Game (The) Biography
Aside from releasing two albums that debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, Game has gained notoriety for involvement in feuds with other rappers. His music falls under the gangsta rap sub genre, a style of hip hop popularized in Compton, California.
Game was born Jayceon Terrell Taylor in Los Angeles, California to Lynette Baker and George Taylor Jr. He grew up in Compton, California in a primarily Crip gang neighborhood known as Santana Blocc, although he grew up to become a member of the Bloods. In an October 2006 interview with MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway, Game described his family as "dysfunctional" and claimed that his father molested one of his sisters. After graduating from Compton High School in 1999, Taylor claimed to have attended Washington State University on a basketball scholarship before being suspended in his first semester because of drug allegations. However, the university's athletic department refutes these claims. It was then that he started fully embracing street life and turned towards selling drugs and running with gangs. At the age of 18, he began to follow his older half brother, George Taylor III, known as Big Fase 100, who was the leader of the Cedar Block Pirus.
Studying various influential rap albums, Game developed a strategy to become a rapper himself and with help from Big Fase, they founded The Black Wall Street Records. The label originally featured such artists as Glasses Malone, Vita, and Nu Jerzey Devil, along with Game himself. His stage name was coined by his grandmother. Game first gained prominence when he attended a hip-hop summit hosted by Russell Simmons and Louis Farrakhan, releasing his first mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 1 in 2002, followed by a record deal with the independent label, Get Low Recordz owned by JT the Bigga Figga. Originally Sean Combs of Bad Boy Records was going to sign him to his label, but Game's mixtape found the attention of famed producer Dr. Dre, who signed him to Aftermath Entertainment in 2003. In October 2004, he released his first album Untold Story through Get Low Recordz, which sold over 82,000 copies within its first three months. The album featured artists like Sean T, Young Noble (of the Outlawz), and JT the Bigga Figga. Game also appeared on various mixtapes hosted by DJ's such as DJ Kayslay, DJ Whoo Kid, and DJ Clue. Game also released a second mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 2 through his own record label and appeared on the video game NBA Live 2004 on a song produced by Fredwreck called "Can't Stop Me".
Rapper Joe Budden mocked Game's appearance on the dating game show Change of Heart. Game has consistently defended his appearance on the show. Later, at a party in New York, the rappers mutually announced their intention to stop making hostile records about each other.
Major label debut
Game was originally signed as an artist on Aftermath Entertainment, but Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre decided to have Game also work with 50 Cent and G-Unit. The arrangement was to help build a growing buzz around Game which would also fuel interest in G-Unit. Since then, he made numerous cameo appearances in music videos by 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and Fabolous, first appearing on the music video of "In da Club", dancing with a girl. His first single "Westside Story" was released in 2004.
The original title of the album was Nigga Wit' An Attitude Volume 1 (as heard in the lyrics to "Dreams"), but an injunction filed at the request of Eazy-E's widow prevented him from using N.W.A.'s name in the album title. Dr. Dre and 50 Cent were executive producers on Game's major label debut album, The Documentary, which spawned the hit singles "How We Do" and "Hate It or Love It" (the latter receiving two Grammy nominations). The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was the tenth best selling album of 2005 in the United States. It also debuted at number seven in the United Kingdom and sold over five million copies worldwide.
Lil Eazy-E, a young rapper and son of rapper the late Eazy-E, entered a feud with Game. The two used to be close associates and even recorded music together. Lil' Eazy-E has since directed numerous diss songs targeting the rapper and expressed his anger over what he felt was Game misusing his father's name. Game responded by claiming that Lil' Eazy-E was trying to establish himself off the success he had made since releasing The Documentary. Game responded on "120 Bars" where he claimed that Lil' Eazy-E does not write his own lyrics. However, Game states on the same track that he would rather not feud with Lil' Eazy-E due to the deep respect he feels for his father. Lil' Eazy-E later responded with "They Know Me". On October 30, 2006, Game went on KDAY and said that he and Lil' Eazy-E have ended their feud.
Dr. Dre's nemesis Suge Knight had an ongoing feud with Game stemming from when Yukmouth claimed that Game had been slapped by Suge Knight. Game responded on his website, saying that if Suge Knight had ever touched him, he would be "six feet under". After the 2005 BET Awards, associates of Death Row had their invitations to a party hosted by Ciara rescinded. Supposedly, a member of Death Row tried to stealGame's chain. Game stated on his Black Wall Street website that he dislikes Suge Knight because of "the lives he has endangered". In Miami for the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Suge Knight was shot and wounded at Kanye West's party by an unknown gunman. Game vigorously denied involvement in the shooting, but the incident renewed efforts to pacify hip hop feuds and Game has consequently been discouraged from attending certain events in hopes of averting retaliation. Later, Game and various representatives of California's rap cliques formed a West Coast "peace treaty" to end many rivalries between West Coast rappers. Although Suge Knight did not attend, he and Game declared their feud over.
Feud with G-Unit
In early 2005, Game began a feud (or "beef") with G-Unit. Even before Game's first album was released and their feud became public, there was tension between Game and 50 Cent. Soon after The Documentary's release, 50 Cent felt that the rapper's actions in the strip club and not partnering with 50 Cent to react to Fat Joe and Jadakiss after the New York song written by Ja Rule were wrong and then booted Game out of G-Unit.
50 Cent also claimed that he was not getting his proper credit for the creation of the album and he claimed that he wrote six of the songs, which Game denied. During that dispute, a member of Game's entourage was shot after a confrontation at the Hot 97 studio in New York City. After the situation between them escalated, 50 Cent and Game held a press conference to announce their reconciliation. Fans had mixed feelings as to whether the rappers created a publicity stunt to boost the sales of the two albums the pair had just released. Nevertheless, even after the situation had apparently deflated, G-Unit continued to feud with Game, denouncing his street credibility in the media and claimed that without their support, he will not score a hit from his second album. Game responded during a performance at Summer Jam and launched a boycott of G-Unit called "G-Unot".
After the performance at Summer Jam, Game responded with "300 Bars and Runnin'", an extended "diss" aimed at G-Unit as well as members of Roc-A-Fella Records on the mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 3. 50 Cent responded through his "Piggy Bank" music video, which features Game as a Mr. Potato Head doll and also parodies other rivals. Since then both groups continued to attack each other. Game released two more mixtapes, Ghost Unit and a mixtape/DVD called Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin.
50 Cent's rebuttal was "Not Rich, Still Lyin'" where he mocks Game. In addition, G-Unit started to respond on numerous mixtapes and then-new G-Unit member Spider Loc began dissing Game. Game responded with "240 Bars (Spider Joke)", a song mainly aimed at Spider Loc, but also addressing Tony Yayo and rap group M.O.P., and on the song "The Funeral 100 Bars".
In October 2006, Game extended a peace treaty to 50 Cent, which was not immediately replied to. However, a couple days later on Power 106, he stated that the treaty was only offered for one day. On Game's album Doctor's Advocate, he says the feud is over on a few of the songs. The feud seemed to have gained steam after Tony Yayo allegedly slapped the fourteen year old son of Czar Entertainment CEO Jimmy Rosemond. Game responded with "Body Bags" on You Know What It Is Vol. 4. Since Young Buck was dismissed from G-Unit by 50 Cent, there has been interviews from both Game and Young Buck stating they never had a problem with each other. In an interview Young Buck said he was aware of Game's support and that Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo did not reach out to him.
Due to his disputes with 50 Cent, Game left Aftermath Entertainment and signed with Geffen Records (another label under Universal Music Group's Interscope-Geffen-A&M division) to terminate his contractual obligations with G-Unit in the summer of 2006. The rapper's second album Doctor's Advocate was released on November 14, 2006. This album was set out by Game to prove that he is able to make good music and be a successful artist without the help of Dr. Dre or 50 Cent. He is also working on getting his own label, The Black Wall Street Records, signed to a distribution label. While Game originally claimed Dr. Dre would still do production on the album in the November issue of XXL magazine, he admitted in September (after the XXL interview was conducted) during an interview on radio station Power 105 that Dr. Dre would not be producing any tracks (although four previously unreleased tracks produced by Dr. Dre were released on the internet, but no reason was given as to why they were not included on the album). The album debuted at number one in the U.S., selling over 358,000 copies its first week.
San Francisco Bay Area rapper Yukmouth, who was also engaged in a feud with G-Unit, first met Game at a nightclub. Game released a diss track aimed at Yukmouth over the beat of "I Got 5 on It", a song which Yukmouth recorded when he was a part of Luniz. Yukmouth responded with a track that mocked Game's appearance on Change of Heart. The two later tried to bury the hatchet due to a personal friend and even recorded a song together named "Peace". However, the beef continued afterward, since Game dissed Yukmouth on "Peace" (they recorded their verses separately).
In May 2007, Game said while filming Beef IV that his third album, LAX, would be his last, explaining that three albums will be enough to have allowed him to "[get his] point across". "Game's Pain" was the album's first single.
The feud between Game and Roc-A-Fella Records grew out of an earlier rivalry with Memphis Bleek over the name of his label (Get Low Records), which was similar to the one Game was previously signed to (Get Low Recordz). On the single "Westside Story", Game raps that "I don't do button-up shirts or drive maybachs", which was perceived as being directed towards Jay-Z, though Game stated it was directed toward Ja Rule. Later Jay-Z performed a freestyle on Funkmaster Flex's radio show on Hot 97 and in it, he repeatedly used the word "game", which some hip-hop fans believed was directed towards Game. Game responded with 'My Bitch" in which the first verse is directed at G-Unit, the second verse is directed at Jay-Z and the third verse at Suge Knight.
LAX was released on August 22, 2008; Game confirmed that it was his final album. Singles from LAX included "Game's Pain" featuring Keyshia Cole, "My Life" featuring Lil Wayne, "Dope Boys" featuring Travis Barker, and "Camera Phone" featuring Ne-Yo. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.
Former labelmate Bishop Lamont went on the offensive about Game on Hoodhype's satellite radion show in November 2008. For most of the interview, Lamont referred to Game as "Baby Girl," "Sweetheart," and "Star Face." He also said Game was "bipolar" and a "phony ass dude." He went on to say that 50 Cent had saved his career, as Game was going to get dropped until 50 Cent started writing his hooks. Bishop further explained to HipHopDX.com "it's been that way for years," but he did not say anything because of a Dr. Dre-instituted gag order. Things changed when Game allegedly insulted Lamont and Glasses Malone at a Houston club. After challenging him to a fight in the parking lot, Lamont says Game backed down and later invited him and Malone onto the stage. The following day, Game appeared on the radio and insulted the two West Coast rappers.
On February 5, 2009, Game, who 50 Cent has a long-standing "beef" with, called up Seattle's KUBE 93 Radio Station. When asked about the beef between 50 Cent and Rick Ross, Game sided with 50 Cent and said that things are not looking good for Rick Ross. However, he offered to help Rick Ross get out of this situation.
Move from Geffen to Interscope
Although Game had previously stated that LAX would be his last album, sometime after its release he said, "Interscope don’t want me to retire; they want me to come back in February with another album, which is so far off my radar it’s ridiculous. Now, if you give me like five, ten million dollars or something to do it…I’m the biggest thing in that building now, with the recent demise of G-Unit, and that’s just it, man.".
Before starting work on The R.E.D. Album, Game signed directly to Interscope Records. His contract with Geffen ended after LAX had been released.
It was confirmed in May 2009 that Game began working on a new album, The R.E.D. Album, with Timbaland and Drumma Boy on the album. Game released "Better on the Other Side", a Michael Jackson tribute, on June 26, 2009, the day after Jackson's death. It features Diddy, Mario Winans, Chris Brown, Usher & Boys II Men. A couple days later, he apologizes to 50 Cent and Interscope Records and officially ends his dispute with 50 Cent and G-Unit.
In July 2009, Jimmy Rosemond had stated that Game will definitely be signed to Interscope for his next album.
Shortly after ending his beef with 50 Cent and G-Unit, Game began to refuel his beef with Jay-Z, taking shots at him repetitively. Game also took shots at Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce Knowles, and he recorded a diss track to Jay-Z with Jaz-O, the man who mentored Jay-Z throughout the beginning stages of Jay-Z's career.
On October 3, 2009, Snoop Dogg posted a picture on Twitter of himself, Dr. Dre and Game in the studio together, The picture was made a day earlier and marks the first time Game has worked with Dr. Dre for some years. Dr. Dre's record label Aftermath Entertainment is one of the labels that operates under Interscope.
On January 5, 2010 Game provided some updates on The R.E.D. Album. Along with frequent collaborators DJ Khalil, Cool & Dre and Dr. Dre, Game stated he worked with The Neptunes on the new record. Their relationship even grew to the point that Game tattooed the duos Star Trak logo on his forearm.
On February 6, 2010 Game announced via Twitter that he had returned to Aftermath Records. He posted pictures of himself wearing several Aftermath medallions.
As a result of his fame, Game ventured into areas outside of rap. He was chosen to play and had bought a large selection of shares for the now defunct Inglewood Cobras, an ABA franchise team. Game also ventured into acting. In 2004, he had a minor role voicing the character "B-Dup", in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He also voiced a character in the video game Def Jam: Icon. In 2006, he made his film debut in Waist Deep as a character named "Big Meat" and has been filming at least two more movies. Game has also partnered with 310 Motoring to create his own shoe called The Hurricanes. A portion of the proceeds of the shoe are donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In August 2007, Game and an entourage of 12 including Omarion performed a concert in Luanda, Angola with two dates on August 11 and August 12 at the Atlantico Cinema produced by Casa Blanca company.
In 2007, Game became the manager of the Denver horrorcore rap duo Axe Murder Boyz and was a key player in getting their fourth album, God's Hand, released on Hatchet House.