The Making of The Game's "The Documentary"

“Hate It Or Love It” f/ 50 Cent

Produced by: Cool & Dre, Dr. Dre, BG Knocc Out

The Game: “‘Hate It Or Love It’ kind of came at sort of the mid-way point [of the recording process]. This was probably the beginning of ‘04. I was in Connecticut, I had the beat, and I was on my way to 50’s house. This was right when I joined G-Unit—and it was like three hours from New York to Connecticut—so I was in the back of this fucking Escalade and I was just writing. I write songs backwards. I start with third verse when I write. Because when you write songs from front to back, nine times out of ten times the third verse is the weakest. Why? Because you’re tired. So I start from the back. When I got [to 50’s house], 50 wrote his verse and put it on the front. And then he came up with, ‘Yo, we should say hate it or love it. Call it ‘Hate It Or Love It’ and let’s write a hook.’ And then we wrote the hook just sitting right there vibing, like some old-school, head-bouncing, huddle shit. It was just me and Fif down there.

“I met Cool & Dre in like 2002, at the beginning of the year. Cool & Dre was my niggas before I got on, and before they ever did anything that was hot they was my niggas. So we gets it in like that and we still getting in like that. If I have an idea or I hear a sample, I’ll call Cool, and then he’ll call Dre, and they’ll send it back before the end of the day.”

Sha Money XL: “I met Cool & Dre at Chris Lighty’s office in the winter of 2004. I told them, ‘Let me get some heat.’ They gave me a few tracks and ‘Hate It Or Love It’ was one. When I heard ‘Hate It Or Love It’ I knew that was [a hit] instantly. 50 had Game in Connecticut for like a month. He worked on the whole album. 50 got the whole thing started. 50 was writing the hooks. He wrote the hook for ‘Hate It Or Love It.’ He wrote almost all the hooks on the album, seriously. You'll see it on the credits. And then that beat came and he was recording that like he was...Fif normally records regardless. Like, that song could have ended up on The Massacre. That record stood out enough for him when he recorded, before Game even heard it. Game didn't even know what he was walking into. He came into the house, Fif had the records all laid out for him. Him on a verse here, with a hook there. All laid out. When Game heard ‘Hate It Or Love It,’ he jumped on it and magic happened.”

Angelo Sanders (A&R for Aftermath): “We flew out to New York to work with 50 and we were staying in Manhattan. We would drive two and a half hours out there and Game would write lyrics to and from since it was a long ass drive. He would wear headphones and he would just write on his Sidekick. I would just feed him beats. The ‘Hate It or Love It’ track came from Sha Money. Sha Money gave me a bunch of records when we first went out there. 50 was working on something else away from the house. So he just gave us a bunch of records to go through and ‘Hate It or Love It’ was one I pulled to the side. I first played it for Game but he was in a different mind frame. He wanted to be on something hard hitting so we packed it up. Then on the way home, it was like dark and cold and it had been like a few days of us going back and forth and that’s when he came up with it. He wrote the record. We recorded out there at 50’s house and then they heard it and that’s when 50 jumped on it like, ‘This is crazy. This is gonna be the single.’ He knew what it was at that point.”

Dre (of Cool & Dre): “We were passing out CDs heavy back in the day. One of the CDs that we passed out with that beat got into Sha Money XL's hands. That song ended up being the record that really put Cool & Dre on the map. We didn't know Game [at the time], but what's crazy is that our attorney knew a lot of his people. We met him in Miami when he came down here. I can't really pin-point the actual day we met him, but it was shortly after the record was hitting. From there on we got a super close relationship and now we're super cool.

“[We made the beat] in Cool's mother’s garage. This was back in the day man. Funny story, after the record blew we did a meeting with Jimmy Iovine—we were gonna do a deal with an artist there—and he asked us about “Hate It or Love It.” He was just like, 'That record is amazing. Do you have the original beat before Dr. Dre touched it?' We were like, ‘Yeah, we got it on the laptop.’ He was like, 'I always wanna hear what stuff sounds like before Dre puts the magic to it.’ So we pressed play and I'll never forget his face....he was like, 'Yo it's the same damn beat. Send me the original version.’ We were like, ‘This is the original version!’

“But Dre had put the most amazing mix on it. Like his mixes are so fucking phenomenal. Trust me there was a difference sonically, but as for the record itself the music was the same. But Dre brought it to life. [As a mixer is] what I think is his greatest quality. His sound placement and how his shit comes out sonically. That's why they're his headphones. His ear for instrument placement is amazing. A Dr. Dre mix is a co-production in our mind because he just kinda brings shit out that was not there and that's what he did. And, if I'm not mistaken at the end of the hook he added a string going into the verse.”

Mike Lynn (A&R for Aftermath): “‘Hate It Or Love It’ was for 50. 50 called me when he did ‘Hate It Or Love It’ like, ‘I’m thinking about keeping it for myself and G-Unit, but I might give it to Game.’ He played it for me over the phone and I’m like, ‘We gotta have that!’ I knew it had a chance to be a single, but Dre wasn’t 100 percent sure because of the tempo. But when we tested it, it came back and people were definitely into it.

“Dr. Dre completely reproduced that track. He had it replayed. He never took credit for it, he still let them get producer credit, that’s how he is. It’s funny to me when people say, ‘Dre took my beat’ and this and that. It’s like, Come on man all that shit is bullshit. I seen so many producers eating out there because their material sounded professional, but in the beginning of their career their music wasn’t nowhere near professional. Dre made it sound professional. Every record on that album Dr. Dre touched. Everything. ‘Hate It Or Love It’ sounded like a sample, Dre made it sound like a record. Dre cleaned it up [on the] musical side. He had the baseline played so it actually sounded professional. He made those records. If they play you their version and his version, they’re night and day. He had to [get co-producer credit], he did all the work. [Laughs.]”

blog comments powered by Disqus