The Game Tells The Story of The Doctor’s Advocate & Why It’s His Best Album (Video)
This month, Compton, California MC Game is in the midst of releasing two discs to The Documentary 2. Featuring involvement from Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Q-Tip (among others), the LP is an independent homage to Jayceon Taylor’s 2005 breakthrough.
Speaking with HipHopDX last Friday (October 9), the multi-platinum artist said as much about his 2006 sophomore studio LP, The Doctor’s Advocate, as he did his present chart-topping Blood Money effort. Calling it “my best album,” as well as his “most West Coast,” the effort blossomed—as Game sees it—thanks to a host of East Coast figures, including DJ Kay Slay, Jim Jones, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Angie Martinez, and Fabolous.
“I know what it took to write [The Doctor’s Advocate]. After you sell basically 5 million records [with] The Documentary to date has sold 14 million [copies]—when you sell that million right off the bat and then you lose your support system and label support and break up with G-Unit and Dr. Dre. [Dr. Dre] don’t leave you as a friend, but musically he had to step back because there was a lot of drama, bullets and fights and you know Dre had enough of that in his career to even think about entertaining it in someone else’s career. When you complete an album with no help, not knowing if the label’s gonna put it out or nothing, it’s all odds against you,” explained Game as to why he holed up in New York City studios in 2005 and 2006, funding a would-be follow-up himself.
“I spent three months in New York working on The Doctor’s Advocate. I got a lot of support from Nas and Busta Rhymes and [Fabolous]. I got a lot of love from New York MCs, so I felt inclined to complete the album. I didn’t know that when I came back to California and went into Interscope [Records] what they were going to say, but I came back with the album and ‘One Blood.’ So without having label support, I gave ‘One Blood’ to Jim Jones. He gave it [DJ] Kay Slay. Kay Slay started playing it in the clubs, then everyone else—[Funkmaster Flex], DJ Clue, Angie Martinez—all started playing ‘One Blood.’ Then, L.A. radio stations picked up on what it was and started playing it too. Every club I went to, when they put ‘One Blood’ on, it was amazing.”
Game said that the result of the Reefa-produced, Junior Reid-assisted hit single revived interest in the label that signed him—notorious for shelving artists in the midst of careers. “All of a sudden the suits and ties at Interscope understood that we were getting spins on the record. I was signed to Interscope, but it wasn’t Interscope-sanctioned, so they jumped on the dick and put The Doctor’s Advocate out and that’s what it was.” Game says that the despite the eventual Geffen Records jacket (notably without Aftermath Entertainment and G-Unit Records), he made it independently. “The whole album I got done on favors. I didn’t have no money. So [Kanye West] doing ‘Wouldn’t Get Far’ and shooting a video to that with no money, out of my pocket, was something that I did. The label of course, got their money, but they wasn’t down with it. And I understand because 50 Cent sold 10 million off of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ so they had to stay loyal to the money-maker because it is a business. I understood that aspect of it. But when I dropped ‘One Blood’ they jumped right back on the dick and we put that album out and shit, The Doctor’s Advocate ended up selling 5 million.” Game, who would return fully to Interscope in the 2000s added that The Doctor’s Advocate was the first time he had full creative control of an album. The second instance: this month’s The Documentary 2 double-discs.
Known for his extensive Rap name-dropping (something he addresses bluntly in the interview), Game spoke about his experience as a Hip-Hop Head. The artist who has worked with West Coast pioneers such as Cube, Dre, MC Eiht, WC, DJ Quik, in addition to figures like Master P, E-40, and JT The Bigga Figga spoke about his love of the culture.
“I can become a chameleon to whoever I’m on a track with and I can emulate or get in the same pocket or rhyme in the same rhyme scheme the way that they would do it,” admitted the frequent collaborator. “I love the music so much. I really love the music. I’m talking about everything from Fetty Wap to Rick Ross. I’m just a fan. I used to just chop dope and listen to Big Mike,” he recalled of the Rap-A-Lot artist and onetime Geto Boys member. “I was a fan of Big Mike. My brother and I had a wrestling match in the living room over whether Spice-1 was better than Big Mike. I’m four years younger than my brother, so of course I got my ass whooped. But I was so passionate that Big Mike was better than Spice-1 at one point in my life. Then I became a fan of Spice-1 and my brother started listening to Richie Rich, so it was another scrap,” he remembered, of the Oakland veteran and 415 co-founder. “I had so many Hip Hop fights in my life, it’s like once I become a Hip Hop artist, why not keep these battles going. I’ve been fighting over Hip Hop for the last 30 years, man.”
Do you think Game’s close relationship with the culture comes across in his verses? Has a Hip-Hop artist ever been shunned from a label at a higher point in their career than Game in ’06?
The Documentary 2.5 by Game releases Friday (October 16).