By now, a fair amount of us have became familiar with The Game’s skills lyrically, while the other half, realistically speaking, have probably written him off as more of a hip hop chameleon of sorts. His ability to pay homage to those before him, name drop his favorite rappers every other bar, or borderline jack their mic-approach has haunted Jayceon’s career ever since his debut nearly 10 years ago. The critics have backed him into a tough corner with each release. While he continued to silence them and prove his prowess over the years, the whispers may have finally caught up to him. Blood Moon: Year of The Wolf is The Game’s sixth album, and if anything, gives his tough critics more ammunition. It’s by far the weakest release from the aggressively persistent rapper.

Make no mistake though. Game comes correct on the album opener “Bigger Than Me.” Flexing his longevity muscle, he wastes little time cutting into the new breed of rap. “I came in with ‘Ye, Jeezy, and boss ass ni**as/your freshman cover a whole bunch of soft ass ni**as,” he spews. It’s the way Game should’ve been rapping years ago, and not only does he sound like hip hop’s new bully, (what’s up, 50), but he’s poking at rap’s “subpar” newcomers. Think Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse but with much darker tone. Speaking of Kendrick, you’d swear he makes an appearance on “F.U.N.,” but that’s just Game in transformation mode again. Almost scary how much he sounds like the fellow Compton rapper. The first posse cut comes in the form of “Really.” Featuring Yo Gotti, T.I., Soulja Boy, and 2 Chainz, at their Migos-flow best, while “Fu*k Yo Feelings” features a barely there auto tuned Lil’ Wayne and a rap verse from Chris Brown. For the umpteenth time of course, you can find a Dr. Dre mention in the mix of things. “Hit Em Hard” features Freddie Gibbs, Skeme, and newcomer Bobby Shmurda, of whom can only be found here on chorus duty while his counterparts takeover.

Minor frustrations aside, Blood Moon has it’s fair share of highlights. “The Purge” isn’t a record you’d typically get from Game. Featuring soothing vocals from Stacy Barth, Game channels the frustrations of us all, in his attempt to avenge the innocent victims we’ve lost over the years. His most personal offering to date however, may be “Blood Moon,” which serves as a bonus track. Here he discusses everything from self hate, to witnessing his own father molesting his sister when they were younger. It comes in at just over three minutes, but definitely leaves it’s mark on the album.

What’s interesting, is that this album is supposedly being touted as a compilation disk to get us familiar with Game’s new artists on his roster Dubb and Skeme. Think Jay Z’s chess move known as The Dynasty. However, the newcomers are only present on five tracks, while his established friends are featured all over the 16 track album. The weakest point of Game’s latest, is that it gradually breaks down how hypocritical the intro “Bigger Than Me” is. Again, solid track, but with every critique he had for rap newcomers, the rest of the album finds him mimicking those very rappers and today’s trends. Nothing proves this more than the DJ Mustard produced “Or Nah,” or the Ty Dolla $ign assisted “On One,” which sounds like a Kid Ink record. Always known for picking good production, not much can be highlighted in that department either. Reports have The Documentary 2 arriving early January. I’m hoping its a sequel that delivers.