February 6th, 2011 16:38 EST
SOP's Battle of the Bands Featuring The Game ft. Akon & Nas with 'Street Riders'
Jayceon Taylor was born on November 29, 1979 in Compton, California. He was born into a life of gang-banging and hustling. When later interviewed, Taylor, aka The Game says at a young age, he recalls seeing both of his parents preparing to do drive-bys. His father was a Nutty Block Crip and his mother a Hoover Crippelette. Drugs and guns were all around Taylor growing up. At around the age of 6, Jayceon says that a friend of his was murdered in the neighborhood by a teenager, for his clothes and shoes. At the age of 7, Taylor went into foster care. In foster care he was teased by other children. He didn`t go unnoticed however.
Game`s intelligence was acknowledged by his caretakers and he usually helped his foster brothers and sisters with their homework. Around 1989, The Game met his idol, Eric Wright aka Eazy-E founder of NWA. This was a defining moment in his life. Game`s adolescence was one of many hardships. At 13, one of Game`s older brothers, Jevon who was just 17 at the time was shot at a gas station. His brother had just received a record deal. Taylor says that he felt his father played a hand in this by not being there and felt that if he had, his brother would not have been shot. Jevon died the day after Game visited him in the hospital promising that things would be better and lost time would be made up.
Two years later at the age of 15, teenage Jayceon was removed from the foster care system and back into his mother`s home. Lynette (Taylor`s mom) and Taylor had troubles in the beginning. The Game`s father was not around. Taylor attended Compton High School and most of the students that were gang affiliated were Crips. His older brother Big Fase 100, attended Centennial High School and was a Cedar Block Piru Blood. The Game followed in his brother`s footsteps. Taylor`s natural abilities in althletics led him into a spot as point guard on the basketball team. He also ran track and did various other sports. The Game graduated in 1999 and had received many scholarship offers from various colleges. He chose to go to Washington State University to play basketball. His ticket and way out was shortlived after being found with drugs in his possession. Game`s scholarship was revoked.
Taylor and brother Big Fase had an apartment on the outskirts of Compton in Bellflower. Shortly after moving there, they quickly had a monopoly on the drug trade. That was shortlived however. On October 1, 2001 while at the apartment alone, Jayceon heard a knock on the door at 2 a.m. Wanting to make a late night sale, 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. After laying still for several minutes, Jayceon used his cell phone and called the ambulance. Taylor was in a coma for two days.
While recovering, he told his brother to go out and buy all of the classic hip hop albums. This included Big`s "Ready To Die", Snoop`s "Doggystyle", Dr. Dre`s "The Chronic", Jay-Z`s "Reasonable Doubt", and albums by Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube. In the course of five months, he studied these albums in an almost scientific manner. In the beginning, his flows were weak, but Game was a quick study and eventually learned better freestyling skills. He took elements from his favorite rappers and formulized them into his own persona and style. After recovering, Big Fase and The Game made a mixtape together. The mixtape reached the hands of Sean Combs aka P. Diddy.
Diddy was on the verge of signing him when the mixtape reached the hands of super producer Dr. Dre. Dr. Dre contacted Taylor and the deal was sealed. Taylor wanting to carry on the NWA legacy signed on in 2002 and began recording songs. Dre taught him the ropes of the studio and Taylor learned how to count bars. Taylor chose the alias The Game because his grandmother (deceased) used to call him Game saying he was game for anything. Being on the Aftermath label, he appeared in a few music videos including "In Da Club" and "Wanna Get To Know You". In the summer of 2003, Game`s son Harlem Caron Taylor was born.
Not having dropped an album despite being signed onto Aftermath/Interscope for awhile, Game still created hype around just his image alone. He appeared in ads for P. Diddy`s Sean John clothing company and had an endorsement deal with Boost Mobile appearing in a commercial alongside Kanye West and Ludacris. Game also appeared heavily on the mixtape circuit and guest starred on mixtapes for DJ Green Lantern, The Diplomats, and G-Unit. The first single released with Game on it was "Certified Gangstas". Game guest starred on it alongside Jim Jones and Juelz Santana. Though the single wasn`t considered mainstream, the buzz increased around the west coast rapper.
"How We Do" featuring 50 Cent was Game`s first official single. It was an instant hit with major air play. Game`s debut was critically acclaimed and considered nothing short of a classic with productions by Kanye West, Cool And Dre, Dr. Dre, Scott Storch, and Timbaland. Game was dubbed the artist to bring the west coast back on the map so to speak. On January 18, 2005, The Documentary, Game`s debut album was released and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. The album sold over 586,000 units in its first week.
Game`s head for business made him a fixture on tv and radio. He frequently did interviews and showed up at award shows and other events. Although he moved into a condo in Beverly Hills, Game still owned many properties in Compton including a Liquor Store. He still hung around his native Compton with his entourage referred to as The Black Wallstreet. In an interview when asked why he has not abandoned his Compton roots, Game stated that the hood was his comfort zone. The Hip Hop artist`s buzz was heightened not just by the honesty and openness of his autobiographical album, but his controversial persona as well. Game was known to have beefs with other artists including rumors of his quarrelling with none other than the G-Unit general himself, 50 Cent.
Other artists also criticized the emcee for his signature "name dropping" in which he would mention other rappers frequently in his songs. Game and 50 Cent`s dislike for eachother was confirmed despite having collaborated several times. 50 did interviews for New York`s Power 105 and Hot 97 radio stations where he publicly dishonored Game for not supporting his feud with Fat Joe and Jadakiss. 50 also stated that Game`s album was powered mostly by his help and if he hadn`t helped, Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine would`ve subsequently dropped Game from the label. 50 denounced Game saying that he was no longer apart of the G-Unit. On February 28, 2005 while 50 Cent and G-Unit were doing an interview at Hot 97 with Angie Martinez, Game and his entourage attempted to enter the building to confront 50.
Before they could enter the building, a man in Game`s entourage was shot in the leg. The news was everywhere. On the 9th of March, the feud ended with Game and 50 having a press conference in which both donated money to various organizations and publicly made a truce. A few other controversial incidents have swirled around Taylor including a $280 million dollar lawsuit filed on him, as well as the G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath/Interscope imprint for an alleged attack on a Washington D.C. radio DJ.
In May of 2005, Game was back in the news again. While headlining the "How The West Was Won" tour with Snoop Dogg, their concert in Auburn, Washington was shortened after a man was beaten onstage by Game and Snoop`s entourage. A video tape surfaced on the internet and the news of a man being beaten by several other men. The man did an interview with a Seattle news station where he was shown with brutal injuries. His injuries included a broken nose, broken ribs, and one of his eyes swollen shut. The man alleged that his cell phone and wallet were stolen and his diamond earrings were ripped from his ears. Despite being new to the hip hop game and relatively new to battling and freestyling, The Game seems to have substance. He is currently working on his sophomore album.