The Game

'Game' On

GameHe started rapping less than four years ago, but the Game is already positioned to become one of 2005's early breakout acts. The 25-year-old's status can be attributed to the year-long buzz surrounding his Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope album debut, "The Documentary." Created under the enviable stewardship of rap pioneer Dr. Dre, it hits stores this week.

The album boasts the chart-climbing single "How We Do," featuring 50 Cent. The track stands at No. 6 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. No one is more shocked at his prospects for success than the Game himself. Three years after signing with Dr. Dre's Aftermath, the Compton, Calif., native (aka Jayceon Taylor) says he still has to "ground himself" when he gets in the studio with the legend he calls his mentor, teacher and boss.

Initially titled "The Game, Vol. 1," the album weaves such themes as peace, truth and hope within its hardcore raps. Besides Dr. Dre, producers include Kanye West, Just Blaze and Scott Storch. Guest artists range from Nate Dogg and 50 Cent to Floetry and Faith Evans. Even Dr. Dre does some rapping. ("Don't ask me how I did that," Game says.)

"'The Documentary' is pretty much my life," he explains. "There are 17 tracks representing the 17 years since I was put in a foster home. I'm on a straight path and have a son now. Music can be instrumental to a child, and I want to paint as positive a picture as possible. But this is my life told through me. There is graphic and violent language, but I'm not trying to glorify the lifestyle I led."