45. Game, Jesus Piece
Label: DGC, Polydor, Interscope
Released: December 11
Five albums deep into his career, it wouldn't be surprising if Game began retreating to familiar tropes and ideas. Instead, he sounds reinvigorated on his first concept album (a term that's used rather loosely). The album is often criticized for its expansive guest list (there's only one solo Game song) but what does it matter when rappers like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, and others all contribute hot verses while Jamie Foxx, Elijah Blake, and K. Roosevelt bring the soul.
Meanwhile, the production is on point and Game is compelling when rapping about trying to balance the life as a thug who still believes in God. However, the songs aren't heavy-handed and definitely not preachy. Game works the religious theme into his rhymes effortlessly. Whereas on previous efforts, his occasional church, Bible, and Jesus references went unnoticed, here they add a common thread to the album. -Insanul Ahmed