With Game waving the flag for Compton and the rest of the West Coast, it's hard to imagine Dr. Dre's protégé on any other label but the G-funk godfather's. But if you listen to his LP, The Documentary, Game very well could've ended up elsewhere if other CEOs hadn't been sleeping.
On the album, Game name-drops former Def Jam prez Kevin Liles, ex-Elektra CEO Sylvia Rhone, Death Row's Suge Knight, the heads of Roc-A-Fella and Murder Inc., and even his buddy P. Diddy as those he tried to align with before ultimately turning to Dr. Dre.
"We called Puff and said, 'No hard feelings, no love lost, but we're going with Dre," Game said. As the stone-faced MC tells it, Diddy's attention was focused on Loon and Black Rob at the time he was trying to climb aboard. So when Game got the call from Dre around the same time Diddy was finally starting to come around, he signed to Aftermath instead.
"Me and Puff still been good friends since then, and I plan on working with Puff in the future outside of rap," Game said.
Since hooking up with mentor Dre, Game said he's been growing as an artist.
"Lyrically I've elevated so much," he said. "I think I did the best job I could of shedding light on the situation that I lived through the last 17 years on my CD. In no way, shape or form am I glorifying gangbanging, killing, drugs, any type of violence, Bloods, Crips — I'm just giving you my story so you can feel at one with the Game. Instead of prejudging me and thinking I'm just banging on wax, here's a joint called 'Like Father Like Son.' "
The track Game refers to is the last track on the album, and the song he holds closest to his heart.
"[That's] a gangbanger, a real n---a from the 'hood telling you how much he appreciated the Lord Jesus Christ helping in the aid of the birth of my son," he said. "I left the camcorder in the car [when he was born. The listeners] know because I tell them. I went through Lamaze class; they know that because I tell them."
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Busta Rhymes raps on the chorus, conveying the message that they want their kids to grow up and become great.
"I felt real compelled, so I got Busta Rhymes on the hook," Game continued. "He had kids, he heard the song and felt honored. He gave his all. Anybody who has kids should feel that song. He gave it his all 'cause he loves his kids."
Game's The Documentary drops Tuesday (January 18), and as he sees it, it's just the first of many future accomplishments.
"It's easy to stay in the mix if you apply yourself," he insisted. "If you look at people who are succeeding and who are not succeeding and wither out, the problems, the success and put them together, you can stay around in this rap game. I plan on being here for a long time."