Few MCs can survive a character assassination from an entire rap crew, especially if the mob leader is 50 Cent. But the Game, aka Jayceon Taylor, has bloodied his knuckles protecting his brand and his

Few MCs can survive a character assassination from an entire rap crew, especially if the mob leader is 50 Cent. But the Game, aka Jayceon Taylor, has bloodied his knuckles protecting his brand and his manhood while the G-Unit crew has done quite a bit to destroy his street credibility. From DJ Whoo Kid and 50 Cent depicting him dressed as a thong-clad stripper on their "G-Unit Radio Part 21: Hate It or Love It" mixtape to the Game's own brother denying the rapper's street credibility in the press, he has sustained. And since authenticity is hip-hop's meal ticket, it's been a dangerous game indeed.

The Game chronicles the ups-and-downs on "Doctor's Advocate," due this week via Geffen. The lyrics are rife with the intrinsic violent threats hip-hop loves. And with a track listing that includes Left Coasters like "Too Much" featuring Nate Dogg, "Bang" featuring the Dogg Pound, "California Vacation" featuring Snoop and Xzibit, and another joint simply called "Compton," its obvious the Game's returning to his sonic roots.

Still, he allows a few national artists like Floetry's Marsha Ambrosius, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Busta Rhymes and Kanye West along for the ride. But the gem lies in the introspective J.R. Rotem-produced title track featuring Busta Rhymes, where a choked up Game thanks Dr. Dre for his success. He goes on to describe his departure from the latter's Aftermath label, telling Dre that growing up he "had a choice to be like Mike or be like him" and that Dre's like a father to him. But the most poignant line says, "Not saying you had to take my part in the beef, but you told me to say f*ck the cops."

"Dre nor 50 are on the album because people said the success [of Game's 2005 debut, 'The Documentary'] was heavily Dre- and 50-influenced, making me look like I was just the dumb ni*ga from the hood who didn't know what he was doing," the Game explains. "There's no turmoil with Dre. He took the training wheels off my bicycle for this record, and I can ride around the corner by myself. There aren't any hard feelings."