Straight outta' Compton, again… The next generation Nigga With Attitude! The Game is from the birthplace of Gangsta' Rap, Compton, CA. But this is a new, different Westside story, one that joins with the Eastside while paying respects to rap's hardcore pioneers of the '80s, NWA. The Game, a former gangbanger who turned to rap after being shot five times and left for dead, is about peace not war. Working closely with Dr. Dre on his debut album; This Game is for real.
The Game Vol. 1, (Aftermath/G Unit/Interscope), the debut album from The Game (a/k/a Jayceon Taylor), 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 Game Vol. 1 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. NWA, Biggie, 2Pac, Snoop 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."
What all three have in common is the guiding hand of Dr. Dre, Compton's own and one of the founding members of NWA. "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."
Game's beloved grandmother nicknamed him Game because he was always game for anything--basketball, running track, riding bikes, 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 says. Soon after he was returned to his mother, one of his older brothers, Jevon, was shot and killed.