Hip-Hop has a short memory. Rappers are only as popular as their last hit or flop. And in today's TMZ culture, life off the mic is fair game too. Some actions are even capable of causing more controversy than a shocking sixteen.
Case in point, The Game. He is a Hip-Hop survivor who has weathered the storm, both personally and professionally, and remains a relevant figure in Hip-Hop today. Although he has never quite lived up to the promise of his debut, The Documentary (released eight years ago today), Game has endured more than most could handle.
But with a recent hit album, Vh1 reality series, and newly-formed Rolex Records, Game still shows no signs that his checkered past will derail his current or future plans. AllHipHop breaks down some of his most career-threatening moments to date.
A common myth indicates that only cats have nine lives. But clearly an exception has been made for The Game, and rap is better as a result. "Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top."
9). The general consensus is that Eminem bested Jay-Z on their collaboration, “Renegade.” And considering The Blueprint is one of Jay’s career highlights, that’s really saying something about Eminem’s abilities. Eminem did the same thing to The Game on “We Ain’t.” But, in that instance, Game was a new artist and him being outdone by an emcee of Slim Shady’s caliber on his debut could’ve finished his career before it even started.
8).In 2006, Game got a butterfly tattooed on his face. The look didn’t bode well with his otherwise hardcore Hip-Hop persona. One can assume he figured this out too because he eventually had the butterfly covered up by the Dodgers’ L.A. logo and a red star. (Although, Game claimed he got the butterfly covered because it looked like a moth.)
7). Game has a bit of a wild streak: getting arrested in North Carolina, jamming up the emergency line for the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, fighting 40 Glocc. And although getting into trouble doesn’t necessarily hurt a rapper’s career as much as other professions, it does cost money and take time- two things most rappers don’t have a lot of.
6). T-Pain’s music is synonymous with Auto-Tune. And Game’s lyrics are often noted for name-dropping. The issue with Auto-Tune is that it became a gimmick and faded from popularity. Game has run the risk of overusing names to the point of exhaustion too. Fortunately, Tyler the Creator cleverly called him out on it on “Martians Vs. Goblins.”
5). Even prior to his most notorious beef, Game had developed a reputation for feuding with other artists. He has recorded numerous diss tracks throughout his career and, most notably, recorded the amazing “300 Bars” and “500 Bars.” They definitely took battle records to a new level, but it was a double-edged sword because they had the potential to pigeon-hole Game as a battle rapper. And battle rappers' abilities don’t always translate well to full-length commercially successful LPs (see Jin).
4). Rap and less than reputable reality television almost go hand-in-hand today, but that has not always been the case. In 2000, a pre-fame Game appeared on reality dating show, Change of Heart. The woman whose affection Game was trying to win pointed out that he tries to act macho, but he’s not. Ultimately, he was shot down.
3). Rumors of Game’s former career as a male stripper have circulated for years. Recently though, a man who says he is his step father claims Game was a stripper. Game has never confirmed the allegations, but he hasn’t denied them either.
2). Unless someone was living under a rock in 2005, it was impossible to not hear about the feud between 50 Cent and The Game. After Game said things which 50 perceived to be disloyal to G-Unit, at the height of their popularity, he booted Game from the group live on Hot 97. Not long after, shots were fired and a friend of Game’s was injured. The tension briefly dissolved when 50 and Game attempted to reconcile. However, it was short-lived and diss records emerged from each side.
1). One of the other aftershocks of Game’s feud with 50 Cent is that it severed Game’s professional ties with producer, Dr. Dre. Like Dre, Game is from Compton and one of Game’s most valuable assets when he emerged on the scene was being a new West Coast rapper blessed with beats from the good doc. The two reconnected in 2011 on Game’s R.E.D. Album, but have yet to make music that's as memorable as when they first collaborated.
What do you think? Has Game lived up to the hype? Has he had too many “lives”? Sound off in the comments section and share your thoughts!