THE GAME BIOGRAPHY:
The Game, or to give his his birth name, Jayceon Taylor, was born on November 29, 1979 in the home of Gangsta Rap, Compton, California, into a life of gang-banging and hustling. When later interviewed, The Game says he recalls seeing both of his parents getting ready to do drive-bys. His father was a 'Nutty Block Crip' and his mother a 'Hoover Crippelette'. The Game’s beloved grandmother nicknamed him Game because he was always game for anything - whether it be basketball, running, riding bikes, or just playing in the streets. Family problems related to his father caused him to be placed in a foster home from the third grade to the ninth grade. "My childhood was fucked up but it wasn’t really that different from anyone else who lived in the ‘hood," he said. Around 1989, The Game met his idol, Eric Wright aka Easy-E founder of NWA. This was a defining moment in his life. Soon after he was returned to his mother, Lynette, one of his older brothers, Jevon, was shot and killed at a gas station. His brother had just received a record deal, The Game says that he felt if his father would've been around, his brother wouldn't have been killed. Game's brother died the next day. Taylor attended Compton High School and most of the students that were gang affiliated were Crips. The Game then started running behind another older brother, known as Big Fase 100, who had been taken in by the 'Cedar Block Piru Bloods', even though they grew up in a Crip neighborhood called Santana Block on Compton’s East Side.
His older brother Fase tried to keep him away from thuggin’ but, once it became clear that Game was going to be there, his brother was determined to teach him how to survive on the streets. Then, after graduating high school in 1999, an older adopted brother, Charles, was shot and killed. “People don’t know what type of toll that takes on your life,” he says. “Especially being young and just fresh out in the world.” A one-time star shooting guard for Compton High School who was offered scholarships to various colleges, the 6-foot-4 Game now started gangbangin’ hard--car thefts, drug dealing and shootings. Finding him too much to handle, his mother kicked him out of her house.
In 2000, The Game and his brother moved into the projects in a nearby city and took over its drug trade. Their success attracted rivals. On October 1, 2001 while at his drug spot apartment, Jayceon heard a knock on the door at 2 a.m. Wanting to make a late night sell, he opened the door to see a regular customer. His regular however brought two others with him. He and another man fought. Reaching for his pistol, he was shot execution style by one of the assailants five times. He used his cell phone and called the ambulance. Taylor was in a coma for two days. "That was the biggest learning experience ever in my life. This sounds crazy but I appreciate that happening to me, because I’d probably be dead if it didn’t. Anybody who gets shot and survives feels lucky. On the other hand I went through so much already that I felt somebody owed me. Now I could live out my dreams." While recovering, he told his brother to go out and buy all of the classic hip hop albums, east and west. This included Biggie's "Ready To Die", Snoop's "Doggystyle", Dr. Dre's "The Chronic", Jay-Z's "Reasonable Doubt", 2Pac’s "All Eyez On Me", every Kool G Rap record, everything from N.W.A., and albums by Big Daddy Kane.
His aim was to do something with his life, and use his harsh experiences of life to his advantage, he wanted to enter the world of Gangsta rap. He studied the albums his brother brought him carefully over the next five months. In December 2001, he rapped for the first time. "I mixed everybody’s style into one. That’s why some people feel that I sound like I’m from the East Coast even though I rap about the West Coast." he says. Together with his brother Big Fase, The Game put together a mixtape in order to get his voice heard. The mixtape apparantley reached the hands of Bad Boy Records owner, Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy. Diddy was on the verge of signing him when the mixtape reached the hands of super producer Dr. Dre, the former of NWA, father of gangsta rap, and the producer behind many Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem hits. Dr. Dre contacted Taylor and the deal was sealed. And its clear why The Game choose Dre's Aftermath Records as his home, he said: “The best moment I’ve had in rap was walking into his studio in 2002 and Dre saying he heard a mix tape of my freestyles and wanted to sign me,” says Game. “Trying to act cool? I was frozen. I’m still starstruck with Dre. He’s been almost 20 years at the top. That I get to soak up the game from a musical genius like him gives me a 20-year head start on everybody else. He’s like the father I never had. Everything about a
father throwing a baseball to his son in the suburbs, that’s what NWA was to me. They were the only role models I had besides Michael Jordan. Eazy was the father of hardcore and I don’t understand why he only gets honorable mention when people talk about rap.”
In summer 2003, Game became a father for the first time with son Harlem Caron Taylor. He says the best moment he’s ever experienced was watching his son’s mother give birth. Then, after many delays, The Game's debut album, "The Documentary", finally dropped in January 2005. The album announces the arrival of the most significant West Coast gangsta rapper since Snoop Dogg more than a decade earlier. With guest spots from 50 Cent, Nate Dogg and several others, as well as producers from Dr. Dre to Kanye West to Just Blaze and tracks such as “Like Father Like Son,” “Church For Thugs,” “Dreams,” “Where I’m From” and “Westside Story,” the debut album was released and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. "The Documentary" resurrects the truth, spirit and hope of hardcore rap. “A lot of rap today is bubblegum bullshit that says nothing and means nothing to anybody living in the ‘hood,” says the 24-year-old with a tattoo of NWA’s Eazy-E on his right forearm. “I’m not knocking anybody’s hustle but I can’t feel what’s in hip-hop today. Everybody’s rapping but they’re not saying anything. N.W.A., Biggie, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z all had something to say then Biggie, Pac and Eazy died and it was devastating. We almost let rap die until the Great White Hype (Eminem) saved hip-hop and 50 dropped the gangsta wake-up call. I feel like it’s my turn now and I can fill the shoes.”
He also hopes the purpose of the graphic nature of "The Game Vol. 1" doesn’t get twisted. “I’m telling my story. I’m out to please no one but myself. I’m not telling anybody to sell drugs or pick up guns. When I sold drugs it was because it was my last resort, because I had four sisters and an older brother and we were eating Cheerios on Thanksgiving. When I picked up a gun it was because my life was threatened. If you don’t want to hear that; then don’t listen. I’m not glorifying the life I lived because I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. I’m just one human being raised in the ‘hood who wanted nothing more than to get out.” His sole regret is that his grandmother--the only person who ever believed he could make it out - passed away before she could see his success not just in rap but in life. Despuite his assive success and new found riches, he stills lives in Compton where he and his brother own a house there as well as a liquor store. When asked why he hasn't left Compton, he says that he feels comfortable there.
The Documentary debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 586,000 units in the first week. The Recording Industry Association of America certified the album two times platinum in March 2005 and it sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Music critics praised the album's production, but some panned The Game for constantly namedropping high profile musicians. Since the album's release, The Game is considered to be a driving force in reviving the West Coast hip hop scene, which had been overshadowed by artists from the East and South.
After the release of The Documentary The Game and rapper 50 Cent who not only produced the album but also claimed he wrote six of the songs on the album began feuding. When their feud became public The Game was dropped from G-Unit records. After the feud became public many people and critics didn’t know who to give credit to for the album's success. 50 Cent believed he deserved the credit for the success of the album but The Game also felt he deserved the credit its success. The public eye did not know who to believe. Since the album's release the two rappers have been feuding, publicly. (Read more on the beef between The Game and 50 Cent / G-Unit in our beef section by clikcing here).
The first single, "Westside Story", peaked at ninety-three on the Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone described it as "a kind of L.A. version of "In Da Club". The second single in the U.S. was "How We Do" which peaked at number four on the Hot 100 for four weeks and reached platinum sales status as a digital single because it was legally downloaded at least 200,000 times. It was also quite successful worldwide, reaching the top twenty in most countries. "Hate It or Love It" was the most popular single, peaking at number two on the Hot 100, and reached the #1 spot on the Hot R&B;/Hip-Hop Songs. The song was blocked from the #1 position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by The Game's fellow G-Unit member at the time, 50 Cent (who is also featured in this song), with his song "Candy Shop" (featuring Olivia). At the 2006 Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rap Song. It was named #1 on About.com's Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2005, and was ranked at #43 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop". The music video was nominated at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rap Video, but lost to Ludacris' "Number One Spot".
"Dreams" was the third official single by rapper The Game from his The Documentary album. It is produced by Kanye West and features a sample of "No Money Down" by Jerry Butler. The song is dedicated to Yetunde Price (the elder half-sister of tennis stars Serena Williams and Venus Williams), who was shot dead on September 14, 2003. The Williams' also came from The Game's hometown of Compton, California. The music video shoot for the song was where Dr. Dre first met Bishop Lamont who he eventually signed to Aftermath. The song was placed 16th on about.com's Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2005.
The Game Doctor's Advocate is the second solo studio album by The Game, and was released on November 14, 2006 in the US. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 358,988 copies, making this The Game's second number one album. The album's title "Doctor's Advocate" is in reference to pioneering rap producer and artist, Dr. Dre, who essentially found, and then signed The Game to his Aftermath record label. The album has many of the same producers that his first album, The Documentary had, including the likes of Kanye West and Just Blaze. In contrast to his debut, this album features no production from the Aftermath Entertainment CEO and famed hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, although long-time Dr. Dre collaborator Scott Storch produced two songs on the album.
The Game wanted to prove that he could still make good music as he did on his first album, The Documentary, without help of Dr. Dre or 50 Cent. The album has received many positive reviews from critics, including a 4.5 mic rating from leading hip hop magazine The Source, and All Music Guide wrote that while the album "is nothing new" from The Documentary, "the fact remains that every track here is as good as or better than those on his debut." Although 50 Cent is not featured, there are many new and re-occurring guest appearances on this album. Notable artists are Busta Rhymes, Nas, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, will.i.am, and Xzibit.
"It's Okay (One Blood)" is the first single from Doctor's Advocate released on July 24, 2006. The song was originally set to be released on July 4th, but was pushed back by The Game. Jimmy Rosemond, head of Czar Entertainment and The Game's manager, explained how "One Blood" would receive positive radio airplay and prove how talented The Game is. When news of The Game's first single was announced by Rosemond, it was revealed simply as "One Blood" and is the name it commonly goes by. The song samples Junior Reid's "One Blood" and features Junior Reid himself. Several lines in the song stirred controversy in Hip Hop, especially as to who the line: "You 38 and you still rappin, ugh.", was aimed at, as many believed this to be aimed at Dr Dre. The Game made a music video for the song, which debuted on BET on August 22, 2006. The Game is walking alone through the streets for most of the video to symbolize that he is the 'One Blood'. There are appearances in the video by Juice, Ya Boy, Nu Jerzey Devil, DJ Skee and Tyrese. One Blood is also included in the video game Def Jam: Icon which was a hit for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.
A ground breaking official remix of "It's Okay (One Blood)" was released on November 7, 2006, featuring an impressive 24 other hip-hop artists alongside The Game himself, somehwat proving to Dr Dre that The Game has the support to do things away from Aftermath and 50 Cent. The featuring rappers rap in this order on the song: Jim Jones, Snoop Dogg, Nas, T.I., The Game (rapping a new verse), Fat Joe, Lil Wayne, N.O.R.E., Jadakiss, Styles P., Fabolous, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross, Twista, Tha Dogg Pound, WC, E-40, Bun B, Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, Young Dro, Clipse, Ja Rule.
The Game followed up the success of the remix with an additional 4 regional remixes. They are: "One Blood Dirty South Remix" featuring artists from the south, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Twista, T.I., Chamillionaire, Pitbull, Slim Thug, Young Jeezy, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Young Dro & Bun B. Game's "One Blood Midwest Remix" featured Kanye West, Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Obie Trice & hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. "One Blood Eastside Remix" was aimed primarily at fans of Eastcoast rap featuring rappers Jim Jones, Fabolous, Clipse, Juelz Santana (extended verse), Diddy, Cam'ron, Cassidy, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Jadakiss, Styles P., Fat Joe, Papoose, Sheek Louch, N.O.R.E. & Ja Rule. The Game then dropped "One Blood Westside Remix" featuring legendary westcoast MC's Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, Crooked I, WC, E-40, Glasses Malone, Ice Cube, Bishop Lamont & The Game hismelf rapping a new verse from the official single version.
"Let's Ride (Strip Club)" is the second single from Doctor's Advocate. The song was written by The Game and Scott Storch and was released on September 25, 2006. The song peaked at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The music video for the track premiered on BET's 106 & Park on October 23, 2006. On November 14, 2006, the video debuted on MTV's TRL (Total Request Live) at number ten and stayed on the chart for over 2 weeks. In The video The Game can be seen riding in a 1964 Chevrolet Impala with hydraulics and the video contains a cameo appearance by fellow West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg. The video was also the subject of an MTV Making the Video episode as was a previous single of The Game's, "Dreams", from his The Documentary album.
"Wouldn't Get Far" is the third single from Doctor's Advocate. The song is produced by and features a verse from Kanye West. It contains a sample from Creative Source's "I'd Find You Anywhere", and a small sample from 2Pac's "All Bout U", and also a sample of Jadakiss' "By Your Side". In the song, The Game mentions and criticizes, by both name and alias, many up-and coming and established video vixens, models, and actresses. The women addressed include Nicole Alexander, Karrine Steffans, Vida Guerra, Gloria Velez, Halle Berry, Meagan Good, Lil' Kim, Kelis, Charli Baltimore, Toccara Jones, and Melyssa Ford. As a response, Vida Guerra made a 30 second rap diss to the The Game in retaliation to his negative remarks about how video models succeed in the hip hop business. She insinuates that The Game is desperate to sleep with her, and earlier, she had claimed that The Game was mad at her for turning him down. After the final verse of the song, The Game can be heard talking in a similar style as Snoop Dogg did in 2Pac's song "All Bout U" from his 1996 album All Eyez on Me. This portion of the song is not available on the radio edited version, and was also not premiered in the video. Prior to filming the music video, The Game said that he was hoping some of the video vixens he mentions in the song would come down for the shoot to lighten some of the tension that had built because of the track lyrics. In the end, only Gloria Velez turned up and is seen in the video; the others are played by look-alikes. "Why You Hate The Game" was planned as the fourth single from Doctor's Advocate. The Game revealed that the song would be a single on April 9, 2007, but it was not released.
On December 31, 2007, The Game announced at Nas' New Year's Eve party the title and release date of the album. The album's title was originally "The D.O.C.", but Game changed it to "LAX". It was reported in March 2008 that The Game had left prison, however his manager later stated that he was still in jail, but he was expected to be released in time to promote the album. He was released after serving eight days, and went back to work with Cool & Dre on the album. Dre (of Cool & Dre), stated The Game was like 2Pac, and that lyrically, he was "[somewhere] else right now".
Like most hip hop albums of recent times "LAX" sufffered many setbacks and delays. It was first pushed back to June 24 but was later changed to July 8 by Interscope. On June 8, it was announced that LAX would be pushed back a week later to July 15, the same release date as Nas' Untitled album. LAX was then pushed back another week to July 22, and finally to August 22nd 2008.
The Game appeared on 106 & Park on May 16, where he confirmed that LAX would be the last studio album he records, as he intends to promote his record label, Black Wall Street, and start producing music, following in the footsteps of mentor Dr. Dre. However in a later interview, The Game said that he may release a fourth album titled "D.O.C." or "Diary of Compton" but only if he can get the production help of Dr. Dre, MC Ren, King Tee, DJ Yella, Ice Cube and DJ Quik. However, he quickly changed his mind and said that "D.O.C." will not be coming out and that LAX is definitely his last album.
The Game released LAX, his third studio album, on August 22, 2008. Though many guests were confirmed, Keyshia Cole, Common, DMX, Ice Cube, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Chrisette Michele, Nas, Ne-Yo, Raekwon, and LaToya Williams were some of the artists to make the final cut.
LAX debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, with 238,382 copies sold, just behind metal band Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone. At first it looked like LAX had debuted ahead of All Hope Is Gone by 13 copies, with such a close difference, Slipknot's labels Warner Music Group and Roadrunner Records asked for a SoundScan recount, a historic first. Nielsen proceded to the recount, which placed LAX at No.2 with 238,382 copies, and Slipknot in first position with 239,516 copies scanned, a margin of 1,134 copies. Billboard then immediately proceeded to the corrections. The album has since gone on to shift over 500,000 copies in the United States and over 700,000 units worldwide. The album has received favorable reviews from music critics.
"Game's Pain" was the lead single from LAX, released on April 29, 2008 via Geffen/Interscope Records. In the song, which features Keyshia Cole, Game makes references to The Notorious B.I.G., Will Smith, Nas, Luke Skyywalker of 2 Live Crew, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Ice Cube (who he says is his favorite rapper), Eazy-E, Naughty By Nature, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane, and Mary J. Blige, among others.
The music video for "Game's Pain" was filmed in Los Angeles. The video has cameos including Ice Cube, Tiny Lister, Big Daddy Kane, Three 6 Mafia, Raekwon and Black Wall Street. It made its debut on BET on May 16th 2008. The video starts with The Game in his apartment tapping on a fish tank. He then leaves his residence and hops onto a Bombardier Spyder. He then drives over to Keyshia Cole, who is sitting in a lowrider. He then hops into the lowrider and they begin performing the song. As the song progresses The Game is shown standing up in the lowrider while Keyshia Cole is driving and later, they are both shown at a mansion in Beverly Hills singing while a party is going on in the background. Game is also shown sitting in a throne-like chair in some parts, getting greeted by Raekwon. "Game's Pain" became the #1 video on BET's 106 & Park on June 12th, 2008.
Game then released "Dope Boys" as the second single his LAX album on June 24th, 2008. The song features Travis Barker playing the drums. The clean version is called "Doe Boys". The song samples "Eleanor Rigby" By The Beatles. An unoffical music video was released which featured The Game rapping in the background and Travis Barker playing drums. However an official video was also made, featuring Travis Barker, Omar Cruz, Black Wall Street, and BYI members. In the video, The Game is standing on top of a building with the Los Angeles skyline behind him. In the music video he also wears Beats By Dr. Dre headphones.
"My Life" was the third single from LAX and was released on July 22nd, 2008 in the U.S., and was available digitally on August 5th, 2008 via iTunes. "My Life" debuted at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #32 on the Pop 100 based on downloads. The song, produced by Cool & Dre, features Lil Wayne, and like many recent Lil Wayne songs, he uses the vocoder effect for the hook. When the song first leaked, many believed The Game was "dissing" Eminem. However, later on his website, Game explained that this was not the case, and apologized to anyone who might have misunderstood what he had intended to say. The video which was filmed on July 23rd 2008, was directed by Bryan Barber, and premiered on FNMTV on August 15th 2008. The setting takes place mostly within a graveyard and other areas in and around Compton and features Lil Wayne, with appearances by Birdman, Cool & Dre, and Young Buck, with references to the deceased Sean Bell. In the video The Game also wears a shirt that reads "Hip Hop Broke My Heart", which, in an interview with HipHopDX, he stated: "[When] Hip Hop evolved and changed and got thrown in a bucket of Kool-Aid, somebody threw too much sugar in it. Now it tastes a little funny. That's why I say Hip Hop broke my heart."
In addition to the controversy surrounding the supposed "diss" to Eminem and deceased rapper Proof, on August 1, 2008, DJ Skee released a behind-the-scenes video on his official "SkeeTV" YouTube page. The video has many people speaking to the camera including director Bryan Barber speaking on different subjects within the video. Young Buck is seen speaking about his label, Cashville Records, and artists signed to the label such as the Outlawz, and C-Bo. Also on "SkeeTV", a trailer was released to promote the video, on August 14, the day before the video was officially released.
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