The Making of The Game's "The Documentary"

The Aftermath

The Game: “I haven’t listened to The Documentary in five years man. [Laughs.] That’s like you sitting in the house looking at pictures of yourself all day. I go back and listen to Ready To Die, The Blueprint, and like, fucking Makaveli. All them shits. Straight Outta Compton. I’m not a Game fan. I’m not nobody but me. I’m glad to be who I am. I’m always gone be me, and that’s why nobody's been able to successfully clown or diss me. Cause the shit don’t work, I’m human. I am what I am, I ain’t changing. I’m the dude from Change of Heart. I’m the dude that knocked Ras Kass out. I’m the dude that had beef with 50. I’m the dude with three platinum albums going on his fourth. I’m the dude that put out The Documentary.”

Mike Lynn (A&R for Aftermath): “The issue between 50 and Game was a real simple one: 50 is like, ‘I’m responsible for you being a star.’ And Game is like, ‘You’re not responsible for me being an artist.’ That was the whole mix-up as far as them seeing eye-to-eye. It didn’t matter who wrote the songs from a fan-based standpoint, Game was the artist. Game is looking at 50 like, ‘You didn’t sign me. Mike signed me. So you’re not responsible for me being on Aftermath. I’m supporting G-Unit, but you’re not responsible for me. You had nothing to do with me getting a record deal. You helped me come out, you helped me with my hits, but you’re not responsible for me being an artist.’ And that’s where 50 felt like Game wasn’t giving him enough respect for helping him, and Game felt like 50 wasn’t respecting him for being an artist before he met 50. And that’s really where the wheels fell off. The relationship dissolved, it was already falling apart before the video of ‘Hate It Or Love It’ because 50 was feeling like Game wasn’t falling in line. And at the time, Game is now becoming a star.

“People really need to know that the way Game was when I met him, is the exact same way he is today. No difference. The reason he got a deal was because his arrogance in his ability. So when he acts that way, I’m never surprised. [Laughs.] I knew what I was getting into. It’s like a guy that marries a hoe, and then he’s mad she’s acting like a hoe. [Laughs.] When people say he had a big head and different things, it’s because they wanted him to be different. I accepted him for who he is. He never bowed down to the whole G-Unit situation because he never asked to be in G-Unit. He didn’t have that responsibility in him. He was like, ‘I’m doing this for Jimmy, Dre, and Mike, that’s why I’m doing this.’ People don’t think you’re doing them a favor if you’re making money off of them. If you do me a favor, then you’re doing something to help me. But if you’re doing something to make money off me, then you’re not doing me a favor. So the mentality behind that is completely different.”

Sha Money XL: “The thing that was toxic for Game, in G-Unit at the time we were all self-contained. The music, the management—we was like a 360 deal before those things became popular. So any time you have an artist that's dealing with frustration whether it's coming from just how they feel, their ego starts to grow as their popularity starts to grow. They feel like they deserve more. They all go through that. I don't care what any rapper tells you, if they're under another rapper they all go through that shit. I was able to manage those frustrations and keep them positive and keep them in a good space where there was no friction caused between the leaders of the crew and the boss man 50. But Game had his own crew and his own management team that had their own motives. Sometimes, when you divide people you can make more money.

“I seen the hurricane growing because he was starting to cancel appointments, cancel touring that we would set up. One time he called me from London and was like, 'Yo man, I can't take this shit.' He was frustrated on some anger shit. I was like, ‘Yo, calm down man.’ He said, 'I'm about to be the Hurricane. I'm gonna come back Hurricane Game.' He kinda warned me as if he was about to do some flip shit. So I told Fif, ‘This kid Game man, his head man is starting to get big early man.’ But Fif is kind of desensitized to that shit because he sees it all the time with everybody, they all do that. Everybody’s head gets big at a point. So he didn't really monitor it or speak to him to maintain certain things that you gotta do when you're the leader. And he let him have enough time alone where they didn't communicate where that cancer grew so big that Game was ready to rebel. Soon as he came home from London from a promo tour, when his [first week] numbers came back and he was that dude, he came back to New York on some whole other shit and that's when the shit started. That's when that whole slogan Hurricane Game came. He came with the storm, the bullshit, he came with the drama and that's when that whole divide and conquer shit happened.”

Angelo Sanders (A&R for Aftermath): "You gotta understand what Game was going through. He was 22 years old: Foster homes, broken homes, abuse, the molestation of his sisters...all this craziness to, ‘I’m fucking with Dre and everybody loves me.’ The fact that Game wanted to drop names and put ’em in raps, people say, ‘That’s his style, that’s all he can do.’ Man, he can do so many other things! He was just enamored that he could call these people his peers. He was fucking with Dre, so he got open arms early. Busta Rhymes is telling you how dope you are at 22 years old, like huh? A kid from Compton? And at that time he was the savior of the West. Snoop hadn’t had a relevant record in a minute and niggas wanted something fresh and new. So when they started to hear this kid's mixtapes, they just started throwing that whole ‘Savior of the West’ and Dre was behind him. That’s a lot of pressure for a 22-year-old kid from Compton. He was able to do it, he pulled it off, and has been doing it ever since. He’s a real artist. He had to find that in that album. He had to find the difference between being a street nigga and being an artist. That’s what’s so beautiful about The Documentary: He was able to transcend what he was talking about, what he could become, what he came from, and he became bigger than just himself in that record.

"That’s Game’s record. 50 had a part because he was the hottest dude in the game. He marketed the record. He sold the record. He was featured on the record. He was in the video. You know 50, Dre, Em—that whole connection. It wouldn’t have been the record it is recognized as if it wasn’t [for them]. We fell in at the right time with the right people at the right place. But Game wanted to be his own artist from day one. The whole G-Unit situation was a little bit forced on him. Don’t get it twisted, he fully embraced it. But, I think the way it just happened he was like, ‘Yo, this is what I gotta do to make it. Let’s do it.’ But he never was like, ‘I’m G-Unit first.’ He was Dre, Aftermath. That’s what he cared about. So, ‘Dre, if you telling me roll with 50 and we gone make it pop? Alright cool.’ But he was his own man. He could have said no, but at the same time what are you gonna do if you’re an artist in that position? You gonna stand around and wait like the rest of Dre’s artists? Or, you gonna come out cause you got the hottest dude in the game at the time saying, ‘I’m gonna co-sign it and I got your back.’ 50 had just sold 10 million records, how are you not gonna ride with this dude? You have to. But it’s not like how 50’s relationship was with Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo—where he had more of a personal long relationship with them. This was more of a business move that didn’t play out so well. They coulda been The Beatles man."

Marsha Ambrosius: “There are people that I've come across in my career that I will always work with and Game is just one of those people. We always managed to cross paths. We did ‘Why You Hate The Game?’ and we did ‘Hustlers.’ He's featured on a couple of records that I did too. It's like we're almost in a group [Laughs.] We have enough material to put out an EP! Game is mad cool. I love him to death. That's the peoples.”

Dre (of Cool & Dre): “I consider Game family. I care about his welfare, his children, and his career. We really fuck with Game, he’s someone that we consider a brother for real.”

Buckwild: “Game is this gangsta rapper that people see, but there is this side to Game when you get to know him where he's a really great dude. I guess it just depends on what side of the tennis court you want to put yourself on with Game. I guess you might call that part of Jayceon and not part of The Game.”

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