Game albums often come with as much tabloid distraction as intrigue – between his latest contrived Jay-Z diss ("Uncle Otis") and lame Twitter pranks (like telling his followers to flood the LAPD internship requests), the Compton MC doesn't seem to have given his long-delayed fourth album top priority. Next-gen West Coast-er Kendrick Lamar upstages his elder's flow on "The City," and R&B cuts featuring Lloyd, Mario, Wale and Chris Brown are tepid throwaways. He does give a riveting account of his daughter's birth on "California Dream" and seethes, "We ain't got no options/Wanted to be a boxer, but I was boxed in," on the soul-baring "Ricky." It's proof that, just when you least expect it, he can still rage compellingly.
Listen to "California Dream":