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The Game: Los Angeles Times

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The Game is not retiring from the rap game. Well, he did not exactly say that during this interview, but if you read between the lines it’s pretty obvious L.A.X. is not going to be Game’s final curtain call. Kind of like Nas declaring Hip-Hop is dead in 2006, only to be dropping another album in 2008. No matter the status of his rap employment, Jayceon Taylor is on his music making grind. Bleeding even more confidence than when he first hit the rap scene as a prodigal West Coast rap savior, The Game’s commentary on everything from Obama and Kriss Kross to Lil Weezy and Black Wall Street simultaneously entertains and enlightens. Just read for yourself. AllHipHop.com: So L.A.X is now dropping July 22nd? [Ed. Note: L.A.X. has since been moved to an August 26 release date.]The Game: Yeah, yeah. L.A.X, July 22nd. Jimmy Iovine is the person that, you know, put his foot down on that. He wanted a little bit more time to work the record ‘cause “Game’s Pain” is doing so well and so I give my next single a little bit more time to breathe as well. Everybody know what it is man, it’s only a few weeks. I’m like one of those artists with one of those albums that you’re ‘gon go get whenever it drop. I don’t got to worry about having those problems man but on the 22nd. I know AllHipHop’s gonna make sure everybody know the real date and when it’s poppin’ off so we going stay on point with y’all, y’all stay on point with us and you know the world’ll be on point and get down there and get on that album.AllHipHop.com: Do you know exactly what L.A.X’.s next single is going to be or are you still deciding?The Game: “Game’s Pain” is doing what it’s doing man and just like “Hate It or Love It”, “Wouldn’t Get Far” out of respect I’m not really a friendly record type dude.  I’m street and hardcore so when those records do well it’ll be like above me ‘cause I don’t put’em out. Like “Game’s Pain” wasn’t even on the album at first, Jimmy Henchmen, and Iovine came and Step Johnson, all the people at my label – this is a hit so put it out and the n****s right again. It’s doing what it’s doing so the next single is gonna drop soon but I haven’t really put my finger on it yet.AllHipHop.com: Is the album completely done or are you still fine-tuning?The Game:  They want the album to be completely done but I just can’t stop recording s**t man. If I recorded something that’s better than something else and they still give me time to get it mixed and get it on record then that’s what I’ll do, But the record is pretty much done and locked in and sealed man, the only thing it ain’t is on the shelf yet. So I got a good album, got a great feel, I’m proud of myself and I can’t wait to see it on the shelves.

“Me and Nas joked around about doing an album together and said we could complete it in ten days and we would do it that way if we did it.”

AllHipHop.com: First album you had to come out with a bang, second album…The Game:…sophomore jinx s**t.AllHipHop.com: And do it without 50 and Dre, so what was the feeling or  motivation around this album? The Game: Free. It’s free. The third album is free spirited. My lyrical content my lyrical elevation, my mind is just free. No beef, no drama for the first time in my career I can really record music the way that I wanna record music for my fans and do it in a way where it just makes you feel like this is how everybody should be doing it. The L.A.X. album is just  what it’s supposed to be. It’s summertime so it’s gonna have that  type of feel, certain songs are gonna be real melodic, other songs gonna be real hard and lyrical. You got your radio singles like the “Game’s Pain” with Keyshia Cole. I recorded a song with Ne-Yo, I got something for the lyricists and backpackers with Common, I did something with Andre 3000, Nas on the album, Ice Cube. Kanye produced, Cool & Dre, J.R [Rotem], Nottz…the album is what I need it to be.AllHipHop.com: That’s a lot of names, you mentioned before wanting to get everyone physically in the studio, how difficult was that?The Game: And everybody came in, man I swear homie it was just like godly ‘cause the way that this album was created, it was fast. I started recording this album in January.AllHipHop.com: January ’08?The Game: January of this year, like I just started. I started recording in January and I recorded like over 200 songs at this point so this time, like I said, I was free. A long time ago 50’s like, “Oh he can’t write hooks” and he was right ‘cause I used to have trouble writing hooks ‘cause I was so focused on my verses and I had Dre and 50 to help me with that but then once that help left I had to do it on my own. For the last, The Doctor’s Advocate, and this album I perfected it, now I got it down to a science and hook on this album except probably the Ne-Yo song and one or two others those are the only songs that I didn’t write the hook for so you know album’s dope man. Six months man, we got a classic album man. The Documentary took three years to record, The Doctor’s Advocate, a year and something and this album six months. If I was to do a fourth album that s**t would probably take me like a week. Me and Nas joked around about doing an album together and said we could complete it in ten days and we would do it that way if we did it. We always joke about it every time I see him like, “What up with that 10 day album?,” and  I’m like we can do it man. He’s like you know if we were to record an album whatever we record after 10 days – that’s it, like we ain’t gonna try to overthink it or nothing like that so maybe one day that might happen. That’s the only reason I’ll not retire, if something like that happens or if I can get the old N.W.A members to just assist me, not really feature and be a part or rap but just assist me on making my fourth album what I want it to be, if I did do that album. The only way I would do it is if Dre, Cube, Ren, King T, Ice Cube, Quik…you know n****s that are from Compton were involved. If not you’ll see me on a beach man with someshorts and some white Airs man just sippin’ a 40.AllHipHop.com: You mentioned before about the third album you said all you wanted to say this ‘gon be the last one. You’re mentioning you might do a fourth album so is the door still open? The Game: If the things that I know aren’t going to happen, happen. Like it’ll be a miracle to be back in the studio with Dre, it’d be a miracle to do an album with Nas so if those things happen which I don’t think they will, if those things happen I’ll be real tempted to get back and record another album. But as of today I’m pretty firm on what I’m doing.AllHipHop.com: I heard you mention before on a radio station I think you said you were talking to Jay-Z and you asked him how to keep doing album after album he said that you just have to…The Game: Reinvent yourself.AllHipHop.com: So is there anything specific on this album that you haven’t done before?The Game: Me man, no matter how many records I sell or how many dope singles I put out or how much people say that my album are classics man, I always get scared man. The last couple of weeks, the last months before the album’s ‘bout to come out, I just be like…you don’t know what’s gonna happen man. First of all, when you drop the album that’s seven days ‘till that SoundScan hit, it’s crucial man ‘cause it can make or break your career so I just went in and recorded songs that I thought when people heard combined with the other songs on the album, they would tell a friend that this is the s**t you need to be bangin’ right now and all that does is have a cannonball effect, I mean a snowball effect and you tell him, he tell her and then it gets big and it’s buzz is what sells records.So if I had the complete classic album, if I made L.A.X. what I made [The] Documentary what I made The Doctor’s Advocate then I can get people to the store time and time again to purchase my album, to appreciate it, to once again join me on my quest to be placed among one of Hip-Hop’s elite.AllHipHop.com: No doubt. Both of your albums have done well but going into this third album is there a number you’re looking for or thinking about that?The Game: SoundScan and all of that?AllHipHop.com: Yeah.The Game: I’m over that man. That was my childish…you know the beginning of my career I was obsessed with SoundScan and hoping I’d do this and wanting to sell 500,000 the first week and I think The Documentary spoiled me. I think that first 581,000  spoiled me. And even the last album in that climate the 360,000 I did first week last album was phenomenal, this next album man I don’t care what I do. I’m an “in the long run” type of n***a, you know what I’m sayin’? My album’ll pick up and people gon’ get my album all the way until I’m 3x platinum on every album and that’s just how it is. When this album comes ou,t there’s people who don’t have The Documentary or The Doctor’s Advocate gon’ go back and cop that. I mean I’m Black Elvis on these n****s I just keep selling over the time and my numbers show up. I haven’t lead anybody down the wrong street or been wrong about pretty much nothing I said. Everything I said was gonna happen in Hip-Hop, in my career and with my label and my nemesis and that group, pretty much happened, so I foresee these things not like I’m psychic but I study Hip-Hop and I know myself and my career and my surroundings and I see things sometimes but I’m not really into crunching numbers no more man. It’s just about making good music for the people and that’s just what I wanna do. That’s what I did do.AllHipHop.com: Is “911 is a Joke/Cop Killer” going to be on the album?The Game: Nah, nah. Nah. Me, once I put a song out I don’t want it to be on the album, ‘cause I have so much songs that I be wanting to put other songs on. Once I get it to people, I don’t need it no more. I wish I could take “Game’s Pain” off the album, replace that with something else dope, you already heard “Game’s Pain” what you want to hear that on the album for? I put “Big Dreams” out.  I didn’t want to put that on the album so I put something else in that slot but “Game’s Pain’s” too big to take off the album. If I could take that off I would but my label won’t let me but I’m just happy at this point in my life man, in my career.I’m exactly where I want to be: 28 years old, I’m further along…I sold more records than Jay-Z did when he was 28. So if you go back to when Jay was 28, and look at me he wasn’t big Jay-Z he is now so maybe when I’m his age maybe, I’ll be in the likes of him or Ice Cube. You know if I wanted to I could add 10 more, 12 more years you know rapping. Dre still rappin’, he still doing his thing, Ice Cube got an album coming out this year so that’s something that I wanted to do I’m pretty sure Hip-Hop would accept me. I’m pretty much set in stone as far as being a legend on the West Coast and as soon as the East Coast and the South embrace my career and take notice to some of the things I’ve accomplished over the last five, six years it’ll be the same way here.AllHipHop.com: Considering all that you’ve been through since before you dropped your first album, if you go back and as yourself now speak to Game back in 2005 what would you tell him?The Game: S**t, he wouldn’t listen. The new Game can’t tell the old Game s**t. I was reckless man, back in the day.  I can still get that way if drawn a certain way left or right but the new Game couldn’t tell Game nothin’ ‘cause the old Game wouldn’t listen, that’s just how it was, I wouldn’t listen to nobody. I wrote my own pass man. I didn’t listen to Jimmy Iovine, I didn’t listen to Jimmy Henchman back in those days, I didn’t listen to nobody I was just doing what I wanted to do. I had a one track mind and it was to destroy G-Unit and I got so wrapped up into that that I was flying out to Connecticut and going by dude’s house and breaking rims and hopping gates and doing all kind of crazy s**t that I don’t regret. The s**t was funny still to the day but you know all of that has grown old to me in my mind so I just focus on making my music the way that I want to.

“I don’t think that nobody in the world could f**k with Biggie. Period.”

AllHipHop.com: With that said obviously you’ve matured but do you think the fans will allow you to do that?The Game: Allow Me?AllHipHop.com: Yeah, let’s say some random rapper says something crazy about Game, they’re going to jump on that, will you leave it alone or be “drawn a certain way” like you said?The Game: There’s not a rapper in the world that I can’t lyrically f**k in the a** so I don’t think nobody really wanna cross that line with me. Once you do, just know it’s a chance you might never be able to feed your kids and your family ‘cause I’mma put your s**t to a dead stop and I don’t care who you are. Some rappers that are huge and are favorite rappers I’ll shoot shots at and they don’t respond. You can say it’s for whatever but everyone knows I got a reckless tongue and once it’s on beat, be ready to be humiliated. I’ll put all your s**t on a table with a f***in white tablecloth so that everybody in the world can see what you’re really about and I don’t mind doing that. People’ll try all the time over the years with the Change of Heart tape, said I was a stripper, all kinds of s**t, 50 tried, none of that s**t worked, I’m still potent, I’m still here. But me, when I get going on my s**t, it’s like it’s like motherf***kin Martin Lawrence meets motherf***in Tookie Williams, you’re just gonna be a joke from that day on. It happened with Joe Buddens, it happened with Memphis Bleek, it happened with Rass Kass, it happened with the whole G-Unit as a squad, a record label and as a motherf***in group. It can happen to you, that’s just it man. Drop it, that’s it.AllHipHop.com: You think you get the respect you deserve?The Game: F**k the respect I deserve. I don’t need respect from nobody except my peers, my homies, my family. I’m not for the world’s respect I can’t knock on every n***a door in the world saying do you respect me, sit there waitin’ there for a n***a to give me his honest opinion, I gotta go and do me. I know that hood n****s across the globe respect me, some don’t but that’s their s**t. Some n****s I don’t respect but if we get to that it won’t be not about music anymore it’d be like about who respect who and that ain’t what we’re doing. We’re doing music.AllHipHop.com: Who’s your top MC ever?The Game: Ever?AllHipHop.com: Ever.The Game: One n***a?AllHipHop.com: If you had to pick one.The Game: I think if I had to pick one MC, that’s a good question and you can’t ask me no s**t I can’t answer. I don’t think that nobody in the world could f**k with Biggie. Period. That’s just it. ‘Cause if you say top MC ever you gotta say a n***a that freestyle and could kill you, a n***a that could put out a song and make your b***h leave you and then f**k him, put out a song that would made hood n****s love him – “Ten Crack Commandments” everybody could relate to. Do songs with anybody and steal their style, inherit their style and make it his, him and Bone Thugs. Two albums to be declared the dopest MC ever and the King of New York when you’ve got Rakim, Kool G Rap, Jay-Z, Nas, all still living – Biggie. And I’m  a Tupac fan, but Tupac made me feel good to be a black man in America, gave me hope, tells me a story that makes me feel like you know what, I can. I can get a job. I can be who I am, I’m a strong Black man. That’s Tupac, gives me inspiration. Biggie makes you strictly feel good – lyricism, take your panties off b***h I’m big fat, black, nasty and I will f**k your b***h in the mouth twenty different ways while you’re watching n***a, that was Biggie. And so you asked me who my all time MC is if I had to pick one, it’s Biggie and if anybody disagree, then I’ll put you in my mixtape.AllHipHop.com: Do you think today’s fans appreciate MCs for the music as far as verses all the other genres?The Game: Who are today’s fans? I’m asking you ‘cause you tell me who. There’s different audiences man. You’ve got these kids right now and they love Lil Wayne, ain’t nobody f***kin with Lil Wayne. He’s a big star right now ‘cause every kid is f***in with Lil Wayne and that’s a lil homie of mines and I appreciate his presence and I love what he do so they appreciate him. He’s my counterpart he exists in Hip-Hop so yeah fans appreciate Lil Wayne. When I come, you got fans that appreciate me, you got Souljah Boy teachin’ little kids how to dance, Souljah Boy is the [equivalent] in Hip-Hop to Kris Kross, I loved Kriss Kross you couldn’t tell me about Rakim when I was ten years old,’cause I was f***in with ABC and Kriss Kross. You couldn’t tell me s**t and I’m sure my uncles and older brothers were like, What the f**k is these little n***as jumpin around doing stupid s**t, they’re f***in up Hip-Hop. We say that about Souljah Boy but we don’t think back we was f***in with Kriss Kross and Malik and Jamal and them n****s. So I mean I think they appreciate Hip-Hop, they’re still listening, there’s still a BET, there’s still MTV, we’re still wearing Hip-Hop gear, hats backwards you still got people putting out albums so Hip-Hop is still appreciated. Just because it takes a little dip or little decline doesn’t mean nothin’. Even the NBA had a lock out season where they only played half, baseball do the same thing. Everything that we enjoy takes a decline, nothing can be steady on just one strand and [at] this height forever, it goes up and down like the stock exchange. Like us, we’re born as babies, we grow to be men and we shrink back as we get older that’s it, that’s life.

“We need to start appreciating our first man, it’s about to be the first black president, that’s f***in’ big.”

AllHipHop.com: When we interviewed you before you mentioned not knowing too much about Barack Obama. Now that he’s going to be the Democratic..The Game: I caught a little flack for that s**t that I said Barack. I’m just hood, I like Barack. I think I’m about to get Barack’s face tatted on my back man. Y’all might can come down for that, it’s gonna be big. Don’t kill our hope like that’s what I’m gonna do –  get Barack whole face. People are gonna say what he do that for but you know I’m just controversial. [Ed. Note: The Game is joking, so don’t run to Illseed like this is fact. Proceed…]But yo, I sat in my room a couple of days ago and started like,..do we really appreciate our first, as young black men and women in America we’re about to have the first black president, like the first black president. Like I mean after John Kennedy got his head popped off for being too n***erish you know what I’m sayin’, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and got popped off in the movies or at the opera or something, whatever he was watching.AllHipHop.com: Yeah you said on “Cop Killer,” “I bet the government got Obama in the scope…”The Game: That’s what I’m saying duck man. But we need to start appreciating our first man, it’s about to be the first black president, that’s f***in big. People 300 years from now gonna think that was big as f**k, they’re gonna think that was huge, the first black president that’s gonna be so big to them but we’re living it and I think that we understand who Barack is and we make more of a joke of it than it actually being serious. This is a serious affair. And everybody do need to get out there and vote, if you can vote you need to vote ‘cause America has it’s way of cheating and if they cheat with McCain then I’m not voting for s**t. If they figure out a way to cheat this dude in who’s obviously gon’ lose man. I was watching this little s**t McCain was saying last night, dude seem like almost on purpose he’s saying the wrong s**t like this dude is saying s**t you would never think a presidential candidate would ever say. Like he ain’t bringing the soldiers home ‘til like 2011, he’s trying to veto beer and all kind of s**t. This dude is nuts man, like what the f**k. Who the f**k is advising this dude, man?  He’s gotta be deaf, dumb and blind and like a midget or something. This dude is trippin man but I’m Barack all the way. I’ve been watching some of the things he was doing and I got on my knees and prayed for him when his last six delegates needed the votes and it’s just it man. It’s about as far in politics as I go ‘cause most of it’s fixed but I definitely wanna see him so you know he got my vote.AllHipHop.com: If this turns out to be your last album what’s the plan?The Game: I plan to raise my sons. That’s it, simple. Live life. AllHipHop.com: You mentioned a tour with you and Weezy is that still a possibility?The Game: We at least talked man ‘cause, he got plans for the summer as far as touring. I got plans, we both think it’d be big to go out together but if the money ain’t there you know, we’re both A-list artists. I know he’s doing his thing, I be doing my thing so you know if it works out I’d love to go on tour with Weezy, if not then best luck to him this summer and I’mma get my money either way.AllHipHop: Overall as far as the album, you’re fine tuning to the very end?The Game: I stole that from Dre. All the way out, I’m fine-tuning ‘til damn near the motherf***ers go to the store. I gotta get all the mixing and mastering I gotta be there ‘cause there’s a certain way I like my album to sound from beginning to the end. I always get albums that go from here to there. So it’s become the best, most enjoyed and the funnest part about recording is the editing. Getting to edit my movie.I always love to be a part of that process. Some people record their songs, throw their s**t together and go away and let people on their own do that but I’m a part of every process. I started to produce records now, got a record, Nas’s first single, that I produced with me and Cool & Dre that’s big, I think it’s the one with Chris Brown if that is his first single. I put hands on the MPC for that along with Cool & Dre. I wrote the hook out for Chris Brown, the bridge and like I’m starting to get in that part of music. So even though I might retire or I’m retiring or I might not come back, I’ll still have my hands in music. I love to fall into the mode of Dr. Dre and get that ill with music and learn to play the piano and these different instruments not just on the MPC but scoring movies and all of that man. So that’s where I see myself going if not being a rap artist.AllHipHop.com: When did you first start dabbling with the production?The Game: I started f***in’ with the production since the Dre days, but that s**t ain’t easy, it takes time and you gotta really focus to do it right. Anyone can touch a MPC and make a wack a** beat but I wanna make beats that are classic. I mean Dre produced with f***in Bono, for Eminem and Tupac and Snoop and still got some of the biggest hits who knows how many records he sold, how many millions of records he sold but I definitely would like to fall into that mode.AllHipHop.com: Anything final you wanna say for the people out there?The Game: Oh s**t, got The California Murder Crew coming. You’ll hear more about that. I don’t need talk about that, it’s gonna be self-explanatory when it hits and rocks the world as usual.AllHipHop.com: One last question, Black Wall Street, what’s the status exactly as far as the members right now?The Game: Black Wall Street is Black Wall Street. When somebody jump up, I hate giving people names and then this person fall off and this person when somebody jump out if ever then you’ll hear about it. Y’all always have s**t first, I don’t know where the f**k y’all be getting s**t ya’ll be putting out first somewhere somehow. It’s like Game just took a s**t, wipe my a**. It’s crazy man but AllHipHop y’all know what it is, Game signing off. Hate me, write your comments, hate me, I love it.

The Game f/ Lil Wayne “Red Magic”

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