How The Game became Dr Dre’s West Coast protégé
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How The Game became Dr Dre's West Coast protégé

Compton emcee, The Game, was one of the only West Coast artists signed to Aftermath Records during the early 2000s. The lyricist’s path to fame was a strange one, but in 2003, following the success of both Eminem and 50 Cent, the rhymer (real name Jayceon Taylor) became Dr Dre’s primary protégé. 

However, few know that Taylor was not discovered by Dre (real name Andre Young) first. Prior to being a musician, The Game was an aspiring basketball player, but for an extended period was an active member of the Cedar Block Piru Bloods, which led to the artist getting shot five times. 

Following this, he turned to music and at a 1997 hip-hop summit hosted by Minister Louis Farrakhan and Russell Simmons, Taylor came into contact with the businessman and rapper JT The Bigga Figga, founder of Get Low Records. JT had previously worked with Daz Dillinger, and after hearing Taylor paid for his studio time. Together, they recorded several unfinished Nas tracks and released the highly successful demo mixtape QB.2.Compton.

While with JT The Bigga Figga, Taylor’s demo ended up in the hands of Diddy, who prudently considered signing him. However, Dr Dre caught wind of this and signed Taylor in 2003. Against The Game’s wishes, after signing with Aftermath Entertainment, JT The Bigga Figga independently released three albums Taylor had recorded with Get Low: Untold Story, West Coast Resurrection and Untold Story Vol 2, all of which charted on the Billboard 200.

Dr Dre had caught wind of the West Coast artist through his brother, Warren G, who had heard QB.2.Compton, which was exploding on the LA underground. Following the establishment of both 50 Cent and Eminem as credible artists, The Game became Dr Dre’s protégé and even joined G-unit.

Under Aftermath, The Game released his 2005 major label debut album, The Documentary, a classic album that boasts production from Dr Dre, Kanye West, Cool & Dre, Scott Storch and Timbaland. The Game’s sophomore album, Doctor’s Advocate, akin to his first project, debuted at number one. However, following its release his business relationship with Dr Dre and G-unit deteriorated and, by 2007, was over.

Taylor’s most recognisable hit was the third single of his debut album, ‘Hate It Or Love It’ featuring 50 Cent, which remains a classic to this day and is one of the most beloved rap songs of the 2000s. You can listen to the track below.