California rapper the Game is one of the most respected and beloved MCs in hip-hop. The 36-year-old, who came up in Compton, has managed to stand the test of time and remain a consistent, accomplished artist.
Getting his start in the early 2000s under Dr. Dre’s Aftermath imprint, the Game was later placed on 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records via Dre and Jimmy Iovine. With East Coast hip-hop dominating radio at the time, the Game was able to bring back West Coast rap to the forefront with his critically-acclaimed album, The Documentary. Backed by the smash hits, "How We Do" and "Hate It or Love It," the album received two Grammy nominations and debuted at the number one spot on the Billboard 200, selling over five million copies worldwide.
Although, the success of Game's debut album spoke volumes, internally, the relationship between 50 Cent and the Game became tainted after they were involved in a few public disputes. This eventually led Game to sign under Universal Music Group's Interscope-Geffen-A&M division, helping him terminate his contractual obligations with G-Unit in the summer of 2006.
Proving that he was still able to make good music on his own with no major co-signs, Game has gone on to release six noteworthy LPs, a slew of mixtapes and some EPs. The rhymer has even transitioned his success in music over to the big screen, appearing in Waist Deep and Street Kings, to name a few. His appeal has even reached video gamers with his voice used as a role on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Def Jam: Icon.
XXL looks back at the Game's successful career thus far and highlights the better tracks in his catalog. Here are 20 Best the Game Songs.
"Wouldn't Get Far" The Game featuring Kanye West
For Game’s third single off his Doctor’s Advocate album, the Compton MC released the Kanye West-produced-and-featured-track, “Wouldn’t Get Far.” The single, released in 2007, featured both rappers name-dropping the baddest chicks in the game at the time as they exchanged bars about the scandalous things video vixens do behind closed doors to get ahead in the industry. The controversial song peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Hate It or Love It" The Game featuring 50 Cent
One of the classics that spawned from Game’s debut album was the 50 Cent-assisted “Hate It or Love It.” Produced by Cool & Dre with additional production from Dr. Dre and B.G. Knocc Out, the song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a commercial success worldwide. Receiving two Grammy nods for the song at the 2006 Grammy Awards, Game lost, but earned the respect of his rap peers for the concept of the track.
Another highlight from the Game’s sophomore album was the deep cut titled “Old English.” Focusing on his struggles and upbringing in Compton, Game paints a picture of his cruel reality as he drops laid-back flows over the funky and mellow sounds provided by Hi-Tek. The standout track is still considered as one of the best and heartfelt records the 36-year-old has made in his extensive career.
"Jesus Piece" The Game featuring Kanye West & Common
Serving as the title track for Game’s fifth studio album, "Jesus Piece" finds him teaming up once again with Kanye West along with the addition of Chicago MC Common. Produced by Kozmeniuk and the Maven Boys, "Jesus Piece" brings out some of the best qualities of all three MCs. With Kanye at the helm of the chorus, Common drops a stellar, buzz-worthy verse while Game reflects on his sins and victories in life over the soulful track.
"Special" The Game featuring Nate Dogg
Although The Documentary was full of heavy West Coast gangsta rap, one of the tracks that set itself apart from the rest of the album was the Nate Dogg-assisted “Special.” The Needlz-produced track featured the 36-year-old rapper spitting game to one of his special chicks. Comparing their relationship to Bonnie and Clyde, the Los Angeles rapper wines and dines his lady on the track while Nate Dogg provides the catchy, gangsta hook.
"Like Father, Like Son" The Game featuring Busta Rhymes
Another standout track off Game’s critically-acclaimed debut album is the Busta Rhymes-assisted “Like Father, Like Son.” Dedicated to The Game’s first born child, Jaycon Taylor recalls the moments in which his wife was about to give birth and how he hopes to give his first born, Harlem Caron Taylor, a better life than the ganngsta reality he was exposed to as a young child in the city of Compton. The song features Busta Rhymes who is in charge of handling the chorus duties.
While people in the U.S. raved about Game’s “Dreams” track off his debut album in 2005, people overseas, more specifically in France, were delighted with the record “Higher,” which turned out to be his fourth single in the European country. Produced by Dr. Dre and Mark Batson, “Higher” was one of the tracks off The Documentary that featured Game rapping by himself since the album was full of guest appearances from all of his co-signs.
"My Life" The Game featuring Lil Wayne
Released in July of 2008, “My Life” served as the third single off of Game’s third studio LP, LAX. Featuring a guest verse from Lil Wayne, the song was produced by Cool & Dre and debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, making it Game’s highest-debuting single on the chart. The track also received international appeal as it peaked on the Canadian and U.K. charts.
Released as the fourth single off Game’s debut album, “Dreams” featured production from Kanye West, who samples singer Jerry Butler’s “No Money Down” track. Dedicated to Serena and Venus Williams’ half-sister, Yetunde Price, who was shot dead in 2003, Game reflects on his life, goals and those legends who passed away before their time.
"Ali Bomaye" The Game featuring Rick Ross & 2 Chainz
Taking one of the most notorious chants of all time and making it a hit record is what Game did in 2012, with his street smash "Ali Bomaye." Off his critically-acclaimed LP Jesus Piece, the record became a fan favorite among music critics and listeners. Produced by Black Metaphor, "Ali Bomaye" sampled Florence and the Machine's "Seven Devils" and was inspired by boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Featuring stellar verses from a braggadocio Rick Ross and a charismatic 2 Chainz, The Game shines bright on his verses ranking "Ali Bomaye" amongst the best songs of all time from the the Los Angeles rhymer.
"How We Do" The Game featuring 50 Cent
Produced by Dr. Dre and Mike Elizondo, “How We Do” became the second official single from The Game’s debut album The Documentary. The club anthem, which saw Game pair up with 50 Cent, became an instant hit and song that introduced the mainstream public to the Los Angeles rapper. With the song peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, Game’s smash hit stayed on the Billboard chart for 28 weeks and validated him as rap’s next superstar from the West.
"It's Okay (One Blood)"The Game featuring Junior Reid
In July of 2006, Game released “It’s Okay (One Blood)” as the lead single for his second studio album, Doctor’s Advocate. The track, produced by D-Roc and Reefa, features a guest appearance from Reggae artist Junior Reid, who lends his vocals for the chorus of the track. The popularity of the song among rappers resulted in the Game making a remix featuring 25 hip-hop artists.
"Doctor's Advocate" The Game featuring Busta Rhymes
The chemistry between Busta Rhymes and Game has always resulted in great music. In 2006, both MCs collaborated once again on the title track of Game’s Doctor’s Advocate LP. Dedicated to Game’s mentor, Dr. Dre, the rapper breaks down some of the reasons he decided to leave the Aftermath label. The song also features a hook done by Shorty of Da Lench Mob.
"Put You On the Game" The Game featuring Timbaland
In the midst of Game’s beef with G-Unit, “Put You On the Game” was released as the fifth and final single off his critically-acclaimed debut LP, The Documentary. The song, produced by Timbaland and co-produced by Danja, featured The Game name-dropping several artists and classic albums in the hip-hop genre. With several remixes made, the record received more international love than in the U.S.
"Westside Story" The Game featuring 50 Cent
Released as the debut single off Game’s first LP, The Documentary, this track became the first time mainstream raps fans saw the Los Angeles rapper team up with his now foe, 50 Cent. With the song debuting at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100, this record introduced rap fans to the Dr. Dre protege.
Off his Purp & Patron mixtape, “I’m the King” became the first song leaked from the effort. Becoming the standout track of the project, “I’m the King” served as a warm up for Game’s The R.E.D. Album. While the track may not be one of Game’s most lyrical songs, it helped showcase to fans that he was still able to make hits with minimal effort.
"100" The Game featuring Drake
Released as the first single off Game's sixth studio album, "100" features Drake exchanging bars about loyalty and truth with the West Coast rhymer over production from Johnny Juliano and Cardo. With the Toronto native providing the perfect hook, Game keeps it "100" throughout the soulful backdrop. The song helped Game peak hit the Billboard Hot 100 once again and receive international love in Germany, Canada and the U.K.
"The City" The Game featuring Kendrick Lamar
Produced by Cool & Dre, “The City” became one of the standout tracks off Game’s fourth studio album, The R.E.D. Album. Released in 2011, the song features Game pairing up with Kendrick Lamar, who provided the hard-hitting chorus over the production of the Florida natives. With stellar verses from both MCs, the song ranks among the best tracks from Game.
"Martians vs. Goblins" The Game featuring Tyler, The Creator
The Game and Tyler, the Creator teamed up in 2011 for the record, “Martians vs. Goblins,” off the Compton rapper’s The R.E.D. Album. The song, which peaked at No. 100 on the Billboard Hot 100, features references to Rihanna, Lil B and more. The bizarre lyrics and collaboration was a plus for both artists' fans, helping to increase their network of supporters.
"Why You Hate the Game" The Game featuring Nas & Marsha Ambrosius
Over production from Just Blaze, Game tapped Nas and Marsha Ambrosius in 2006 for the track “Why You Hate the Game.“ With the Compton rapper shinning bright alongside the New York vet, Game does a great job of staying in pocket with the soulful Just Blaze production. Ambrosia handles the chorus duties on the track while Game opens up to his critics and haters.