In the two years since The Game dropped the favorably received The Documentary 2/2.5, the Compton artist has kept busy in the studio, creating soundtracks for both his mobile game Block Wars and his A&E show Streets of Compton. Lacking the punch and undeniably L.A. twang of the Documentary series, neither album impressed, and his follow-up, 1992 only managed a few standout cuts (“True Colors,” “The Soundtrack”), again failing to deliver the same capsule of emotion and atmosphere he managed on his 2015 releases.
Now, after announcing the title of his final album, Westside Story, in 2016, The Game premiered his latest single, “Oh I” on October 27, 2017. Featuring Jeremih, Young Thug and Sevyn (aka Sevyn Streeter), Game enlists the help of longtime producer Bongo for a track that most closely resembles a watered-down rendition of an 90s R&B. Sampling the 1996 cut “Get Me Home” by Foxy Brown, “Oh I” lacks the character provided by Blackstreet’s vocoded backing vocals or Brown’s thuggishly feminine swagger. Jeremih’s usual, high-pitched crooning serves as the backdrop for one of The Game’s love songs, that is, if a narrative of hooking up with a groupie falls under that categorical umbrella.
Game’s only verse on the track establishes what might be the quickest turnaround from stranger to lover in a rap song in recent history. In 16 bars, Game makes the acquaintance of a groupie at a Bryson Tiller concert and proceeds to theorize about their future relations and his loyalty to their infantile relationship. “Are you prepared to sit in the club with thugs?/I’m hopin’ you there ’cause all that we got is trust,” is an immediate hallmark of the track, as the aforementioned groupie managed to earn The Game’s confidence with little scrutiny. As a rapper who is no stranger to altercations or being set up, that the unnamed groupie gains Game’s trust in a matter of bars is not a feat to be overlooked.
The remainder of the track pans out as a shoehorned feature from Young Thug, adding generic name recognition to a subpar track. Sevyn comes in to wrap up the hook with Jeremih, and the track comes to a close, apparently abandoned by The Game after realizing just how terrible it is.
Given this is the lead single from the conclusion to The Game’s musical career, the L.A. rapper has yet to deliver any substance, as “Oh I” should leave fans yearning for the El Camino riding, Figuroa Driving Game from The Documentary 2.