The Game, whose original name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, is an American rapper and actor, best known for his significant contributions as a rapper to the West Coast hip-hop scene. His efforts have brought back the West Coast hip-hop scene into the mainstream and he is considered a formidable competitor to his East Coast counterparts. He first became popular when he got associated with senior rapper Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. He rose to fame with the success of his first album ‘The Documentary’, and thereafter tasted continued success. His second album peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Besides music, he has starred in films as well, and has founded ‘The Black Wall Street Records’ with his half-brother George Taylor. Growing up, the rapper had a difficult childhood and had to struggle a lot even to survive. Despite his troubled childhood and brushes with the law, he had a hidden talent for music, and developed interest in rapping while he was recovering in the hospital after been shot at. He decided to ditch his old lifestyle and pursue a career in rap. He began studying the rap albums of esteemed rappers, and delved deep into hip-hop music. During those five months of recovery, he crafted his free-styling skills, and developed strategies to enter the entertainment industry. Observing his skills and dedication, Dr. Dre took him under his guidance and mentored him. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Childhood & Early Life
The Game, whose original name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, was born on November 29, 1979, in Los Angeles, California, to George Taylor and Lynette Taylor.
He grew up in Compton, a small but notorious city in Los Angeles, known to be a crime-ridden place. He was a member of the Bloods, an African-American street gang.
He had a troubled childhood—his parents were drug addicts. His father reportedly molested his sisters, and Jayceon was placed in foster care at the age of seven. When he was 13, one of his older brothers was shot at, who died soon after.
At the age of 15, he was removed from the foster care, and reunited with his mother, but he had a troubled relationship with her.
He went to Compton High School, and was good in sports like basketball and track. He claimed that after he graduated, he attended Washington State University on a basketball scholarship, but was expelled shortly after as he was caught with drugs. The university, however, dispelled this claim.
By 2000, he was totally involved in the crime-ridden "street life", associating himself with gangs, and selling drugs. He was once shot at, and was in coma for three days. While he was recovering, he developed a deep interest in music and rap. He decided to ditch his old lifestyle and rebuild his life with the help of music.
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The Game’s first mixtape ‘You Know What It Is Vol. 1’ was released in 2002 through The Black Wall Street Records that he had founded with his half-brother George, also known as Big Fase. He landed a record deal with Get Low Recordz. A few months later, he was discovered by Dr. Dre who signed him with his company Aftermath Entertainment in 2003.
In 2003, Interscope Records and Dr. Dre sent Game to work with 50 Cent and G-Unit to make him popular. Game’s first cameo appearance in a music video—‘In da Club’—for 50 Cent, was a hit. Since then, he has made many cameo appearances in music videos by 50 Cent, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Fabolous.
While he was preparing for his first album, he did ads for Sean John clothing company, and endorsed Boost Mobile. He also guest-starred on mixtapes for G-Unit and Green Lantern.
In September 2004, his major label debut single ‘Westside Story’ was released, followed by the launch of ‘Untold Story’ in October, which was a hit and sold over 82,000 copies within the first three months.
His debut album ‘The Documentary,’ released in January 2005, was immensely successful. Originally he had titled the album ‘Nigga Wit An Attitude Volume 1’, but due to an injunction filed by a fellow rapper’s widow, he had to title it ‘The Documentary.’ It was produced by Dr. Dre and 50 Cent.
Amidst his great success, Game unfortunately became involved in feuds with other rappers like Cent and G-Unit, which led to his departure from Aftermath.
In 2006, Geffen Records signed him. He started working on his second studio album ‘Doctor's Advocate’ with a star-studded collaboration. Prior to its release in November 2006, he launched a single ‘It's Okay (One Blood)’ in July, and ‘Let's Ride’ in September. ‘Doctor's Advocate’ was also a big hit.
In 2008, his next studio album ‘LAX’ was released. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, just behind Slipknot's ‘All Hope Is Gone.’
In June 2009, he released a song titled ‘Better on the Other Side’ as a tribute to Michael Jackson who had passed away a few days earlier. In early 2010, Game returned to Aftermath Entertainment, and released ‘The R.E.D. Album’ in August 2011. In October 2012, he released a mixtape titled ‘Operation Kill Everything’.
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After a few name changes of his ninth album, he finally titled it ‘Jesus Piece’, which was released in December 2012. He explained that the theme of ‘Jesus Piece’ is not spiritual; instead, it has a gangster concept of enjoying life while having faith in God. It peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, and sold 86,000 copies in the first week in the US.
In October 2013, he was signed to Cash Money Records, and in 2014, he collaborated with other Cash Money artists to work on a compilation album ‘Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf’.
His next studio album ‘Documentary 2’, a sequel to ‘The Documentary’ was launched in October 2015. Dr. Dre guest-appeared in the album. Game and Skrillex also collaborated on a song called ‘El Chapo’, which was also released in October 2015.
In August 2016, he ended his 12-year feud with 50 Cent and the two decided to bury their past differences. In September 2016, Game released ‘92 Bars’, which was a diss towards rapper Meek Mill.
‘The Documentary’ is undoubtedly The Game’s best work so far. The album rose to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and was the 10th best selling album of 2005 in the US, and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. His second studio album ‘Doctor's Advocate’ is another one of his major works. His ‘The R.E.D. Album’, which reached No. 1 on Billboard 200, and sold 98,000 units in the first week, also earned him considerable success.
Awards & Achievements
The Game won World Music Award for World's Best Selling New Male Artist in 2005.
The Recording Industry Association of America awarded ‘The Documentary’ double platinum accreditation in March 2005.
He has two major award nominations to his credit—Grammy Award for Best Rap Song, and Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for ‘Hate It or Love It’ in 2006.
The Game was once engaged to actress Valeisha Butterfield, daughter of US Congressman GK Butterfield, but the engagement was called off in June 2006.
After the engagement was called off, he dated Tiffney Cambridge, a 6th-grade teacher. Despite the relationship lasting for eight years, no marriage plans materialized.
He has three children, who were shown on his VH1 show, ‘Marrying The Game’. One of his children is named Harlem Caron Taylor.
Game has been involved in several legal issues. He was sued for assaulting a fan in 2005. He was arrested the same year for behaving disorderly at a mall. In 2007, he was arrested for threatening a person with a gun. In 2008, he was sentenced to 60 days jail and 150 hours of community service on accounts of assault and weapons charges.
In 2011, he was refused entry to Canada for his alleged ties with the Bloods. In 2016, he was charged with sexually assaulting ‘She Got Game’ contestant Priscilla Rainey.