Game (rapper)

Game (rapper)

Game performing in April 2011
Background information
Birth name Jayceon Terrell Taylor[1][2]
Also known as The Game
Born November 29, 1979 (1979-11-29) (age 31)
Los Angeles, California, United States[1]
Origin Compton, California, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations rapper, actor
Years active 2002–present
Labels BWS, Aftermath, Geffen, Interscope, DGC
Associated acts Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, Nas

Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name Game, formerly The Game, is an American rapper and actor. As a member of G-Unit, he rose to fame in 2005 with the success of his debut album, The Documentary, which earned him two Grammy Award nominations. His debut album was followed by two more successful albums--the second album Doctor's Advocate in 2006, and the third album LAX in 2008. Game also runs his own record label The Black Wall Street Records. Game is considered to be a driving force in reviving and bringing back the West Coast hip hop scene, which had been overshadowed by artists from the East and South.[3][4][5]


Early life

Game was born Jayceon Terrell Taylor on November 29, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. He is of both African American & Mexican American descent. He grew up in Compton, California in a primarily Crip gang neighborhood known as Santana Blocc,[6] although he grew up to become a member of the Bloods.[7][8] He was born into a life of gang-banging and hustling. 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.[9] When later interviewed, Game stated that at a young age, he recalled 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 while he was growing up. His father was a heroin addict and both his parents frequently took cocaine. Both his parents owned Glock 17s. At around the age of 6, Taylor stated that a friend of his was murdered for his clothes and shoes in the neighborhood by a teenager.[10]

At the age of 7, Taylor went into foster care. While in foster care, he was teased by other children. He did not go unnoticed, however. Game's intelligence was acknowledged by his caretakers and he usually helped his foster brothers and sisters with their homework. Taylor had a defining moment in his life when he met his idol, Eric Wright (also known as Eazy-E), founder of the rap group N.W.A, around 1989.

Throughout Taylor's adolescence, he endured many hardships. At 13, one of Taylor's older brothers, Jevon, who was 17 at the time and had just received a record deal, was shot at a gas station. Taylor stated that he felt his father played a hand in this by not being there, for if he had, his brother would not have been shot. Jevon died the day after Jayceon visited him in the hospital, promising that things would be better and that lost time would be made up. Two years later, when Taylor was 15, he was removed from the foster care system. He moved in with his mother, Lynette, as his father was no longer around, and had a tumultuous relationship with his mother at first.[10]

Taylor attended Compton High School, where most students who were affiliated with gangs were Crips. However, his older half brother George Taylor III, known as Big Fase 100, attended Centennial High School and was the leader of the Cedar Block Piru Bloods. In high school, Taylor was beginning to follow in his brother's footsteps but when his natural athletic abilities earned him a position as the point guard on the basketball team, he chose to focus on athletics instead, joining the track team and playing other various sports. In 1999, Taylor graduated from Compton High School and enrolled in Washington State University. According to Taylor, he had earned a basketball scholarship to the university, but was kicked out of the university after being caught with drugs in his possession. The university's athletic department, however, refutes that Taylor was ever enrolled in their athletic program and denies the drug claims.[11]

After being kicked out of college, Taylor started fully embracing street life, selling drugs and running with gangs.[12] Game and his brother Big Fase owned an apartment on the outskirts of Compton in Bellflower. Shortly after moving there, they had a monopoly on the drug trade, but the operation was short-lived. On October 1, 2001, while Taylor was in the apartment alone, he heard a knock on the door at 2am. Expecting a late night sale, Taylor opened the door to see a regular customer. The man, however, was accompanied by two other visitors. A fight then ensued between Taylor and another man, and before he was able to reach for his pistol, Taylor was shot five times execution-style by one of the assailants. After lying still for several minutes, Game used his cell phone and called an ambulance. Due to the severity of his wounds, Taylor went into a three-day coma.[10]

Music career

Early career (2002–2003)

While recovering in the hospital from the gunshot wounds he incurred in late 2001, Game told his brother to go out and buy all of the classic hip-hop albums. Over the course of five months, he studied all of the various influential rap albums and developed a strategy to turn himself into a rapper. With the help of his older brother 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.[13] His stage name was coined by his grandmother cause he stated that she used to call him Game saying he was game for anything.[14] Game first gained prominence when he attended a hip-hop summit hosted by Russell Simmons and Louis Farrakhan.[15] After he had fully recovered, Game and Big Fase made a mixtape together. He releasing his first mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 1 in 2002, and landed a record deal with the independent label Get Low Recordz owned by JT the Bigga Figga.

Game's mixtape reached the hands of Sean Combs, founder of Bad Boy Records, who originally was on the verge of signing him to his label.[16] Five months later, he was discovered by Dr. Dre who listened to the mixtape that had been produced by his brother. Dr. Dre contacted Game and signed him to his Aftermath Entertainment label in 2003.[17][18] In late 2003, Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre decided to have Game work with 50 Cent and G-Unit in order to help build a growing buzz around Game which would also fuel interest in G-Unit. Game made his first cameo appearance in the music video for 50 Cent's "In da Club", where he is seen dancing with a girl. Since then, he has made numerous cameo appearances in music videos by 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and Fabolous.Game spent the next two and a half years working on his debut album and being mentored by Dr. Dre.[19][20]

The Documentary and feud with G-Unit (2004–2005)

Game (right) with Kool G Rap (left) in New York City, November 2004

Not having dropped an album despite being signed onto Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records for a while, Game was still able to create hype around his image alone. He appeared in ads for Sean Combs'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", which also featured Jim Jones and Cam'ron. Though the single wasn't considered to be mainstream, the buzz increased around the West Coast rapper.

On September 28, 2004, Game released his first promo single, "Westside Story", from his debut album. He had originally chosen to title his debut album 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. Thus, the album was titled The Documentary, which featured Dr. Dre and 50 Cent as executive producers. The album spawned the hit singles "How We Do" and "Hate It or Love It", the latter receiving two Grammy nominations.[21] The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was the tenth best selling album of 2005 in the United States.[22] It also debuted at number seven in the United Kingdom and sold over five million copies worldwide.[23] 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.[24] The album featured artists like Sean T, Young Noble (of the Outlawz), and JT the Bigga Figga.[25] 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".[26]

Later that year, the young rapper Lil Eazy-E, 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 has expressed his anger over what he felt was Game misuse of 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.[27] He released a song titled "120 Bars" where he claimed that Lil' Eazy-E does not write his own lyrics.[28] However, on the same track, Game stated that he would rather not feud with Lil' Eazy-E due to the deep respect he has for Lil' Eazy-E's 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 had ended their feud.

Dr. Dre's nemesis, Suge Knight, also had an ongoing feud with Game that stemmed from Yukmouth's claim 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".[citation needed] After the 2005 BET Awards, associates of Death Row Records had their invitations to a party hosted by Ciara rescinded. Supposedly, a member of Death Row Records tried to steal Game's chain. Game stated on his Black Wall Street website that he disliked 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.[29] 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.[30] Later, Game and various representatives of California's rap cliques formed a West Coast "peace treaty" to end many rivalries between West Coast rappers.[31] Although Suge Knight did not attend, he and Game declared their feud over.[citation needed]

Game at a photo shoot in Wall Street, New York, 2006

In early 2005, Game entered a feud (or "beef") with G-Unit. Even before Game's debut album was released and their feud became public, there was tension between Game and 50 Cent.[32] Soon after The Documentary's release, 50 Cent talked about an accident that occurred in the strip club by stating that he felt that the rapper's actions of 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, as he had written six of the songs, all of which Game denied. During that dispute, a member of Game's entourage was shot during a confrontation that occurred at the Hot 97 studio in New York City.[33] After the situation between them escalated, 50 Cent and Game held a press conference to announce their reconciliation.[34] 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.[33] Nevertheless, even after the situation had apparently deflated,[35] G-Unit continued to feud with Game, denouncing his street credibility in the media and claimed that, without their support, he would not score a hit if he made a second album. Game responded during a performance at Summer Jam and launched a boycott of G-Unit called "G-Unot".[36]

After the performance at Summer Jam, Game responded with a song titled "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. The track is unique in that it is nearly 14 minutes long, in which Game criticizes all members of G-Unit, amongst many others. 50 Cent responded through his "Piggy Bank" music video, which features Game as a Mr. Potato Head doll and also parodies other rivals.[37] 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.[38] 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)",[38] a song mainly aimed at Spider Loc, but also addressing Tony Yayo and rap group M.O.P.,[38] and on the song "The Funeral 100 Bars".

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.[39]

Doctor's Advocate and LAX (2006–2008)

Game performing at the 2007 Hip Hop Jam festival in the Czech Republic

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 was still able to make good music and be a successful artist without the help of Dr. Dre or 50 Cent. He was 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,[40] 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[41] 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 on the Billboard 200, selling over 358,000 copies its first week.[42]

In October 2006, Game extended a peace treaty to 50 Cent, which was not immediately replied to.[43] However, a couple days later on Power 106, he stated that the treaty was only offered for one day.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46]

Game's third album, LAX, went head to head with heavy metal band Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone on the Billboard 200, seeing that both albums were released on August 22, 2008, therefore both albums were competing for the number one spot on the Billboard 200 albums charts. LAX ended up debuting at number two on the Billboard 200, at first it looked like LAX had debuted ahead of All Hope Is Gone by 13 copies, with such a close difference. Initially, Billboard published an article stating that The Game had secured the top spot with a margin of 13 units, in what was described as the "closest race for number one since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking Data in 1991".[47] Slipknot's labels Warner Music Group and Roadrunner Records asked for a soundscan recount, a historic first. Nielsen proceeded to the recount, which placed LAX at number two with 238,382 copies, and Slipknot in first position with 239,516 copies scanned, a margin of 1,134 copies. After the recount 12 hours later, the article was rewritten and Slipknot was awarded the number one spot, having sold 239,516 units.[47] The album spawned four singles, "Game's Pain" with R&B singer Keyshia Cole, "Dope Boys" with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, "My Life" with rapper Lil Wayne and "Camera Phone" with R&B singer Ne-Yo. In the United States the album has sold over 660,100 copies.[48]

The R.E.D. Album (2009–present)

It was confirmed in May 2009 that Game began working on a new album title, The R.E.D. Album[49][50] On June 26, 2009 Game released a song titled "Better on the Other Side" a Michael Jackson tribute, the day after Jackson's death. It features Diddy, Mario Winans, Chris Brown, Usher & Boys II Men.[51] On October 3, 2009, Snoop Dogg posted a picture on his Twitter of himself, Dr. Dre and Game in the studio working together,[52][53] The picture was taken a day earlier and it marked the first time Game had worked with Dr. Dre for some years since the beef with former fellow G-Unit labelmate 50 Cent caused him to release his two following albums on Geffen Records. Later in early January 2010 Game posted a twitpic of him wearing a lot of Aftermath chains with a caption saying "It's funny how things come Full Circle". Later he confirmed that he had returned to Aftermath Entertainment.[54] On June 3, 2011, Pitchfork Media announced that Game is working with Odd Future leader Tyler, The Creator on a track called "Martians vs. Goblins".[55] Finally released on August 23, 2011, 'R.E.D.' hits No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart with first week sales of 98,000 units sold.[56]

Other ventures

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 basketball franchise team.[57]

In 2000 Game appeared on dating television show Change of Heart,[58] in the segment his partner criticised him for "acting Macho when in reality is said to be sensitive", it was also revealed that Game had taken his date Felicia to a male stripclub owned by his mother. The episode came to an end where a mutual friend of Jaceyon and his partner suggested in them staying together, Game decided to stay together but was rebuffed by the offer when his partner agreed to a change of heart and Game was subsequently dumped on TV.[59]

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 is currently filming two more movies.[60]

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.[61]

Personal life

Family and relationships

Game has three children, two sons and a daughter. His first son is named Harlem Caron Taylor and was born on June 30, 2003. The Los Angeles Times reported that as of 2006, Game is a resident of Glendale, California after purchasing a home in the Kenneth Village neighborhood.

Game announced that he was engaged to actress and model Valeisha Butterfield, the daughter of U.S. Congressman G. K. Butterfield. The couple were set to marry in March 2007, but the engagement was called off in June 2006.[62]

Legal issues

Mug shot of Game taken on March 2008.

Game, Snoop Dogg, and Tha Dogg Pound, were sued for assaulting a fan on stage at a May 2005 concert at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington. The accuser, Richard Monroe, Jr., claimed he was beaten by the artists' entourage while mounting the stage.[63] He alleged that he reacted to an "open invite" to come on stage. Before he could, Snoop's bodyguards grabbed him and he was beaten unconscious by crewmembers, including the rapper and producer Soopafly; Snoop and Game were included in the suit for not intervening. The lawsuit focuses on a pecuniary claim of $22 million in punitive and compensatory damages, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[64] The concerned parties appeared in court in April 2009.

On October 28, 2005, Game was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Greensboro. At one point, police said his companions were pepper sprayed when they surrounded officers in a threatening manner.[65] Mall security officers said the rapper was wearing a full-face Halloween mask, filming shoppers, cursing loudly, and refused to leave when asked. Game continued to act up and was arrested, a police statement said. Game claimed that officers overreacted and that he did nothing wrong when he was pepper sprayed by the mall security.[65] The five officers involved in the incident ended up suing Game for defamation,[66] which has yet to be taken to court.

On May 11, 2007, Game was arrested at his home reportedly in connection with an incident at a basketball game in South Los Angeles in February 2007. He is alleged to have threatened a person with a gun. The arrest took place after his home was searched for three hours. Game was released early the next day after posting $50,000 bail.[67] On January 9, 2008, a Los Angeles judge scheduled February 4 as the beginning date for Game's trial on assault and weapons charges.[68] After pleading no contest to a felony weapons charge on February 11, Game was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 150 hours of community service, and three years probation.[69]

Game was refused entry to Canada[when?] for alleged gang ties in LA; concert organisers said he was associated with the Bloods.[70]

On August 12,2011 rapper The Game decided to tweet his search for a supposed internship opening. In the message sent to his over 580,000 followers he posted the number to call as the emergency line for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. The Game's fans jammed the line for hours. Initially, The Game denied any wrongdoing saying the tweet was "a mistake." The Game then posted a message saying the sheriff's department can "track a tweet down but you can't solve murders!" A criminal investigation was launched stating that the The Game could be charged for obstruction of justice. Despite all of this, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department issued this statement, "Based upon our investigation, as well as consultation with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the LASD considers the criminal investigation into this matter closed. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will not be seeking criminal charges.” The Game issued an apology on CNN saying, "My sincerest apologies to the Sheriff's Department, it was a joke gone wrong.”


Game has many tattoos on his body. He has deceased rapper Eazy-E on his right forearm and has a graveyard under it in which the headstones say 2Pac, Jam Master Jay & Eazy. Under his left eye he has a teardrop and behind his left ear has a tattoo that says "HCT 6 30 03" which is a reference to his son Harlem Caron Taylor who was born on June 30, 2003. On the left side of his neck he has his The Game logo and under it he has the Black Wallstreet logo. Under his right eye he had a tattoo of a Butterfly but covered it with the L.A. Dodgers logo and a red star around it. Under his right ear he has the Converse All-Star logo and under it he has CBP which stands for Cedar Block Piru. On his upper chest he has Hate It or Love It. On the right side of his chest he has a tattoo that says N.W.A. On the left side of his chest he has a Bandana. On his stomach he has "Stretch" which used to be his nickname because he was tall. On his right shoulder he has KJ and under it he has Tupac Shakur as an Angel. On his lower right forearm he has "Wallstreet" while on his other one has "The Black". On his right arm he has a tribute to his deceased friend "Billboard". On his right hand he has Chuck while his other hand has Taylor a reference to Chuck Taylor[disambiguation needed ] and Game's nickname. On his lower left forearm he has a Pigeon and above it a Clown. On his left elbow he has his Hurricane shoes logo and under it has G-Unot a reference to his feud with 50 Cent & G-Unit.


Studio albums


Year Film Role Notes
2006 Waist Deep Big Meat
2006 Belly 2: Millionaire Boyz Club G
2008 Street Kings Grill

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
2005 The Game BET Awards – Best New Artist[75] Nominated
Billboard Music Awards – Rap Artist of the Year[76] Nominated
Billboard Music Awards – New Artist of the Year[76] Nominated
MTV Video Music AwardBest New Artist in a Video – "Dreams"[77] Nominated
"How We Do" (feat. 50 Cent) Billboard Music Awards – Rap Song of the Year[76] Nominated
"Hate It or Love It" (feat. 50 Cent) BET Awards – Best Collaboration[75] Nominated
MTV Video Music Award – Best Rap Video[77] Nominated
2006 Grammy Awards – Best Rap Song[21] Nominated
Grammy Awards – Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group[21] Nominated
2007 Doctor's Advocate Ozone Awards – Best West Coast Rap Album[78] Won
2008 The Game Ozone Awards – Best West Coast Rap Artist[79] Won


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  52. ^ "Snoop Dogg (SnoopDogg) op Twitter". Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
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