The story of The Game is the story of a Compton native who tried to avoid the hustlin and gangbangin. The lifestyle would prove to be too powerful, however, eventually drawing him in. An old adage states that sometimes life is truly appreciated only in the face of death, so what better time to look at your life that right after you nearly lose it? Forgive The Game, waking up out of a bullet induced coma can make a guy a little introspective.
"I never really wanted hustlin and gangbangin and crime and all that sh-- for myself," The Game explains, "when I was younger I played sports, I played basketball and that's how I got the name The Game, my grandmother (gave it to me), rest in peace, cuz I played basketball, football, track, played with dogs, bugs, I was game for anything." "But once I got to high school that sh-- was out. My brothers were gangbangin and I just followed in their footsteps."
Following in his brothers footsteps proved to be lucrative at first, but as The Game points out, anytime one person is doing well, there are always others out there looking to take them down. "They don't want to see anybody gettin it like that. You get the jealous nature. It's like anything, workin at McDonald's, if you're employee of the month all the rest of the motherf---ers is like 'f--- you.'" The Game was employee of the month in his field, but the competition did a lot more than just say "f--- you."
"I was in the spot one night and just so happens ain't nobody there that night and there's usually eight or nine people hanging out there, and that was my house, place of residence. Some cats ran in, I took some shots and I went into this little baby coma for like under 24 hours, and after I woke up from the hospital I was like damn, I couldn't even believe this sh--. All sorts of motherf---ers yellin and screaming. This guy next to me was shot in the head and dead. I checked myself out the hospital then and there. Took out the IV, took off the bandages, found some crutches and just walked out."
Some friends took The Game back home, back to the place where he had been shot less than a day earlier. Unlike the day before, however, this time the house was a little more protected from the outside. The Game notes, "my brother had that place set up like Fort Knox, there was a nigga at the gate. My brother was like overprotective, but he never thought that that sh-- would happen to his little brother."
It was at this point that The Game's life began to change. He explains, "everyday I was in my room recoupin, I ain't really go nowhere. I went to K Mart and bought me a notebook and I just started writing about my life because I was tryin to find a plan for what I wanted to do because I didn't want to hustle any more, I didn't want to die for that sh--. I started writing stories about my life and started analyzing my sh--. On one page I had a list of things I could do, legal hustlin, one was rap, two was real estate, and three go back to school and try basketball." It was time for The Game to try plan A.
The Game's older brother continued to be a guiding force for him. "I started readin (my work) to my brother and he said 'damn you're crazy with words.' My life story started turnin into lyrics." Words of encouragement sent The Game to a local record store where picked up all of 2Pac's albums. "I literally study all these f---in albums," he notes, adding "I can see a little of every dope MC in myself."
While he feels he can see a little of "every" dope MC in himself, he points out five in particular, "I'm like a mix between Cube, Jay-Z, Snoop, Pac and Big. Those five MC's rapped up into a f---in taco is The Game. I took a characteristic from each of 'em and made my rap personality. I spit the West Coast gangsta sh-- but at the same time I got an East Coast flow."
Now with his life focused on rhymes rather than crimes the dope spot suddenly became his demo's spot. "I recorded a demo and I really brought it back to the hood and so many niggaz was feelin it that my brother started sellin it and it sorta happened like that. F--- the weed they'd come to the spot to buy the CD's. Sh-- got to D Mac who knew Big Chuck who was workin at Aftermath at the time."
Now signed to Aftermath / G Unit, The Game has a renewed sense of focus, with definite goals regarding what he wants to do with rap, and for rap. "First and foremost I'm lookin to bring back the West Coast on some real n---az better give us some respect sh--. Don't leave us out the loop like Easy (E) and Dre never had this sh-- poppin. After Easy died and the Hip-Hop plane shifted back to the East, you got a handful of niggaz on the West and the East Coast got like a million f---in n---az, but they still act like they forgot."
In 2004 The Game is ready to give the West Coast something to boast about. In his own words, "I'm a small reminder of what was, and what will come to be."
-- Adam Bernard for Aftermath
--- from the official The Game website