good album...you dont gotta hate just cuz the underdogs on top..Just because you soccer moms cant handle it doesnt mean ur suburban kids should be shielded from the street life you gotst open up your kids to this truth
Teen, 14 years old Written bywazzup April 9, 2008
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0
QUALITY
 

true gangsta rap

*this is the best cd. how we do, put you on the game, and westside story are the best songs. buy it*
Adult Written byOzmosis April 9, 2008
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