As his Instagram thirst pics suggests, the Game is still healthy as he heads into his later 30s. Today, the Compton rhymer turns 36 years old (Nov. 29).

The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, had to grow up quick as child living in Compton (Los Angeles). His parents were drug addicts, a friend of his was murdered over his clothes when he was 6 and his older brother, Jevon Taylor was shot at a gas station.  On Game's Jesus Piece album cover there's an obituary picture of his deceased brother.

The turnaround happened when the "How We Do" rapper himself was shot. When he was recovering in a hospital, the Game told his brother to buy all of the influential hip-hop albums. He studied them, released a mixtape and he was eventually signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records in 2003.

Not only did the Game shine with G-Unit, but he also released The Documentary, which is considered one of the best rap albums of the millennium. The debut featured "Hate It or Love It," a classic Cool & Dre production that showed 50 Cent and the Game in better times. After a falling out with 50, the "My Life" rhymer left G-Unit Records but his solo career moved along. His next two albums — Doctor's Advocate and LAX  - went platinum.

This year he released The Documentary 2, a surprisingly solid album that shows the Game still has plenty in the tank at an age when most rappers are usually calling it in.

Read the Game's reflective letter on his 36th birthday below:

Watch the Game's "All That (Lady)" Feat. Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Jeremih

10 Rappers & Singers Who Will Make You Want to Hit the Gym