Growing up in Compton, California, rapper The Game was subjected to gang life early on — not only in the streets but also in his own household. Both his mother and father were Crips members, but Game wound up becoming a Blood through his brother and spent six years in foster care.

But today, rap’s self-described “MVP” has moved miles beyond his tumultuous upbringing to carve out a comfortable life for himself.

Just as Game’s “Hate It Or Love It” collaborator 50 Cent was reflecting on his past, the West Coast spitter took his own quick trip down memory lane. On Monday (May 3), Game opened up about life before fame while encouraging others to stay committed.

“I remember a time when I had $26 to my name & was scared to spend it,” he tweeted. “Didn’t know where the next meal was coming from. Slept in my car in Hollywood just to wake up in the action & pass out my demo…. never give up, your dreams live around the corner from your struggle.”

Game rapped about his lean years on the Dr. Dre-produced Nas cut “Hustlers” off the 2006 album Hip Hop Is Dead. 

“1995, eleven years from today,” he spits. “I’m in the record shop with choices to make/lllmatic on the top shelf, The Chronic on the left, homie/Wanna cop both but only got a 20 on me/So fuck it, I stole both, spent the 20 on a dub sack.”

Now with several albums of his own under his belt — including his No. 1 Billboard 200 debut The Documentary (2005) — Game has secured his own place in the Hip Hop history books. During a rare interview with HipHopDX in March, he confirmed he was coming out of rap retirement to deliver another banger.

“It fucking sucks there’s no real substance in music anymore, but we have to go through it until it’s fruitful again,” he said. “Logic is working with Madlib. And of course, Kendrick and Cole, and then I’m coming back again. Shit’s coming.

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“Kendrick and J. Cole can only sit quiet for so long, so you’ll get some good shit. And again, I like the fucking Polo Gs, the Pooh Shiestys, and of course Lil Baby, I love it. I’m in my car, I throw on Lil Baby, but everybody’s not Lil Baby. So again, we got to pick and choose what has substance.”