The Game knows all too well the notion off the survival of the fittest. For Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, survival is all he’s known from the days to selling drugs on the street, to getting shot up, to a highly volatile beef with one of rap’s dominant labels. As he prepares The Doctor’s Advocate for release, Game manages a hostile mind state in a hostile environment called the industry of rap music. While this album may best The Documentary as the favored work, as The Game charges, the public – whether they love or hate him – remains infatuated with his roller coaster-like life. Here, the Compton gangsta rapper careens through the state of affairs from Dr. Dre to G-Unit, on down to the rappers new facial tattoo.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the stupidest question you have been asked today?
The Game: The stupidest question is, “Is this album better than The Documentary?”
AllHipHop.com: Why is that a stupid question?
The Game: Because its stupid – I only grow. You gotta think about Michael Jordan in his rookie year and Michael Jordan when he was winning them rings, man. N***as only get better, man. I ain’t been rapping that long to even fall off. I’m only elevating my lyrics, elevating my mind state. I’ma kill these n***as every time, man. People need to understand and plant that s**t in they head. I ain’t going nowhere.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people might think you’ll have a sophomore slump or something.
The Game: It ain’t gonna happen.
AllHipHop.com: Your last album did over 600,000 in the first week. Are you going to do better than that this time?
The Game: I’ma smash that. I’ma sell a million records – first week. Honestly, tell me one person that f**ks with Hip-Hop that ain’t waiting on The Game’s album at least to hear what I’m gonna say, or what the f**k its gonna be about, or am I dissing this n***a, or could I do it without Dre, could I do it without 50 [Cent]. Those n***as, they want to get the album. Then I got my five times platinum fans that are going to get the album, so I think I’m going to be alright. I’ma move some units. I’m do my numbers and n***as gotta respect it. I know n***as is saying the climate [to sell records] is f**ked up. F**ked up for who? Not me, I’m good.
AllHipHop.com: They say that, but I think its a matter of people making better music
The Game: I mean, what had dropped that’s been quality that you can ride to and say its that s**t? Nothing. The climate is just f**ked up for the n***as that’s f**kin’ the climate up. Put on a coat n***a, its raining.
AllHipHop.com: How was it working with Nas on the Doctor’s Advocate? He’s one of the rappers you used to study
The Game: I want to say, getting in the studio with Nas is probably one of the biggest highlights of my career. Its definitely number one and number two, man. When I got in [the studio] with Nas, I was so f**ked up in the head that this was Nas in the studio. I had met him and passed him in the streets prior to that, you know, but to get in the studio with Nasty Nas? Illmatic? God’s Son? That n***a! The project windows, the ill n***a that wrote Illmatic and “If I Ruled The World” with Lauryn Hill. In the eleventh grade, I was on a school bus going on one of them field trips banging that. When I heard that, the whole bus was rocking. This is that n***a that I was about to record with.
AllHipHop.com: Right, right.
The Game: This n***a heard the beat, the Just Blaze beat, and that n***a wrote a 16 [bar verse]. And he went in and laid that s**t in like five minutes. We spent the next three or four hours just talking about Hip-Hop, and the state of Hip-Hop, and where it was going, and how its shifted. And he gave me props for what I had did, and that I’m a fan. And I couldn’t get past the fact that this n***a was in my studio recording this song – with me. It’s one of my dreams.
I wanted to record a song with all of the n***as I look up to. I conquered Snoop, I got Nas, I got Dre. The only n***a left is Jay. I think Jay [has apprehension] because of what I did to his organization, as far as Bleek and the Young Gunz. I got love for Jay, I’m a fan of Jay so n***as can’t say I won’t say that. I’m a competitive n***a. There’s only one number one spot in Hip-Hop, and I’m competing like the rest of these n***as. Anything [people say] about me beefing with Jay, that s**t is purely false. I got nothing but love for Jay, but its a competition and I’m gonna compete.
AllHipHop.com: Who are you talking about when you said, “You 38 and you still rapping?” [from Its Okay (One Blood)]
The Game: Tony Yayo [of G-Unit].
AllHipHop.com: So that was Tony Yayo and not Jay?
The Game: Nah. Its a not of n***as in the game that’s 38, but I was specifically talking about Tony Yayo. If the shoe fits…
AllHipHop.com: Is it an age thing? You have people you look up to like Ice Cube, Kool G Rap, Rakim, Ice-T that are still rapping. A lot of them are older than even Tony Yayo
The Game: Yeah, but I’m saying – they ain’t 38 though. If you ain’t 38, you good. If you actually 38, that might apply to you. If you 39 or 37, you good. I think when n***as turn 38, you should just not rap that year and come back the next year and do it. [Laugh]
AllHipHop.com: How important is strategy to you with how you address beef? I know you and Jimmy had a specific war strategy with G-Unit and your G-Unot campaign.
The Game: Strategy is all you got. You gotta plan. You gotta analyze all your thoughts, put them down and really figure out a solution, a strategy if you will, to conquer the competition, man. We went to the drawing board and wrote down A, B and C. We didn’t even have to use B or C, because Plan A worked. And, at the end of the day, you check SoundScan, you check the clothing store, you check and see what I’ve done to G-Unit as a whole. And 50, he’ll probably never admit it, but he’s sitting somewhere, that n***a knows what’s up. Lloyd Banks flopped. Don’t try to blame it on the climate [of the music industry]. Last time, he sold 400,000 the first week. I was there for that and this time he comes out and sell 140,000 [his first week], the 40,000 [his second week], then 25. That n***as gone, he’s done with. Yayo sold more than Banks and Yayo flopped. Mobb Deep flopped. They selling the [G-Unit] clothes in Ross [Dress For Less] and these little stores and they probably got their clothes in bodegas and s**t. That’s what I’ve done to these n***as. The shoes, the G-Unit shoes are on sale for like $14.99 at Payless. [Editor’s note: G-Unit shoes are not sold in Payless and typically retail for $50 and over.] I’ve killed these n***as brand, man. Right now, the only person 50 can save is himself, and I’ll sign him to Black Wall Street if he wanna get down.
AllHipHop.com: Now, Dre’s not on the album, but there are some songs that sound similar to him and you sometimes rap in his tone. Was that on purpose or was that more of his influence?
The Game: Nah, that’s just myself. I’m from Compton, man. History repeats itself and its just my time. Everybody had their time, N.W.A. and Dre and all them n***as and when I listen to my records, I sound like Game. My voice, sometimes it sounds like this, sometimes it sounds like that. People appreciate my diverse rhyme scheme. That’s just what it is. At the end of the day, n***as love it. Whatever it is, its me. I’m The Game, and this is what I do.
AllHipHop.com: Can you talk about “The Doctor’s Advocate,” because its a tight song that reveals a lot about your current relationship with Dr. Dre. Its extremely personal with you and Busta Rhymes, as your advisor.
The Game: The Doctor’s Advocate” is me. If I could talk to Dre, and I could write Dre one letter letting him know how I felt about the whole situation about n***as distancing themselves from me at a time when I felt like I needed n***as’ help… and all the beef s**t with 50 and all the things that were going on between The Documentary dropping and me starting the creative process of The Doctor’s Advocate. If I could write one letter and put it on a beat, that is what it would sound like.
That was me “talking” to Dre, and Busta walked into the studio that night, right after Nas, and I asked Busta if he would co-sign what I was saying and he listened to it and he did it.
AllHipHop.com: Are you and Dre on speaking terms?
The Game: I spoke to Dre last week, man. He told me he loved what I’m out here doing and congratulations on a classic album. I did it again, but this time I can say that I didn’t have [Dre and 50 Cent] helping, which is what he wanted me to do. That’s why there were no Dre tracks on this album, because if I was only going to use one Dre track or maybe two, then why not just use none and have the praise for creating a classic without any major help.
AllHipHop.com: This album sounds more West Coast, if you will.
The Game: I think it depends on who you ask, homey. You say it sounds more West Coast, other n***as say it got an East Coast feel. It just depends on who you ask. I just attack each beat as myself, which is The Game. I didn’t listen for it to sound this way or that way. I just make music. I go in and put whatever I feel on the beat and the s**t comes across as classic material. I will not put a song on my album if it is not 100% the best that that beat could have been. I think that’s why my s**t rides through, that’s why you got that feel on The Documentary, that’s why when this s**t drops on November 14, n***as gonna be able to play it from the intro to the outro. That’s what creating an album is all about, that’s what Hip-Hop is all about, that’s what’s lost out here. That’s what n***as don’t do. That’s why n***a is catching them bricks, man.
AllHipHop.com: Nas said Hip-Hop is dead. With people like yourself, is it really dead?
The Game: I don’t really even think that deep into it, man. I’m only concerned with my career. I don’t be watching other n***as, unless its some enemy of mine. I’ma get some laughs out of that. At the end of the day, the n***a 50 said [The Documentary] was only going to go gold in its totality. He said I wouldn’t sell 500,000. That’s the only thing I was out to prove, that this n***a is a god damn crazy muthaf**kin’ idiot if he thinks I’m only gonna move 500,000. I did that in my first week. N***, November 14…that’s Hip-Hop’s new birthday.
AllHipHop.com: What made you cover your butterfly tattoo up?
The Game: I just woke up one day and did it. That’s just how I am. I wake up one day and I wanted to cover it up. I’ll wake up one day and want to cover up the “LA” [tattoo] and n***as will wonder why I put a lemon on my eye. Who gives a f**k. Its my face, man, and, my body and I’ll do what the f**k I want. My grandmother told me you’re only borrowing this costume [body] from God for 70 or 80 years, if you live that long. [She said] you can write on [your body] if you want to. Who care, man. I’ll write whatever on my s**t.