Game and Dr. Dre have a long, storied history together. In 2005, Dre's co-sign, executive production and beats helped Game become an instant rap star and his debut album, The Documentary, to have what it took to ultimately become a classic.
But thanks to Game's beef with 50 Cent, he left Aftermath before his second album, Doctor's Advocate. And though he and Dre patched things up, the legendary producer hasn't had a production credit on a Game album since that debut (except for an iTunes bonus on 2012's Jesus Piece).
But with The Documentary 2, out Friday (Oct. 9), Dre is back behind the boards for a few tracks, and, beyond that, his guidance helped shape the album. But not without some bumps in the road.
"I started working on The Documentary 2 like three years ago in Miami," Game told MTV News. "I went through a few different drafts of what it was. Once I played the first for Dre, he was just like, Thumbs down. Not because the music wasn't up to par -- it just wasn't Documentary-level."
So the Compton native had to keep pushing.
"I went back to the drawing board. I started again -- but, this time, instead of completing it, I just did the first three tracks, and I went and played it for Dre again, and he was like, Nah, this ain't it, neither."
OK. Two strikes. Game wasn't giving up, though. Would third time be a charm?
"So the third time, I did it again, I went and did the first three tracks," he explained. "And I took it to Dre, and he greenlit it. And from there, it was pretty much easy, because I knew what I needed to focus on to get it to its completion."
The final product is a 19-track opus -- with a second part due out next Friday -- which showcases Game continuing with fierce rhymes he's sharpened over the last decade, again displaying the consistency he's established over that span. With guests like Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Drake, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Diddy and more riding in tow, Game finally found what the mentor was trying to steer him towards.
"What he was looking for was not how the music sounded or if it was dope -- 'cause what he told me is that all the music was dope," he said. "What he said is that it just wasn't Documentary-quality. Which means that album -- today, it has sold over 14 million records -- it was such a classic album, that anything that's a Documentary relative had to sound distinctively the same or better.
"The way that Dre judges things, once he gives you a thumbs up, it's a universal thumbs up. It's because of the production value of albums he's put out and artists he's raised, as far as me, 50, Eminem, the 2Pacs and Snoops. Dre knows what it is, man, so once Dre gives you a thumbs up, you straight."