Label: Aftermath, G-Unit, Interscope

The Game has consistently exceeded expectations, and never was this more true than on his debut. Of course, he had an assist from 50 Cent at the height of his songwriting talents; cocky as ever, the 50 gifted some of his strongest work to The Documentary, from his rare moment of vulnerability ("Hate It or Love It") to one of the truest Dr. Dre club bangers ("How We Do").

It wasn't all 50's generosity that made the album a smash, though. The bottomless pockets of Aftermath probably had a hand, gifting The Game some of the era's best production, including everyone from Timbaland to Kanye. It also helped that The Game was one of hip-hop's more interesting characters and one of the West Coast's only major players to emerge in the last decade of hip-hop. — DD

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