Buffalo emcee & singer Elcamino following up his Black Soprano Family Records debut They Spit on Jesus with his 15th EP. Blowing up in 2017 off his self-titled EP with Griselda Records, his profile increasingly grew after being followed up by Walking on Water mixtape in the summer of 2018 along with dropped 2 studio albums & a few EPs the year after that. They Spit on Jesus was the first Camino project that I had covered since On the 3rd Day & that much like No Weapon Formed Against Me was an improvement over some of the material we’ve gotten from him in recent years. Fast forward 5 months later, Real Bad Man’s being enlisted throughout the duration of The Game is the Game

“Give Them Hope (Curtis)” is a piano-driven opener saying he was more of an understudy for Ghost that constantly took notes whereas quasi-jazzy “Chest Wrestlers” talks about not having time for fake aggressive coke-snorters. “Champagne Pisses” featuring the B$F general himself Benny the Butcher works in these strings, kicks & snares asking if anyone fears not making it to the finish line just before “Fashion Week” featuring King Ralph finds the 2 brothers showing off their big mafia statuses.

Meanwhile, “New Levels” talks about being long way from a crook with all the sacrifices that he’s taken on top of some vibraphones leading into “C’mon Nephew” goes into soulful territory to pen an open letter to his nephew forgiving him for some bullshit he pulled some time ago. “No Fighting” featuring Boldy James is an organ/boom bap crossover likening themselves to scramblers, but then “Expensive Cloth” brings to funkier flare airing out those who want him to be more of a target. 

Rick Hyde joins Elcamino for the penultimate track “Melrose” pushing near the encore of The Game is the Game discussing their elevations over pianos, kicks & snares that is until “Sllick Talk” featuring Player K rounds out the EP by hopping over synthesizers calling themselves shooters trying to score as well as telling y’all that we should be seeing the way both of them be living now.

If you enjoyed They Spit on Jesus as much as I did 6 months ago, you’re probably gonna like The Game is the Game almost as much if not more than the LP that officially introduced Elcamino to the B$F roster. Real Bad Man continues to further cement himself as one of the most in-demand producers the underground, the guest-list is equally tight & Camino’s just breaking down how it be out here.

Score: 8/10