Mix-and-match rap

By By Spencer Young

By Spencer Young

The GameDoctor’s AdvocateGeffen RecordsTwo-and-a-half out of five stars

The Game is like the game Mr. Potato Head.

The reason is The Game’s iconography — the same as Mr. Potato Head’s — derives from a limited number of detachable objects and symbols that can be rearranged and inserted to create an image of being. The trick is to produce something out of nothing: a new and unique persona with each arrangement.

While the latter is fit with hats, eyeballs and arms, The Game is fit with gangster-rap stereotypes: Old English, sticky weed, Louis Vuitton, six-four Impalas, glocks in the socks and hos without their clothes.

And as if these decadent and decaying symbols weren’t exacerbated enough, The Game makes sure to implement each and every one of them in all Doctor’s Advocate songs, thus making Mr. Potato Head far more versatile with his mustache and eyeglasses. The Game looks and sounds identical, 17 times. There are SE-VEN-TEEN songs about Compton, hos, drugs, guns, Dr. Dre, and the rest — everything that apparently makes gangsters “gangster” and The Game the same as every other Potato Head rapper.

Besides the tiresome and overwrought motifs, Doctor’s Advocate has some saving grace in it due to the 11 featured hip-hop and rap acts. Notorious fellows such as Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and Busta Rhymes keep some of these tracks alive, if only for the fact that they derail The Game’s angry and repetitive vocals — Snoop’s laid-back lyrics always seem to keep things fresh.

And the women on this album? What about Mrs. Potato Head?

Well, it just so happens that The Game loves objectifying women. And while women have a voice on Doctor’s Advocate, The Game makes sure to keep them in the background for chorus and sample use only — interactively interrupting when he sees fit. This really is a shame, if not for the absolute denial and dismissal of women as sentient beings, then for the mere reason that the ones singing on these tracks give the necessary harmony and melody that is otherwise bleak throughout Doctor’s Advocate. When “given” the option, the nameless ladies also provide a lovely and worthwhile delineation from The Game’s recurring gangster gumbo. That is, until The Game interrupts so rudely with, “Shut your mouth, b****.”