The Game has had enough rap beefs, legal beefs and inner-crew beefs to feed a homeless shelter. Now, the rapper says his thugged-out modus operandi has changed for the positive and hes tattooed a butterfly on his right cheek to represent that dramatic transformation. Across from the new symbol is a tattooed tear, an older sign, which embodies a number of negatives depending on what hood you hail from. Nevertheless, The Game talked to AllHipHop.com about his new tat and the update on everything from G-Unit to Mya to his next CD. He even reminded us of what he says happened in D.C.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the deal with the new butterfly tattoo on your face and the tears?
Game: Man, it just represents new life. I got the teardrop on some bad s**t, stupid s**t dont even gotta go there but its new life, man. After the shooting and s**t, and Hot 97, and all that, donatin money to the kids, [and] my son’s birthday. And then I felt like, if in 2001 after I woke up out the coma and s**t; if a n***a wouldnt a made it, if I [wouldve] died, I wouldnt have—you know what Im saying? Like, the Hip-Hop world, wouldnt know Game, man. [There] wouldnt be my son, he wouldnt be alive, it wouldnt be nothin, man. So, its all about new life. I know mothaf**kers is questionin my ethics on the tattoo, cause, yknow, the s**t is a butterfly on my cheek, but, yknow, you gotta know what it mean.
AllHipHop.com: Right, a butterfly is the evolution of the caterpillar.
Game: My grandmother passed away, like right after High School. She always [encouraged me] to write poems and s**t. And, you know, I had this one poem I had, one poem that she gave me, and it was something that my pops had wrote a long time ago and s**t, and it was about a butterfly. It was a poem that my pops wrote to my grandmother, so I stumbled upon this s**t, I felt obligated, and what my pops is sayin, you know how a butterfly is the symbol of new life, a new beginning. Im just tryin to live, man. I just wanna live to see my son [grow]. But at the same time, man, Im not no follower, Im a leader. I aint a soldier, Im a general, so Im gonna leave it at that, man.
Game: But I dont want nobody to think, uh, that Im less gangsta or nothin, because you know that Ill break [their] f**kin face in half. [pause] Im not tryin to get disrespectful. Im just sayin that Im shyin away from all that. Im tryin to watch my steps, watch the things that I say, monitor the things that I do so that I dont have the repercussions that Ive had – $280 million, when I aint put one hand on the dude, and, yknow, the whole Hot 97 s**t, with my homeboy gettin shot, [and] I got shot in the leg. I believe in God, man, and I need to be a little bit more thankful, man, cause a lotta people that aint here. Theres about a hundred thousand people that didnt wake up with us this mornin, man, and, thats my reality man. So its all about new life and new beginning. Uh, Im goin into my new project, workin on my new record, O.G. on it.
AllHipHop.com: So do you have any regrets about the line about the Washington D.C. incident in the Hate it or Love it remix?
Game: Man, Im gonna tell AllHipHop.com I wasnt talking about that D.C. incident. I said, Dont make me remind yall what happened in D.C. I didnt say Dont make me remind yall of when the radio DJ, somebody whipped his ass downstairs while I was upstairs doing a radio interview. Dont make me remind yall what happened in D.C. I was talkin about The Million Man March.
Game: I couldve been talkin bout the D.C. sniper. I wasnt talkin bout [DJ Zxulu]. So, you know, I wanna straighten it all up right here, man, and say—dude suing me for $285 million, and Im about $275 million short and I ain’t even put a hand on that dude, you know what Im sayin?
AllHipHop.com: Right. [Laughter] Yeah.
Game: And I ain’t even put a hand on that dude, you know what Im sayin? I aint touch that dude, dude. When I was upstairs, they talkin about people downstairs fightin, my security rushed me right out the studio, dude. I never even saw the dude. Tell em to show a tape of me, of me touchin him. Its just I was in the buildin, the biggest name in the buildin, so of course they gonna say it was me. I dont know who touched that dude.
AllHipHop.com: On some gossip, can you tell us anything about you and Mya?
Game: F**k that question, man. You can take it and run with it.
AllHipHop.com: Youve mentioned her in the lyrics a few times.
Game: I mean, whatever you probably would guess, you would probably be right, so, yknow, take your imagination and let it wander. Maybe one day youll find out the answers, but not today, baby.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about that next record.
Game: We just opened the budget on my next album. I aint gonna go into details. Im back in the studio. [The] albumll be out same time next year, first quarter or, like, early second. Thats whats up. Its the Black Wall Street Records now, y’know what I’m sayin’? Shady is in the house, and, yknow, even though I parted my ways with G-Unit, I aint got no—I aint even mad at 50, I aint mad at Banks, I aint mad at Buck, I aint mad at Yayo, man. They can do they thing, and Im gonna continue to do mines. Im the Los Angeles King, yknow – love it. [The] underdogs on top, man. Im, I aint goin nowhere in this s**t. So niggas better stop hatin on me and pay homage, pay their respect, cause Im gonna be here, and Im gonna be a legend before Im gone, man. I brought the whole West Coast back by my motherf**kin self.
Game: I aint takin nothing away from the other West Coast artists or nobody, no other artist, but Im sayin, when the West Coast was dry, I brought it back to the bright lights, to the mainstream, to the MTV, BET level, and Im gonna hold it down. In 2006, Im gonna do it again, man.
AllHipHop.com: Can you reflect on the beefs in your short career?
Game: Half of them dudes aint even on my level. The beef with 50 is pretty much squashed. Thats a dead issue. Were on the same label, its a conflict of interest. [And we] both work with and need Dr. Dre. So we dont never gotta speak again, [but] I dont got no beef with dude. Let dudes live.
AllHipHop.com: What about The Source insider expose, whats your reaction to that? Somebody in your own crew did a full interview with the other side.
Game: Somebody ratted me out, and I dont know who did it. Im just gonna get to the bottom of that, like Im startin to get to the bottom of who fought the dude in D.C. It was somebody, I dont know who it was, but I gotta couple ideas, man, but I wont say no names, so that way I dont incriminate myself. But I thank The Source for puttin me in there. I said, F**k The Source, like, three times on my album, and still got the cover, man, so like I said, no hard feelins with them either, man. I still gotta ride with [Dre], man. But I gotta put the bulls**t in my past. My album been out for three months. I think I done had more magazine covers than, than 99% of the Hip-Hop artists in the game right now. And like I said, even with them, man, no beef, man. Its a new life.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think people underestimated you? I certainly didnt expect Documentary to go where it went. Plus, people are still crediting 50 for his role in things.
Game: Yeah, what I wanna say [something] about that is I never said 50 didnt donate [or] contribute to my album, cause the n***a did. He contributed to my album, just like I contributed to Bucks, or the way I contributed to the G-Unit album.
Game: Its just like Eminem and Dr. Dre contributed to Get Rich or Die Trying. How many albums do you think 50 wouldve sold if it wasnt for the Shady or the Aftermath? Im not saying hes not a good rapper. The n***as talented, hes a dope MC. Do Eminem or Dre go to the radio and say, Oh 50 owes us everything? They didnt say that. So Im not saying he didnt contribute, he did contribute, along with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Scott Storch.
AllHipHop.com: So looking at Black Wall Street, is it true youve signed Charli Baltimore? We know youre working with Vita.
Game: Aw man. All Im gonna say is that I got my label. Im not 100% sure its gonna fall under Aftermath/Interscope. Im working with a lot of artists, but I cant [confirm that]. I dont wanna show nobody no false hopes or none of that. I do have a group called Khakis and Chucks [though]. And when you find out [who they are], its gonna amaze you.
AllHipHop.com: So its some notable people that weve heard of?
Game: Yeah, but aint never had an album out or nothin like that, so youll see. Im sellin everything, man. Wall Street Black toilet paper, wipe ya ass, Black! That way you cant be embarrassed by your s**t stains—some s**t like that.