GAME: Growing Up, Going All Out

Who wants to see Game grow up? Although he’s still lyrically as ferocious as ever, time and maturity have oozed their way into his life. He’s settling down into fatherhood and life outside of his native Compton. As he evolves, the rap superstar can and still draws on his former life in South Central for […]

Who wants to see Game grow up? Although he’s still lyrically as ferocious as ever, time and maturity have oozed their way into his life. He’s settling down into fatherhood and life outside of his native Compton. As he evolves, the rap superstar can and still draws on his former life in South Central for The R.E.D. Album, his fourth solo album.

The opus reunites Game with his mentor Dr. Dre and a colorful cast of characters that includes Lil Wayne, the Neptunes, Jadakiss, Timbaland, Jim Jones and more. The album is proof that things can change and remain the same at the same time. Such is Game. In this interview, Jayceon Terrell Taylor explains his growth, and what he’ll do if his kids want to follow in his colossal footsteps. So Game?

Game: That’s me. Why did you drop the “The”?

Game: Just so one day someone could ask me why, no reason. (laughs) “The” is like Dr. or Mr. It didn’t really mean anything actually, I dropped it because I got tired of people calling me “The Game.” “Hey The Game how you doin?” (laughs) It looked good on paper, but I’m cool, its just Game. What’s not a game is “400 Bars.”

Game: That ain’t a game. Now for someone who is always saying your not beefing with anyone, your always going in on someone.

Game: Who’d I go in on? Oh you didn’t go in on anyone in “400 Bars?”

Game: I mean that’s like a joke now, I just went in on 50 and ‘nem, but at this point its not beef. We did that. I mean we beefed, but now it’s like I can crack a joke. So you think 50 doesn’t care either?

Game: Naw, he probably cares. I’m sure it affects him in some kind of way. So you just do it to antagonize him?

Game: Yea, you know kick him while he’s down. You think 50 is down right now?

Game: Maybe not financially, but in rap, he’s down. I guess its a little ironic considering he was trying to kill your career and all, how did you manage to come out on the other side?

Game: Man people don’t understand, that’s what it started as. He just got mad, he got a little jealous that Dre was working more on my album than on his but I didn’t understand that because I thought we were all in it as one big bang, but he tried to kill me. So you really think that’s what it was, he was jealous?

Game: That’s what it was, I ain’t gonna tell you no lie, that’s what it was. So he came at me and I had to defend myself, my honor, my family and keep milk in the refrigerator as I call it. You know its funny to me some of the people you go at aren’t just random rappers, you go at people who can pull plugs. So what’s your kryptonite Superman, what makes you feel so untouchable?

Game: It ain’t about feeling untouchable, I don’t know it’s just about how I feel after I brush my teeth in the morning I guess. But ain’t nobody pull no plugs, we still here, we still doin it, but you know what it is? People. Like regular, normal, people really like me. Yea, because you talk so much ish and people never know what’s gonna come out of your mouth.

Game: Yea, but I’m sure there’s probably some other reason’s, that ain’t really no reason to like somebody (laughs) but people really genuinely like me cause I’m cool. Let’s go with all the A list rappers that have sold millions I’ve met them all, and I’ve heard about people meeting them all and I’m definitely the coolest. I’m the chillest. I just be chillin. So far, so good you’ve been pretty cool to me. But you’re not cool when your on a record.

Game: That’s not the place to be cool. So how much of it is real and how much of it is just to entice a reaction?

Game: It’s all real. It’s all real. It all can be done. It all can happen. You never know but all it is is just life. Life should be taken seriously, but some people take life too seriously. You gotta chill. What’s gonna happen is what’s gonna happen. We all know that know that from a baby your mom changes your shi**y diapers, then you get older, then you get old and go back to shi*y diapers, then you die, so we know what’s coming. So during the in between just do what you want. I’m not saying break the law and be an outlaw, but I’m saying just have fun with your life. Do what you want to do and that’s what I do, I do what I want. Yes you do. R.E.D.S. What does that mean?

Game: It’s re-dedication. I’m rededicated to my craft, my family, my friends, my music. It’s not a new me, it’s just like reenlisting in the army, you already been there, now its time to go back in and go to war. You know now i wanna go in and do another two year term. Why did you feel like you needed to be rededicated?

Game: Because after The Documentary I toured for years after that and it took so much out of me, it was unexpected. I was so new I didn’t know the obligations were so much and when I used to be at home chopping up whatever I was chopping up, and doing whatever I was doing ,I thought you see a rapper in a video rapping on TV, you get a chain, you get some hoes, you get a car and you just pop some bottles and that’s it. There’s so much more that comes along with it that I didn’t know about and took a part of who I was and it started to affect myself and how I felt about being a father. King wasn’t born yet, but Harlem was and I felt like I wasn’t there for him so I spent the last two albums after that trying to find a chemical balance between the two and I found it. I have to applaud you as a Black man for caring enough to take that time for your sons. How did you go about finding the balance.

Game: I just did it. I started doing less Hip-Hop and more of my kids and I was still getting enough work done to still co-exist with everyone else in this big thing called Hip-Hop. It’s like every time I talk about my son’s my tear ducts start getting all crazy on me because its such a sensitive subject for me my kids and their welfare and the things that I have to do to take care of them until they’re able to take care of themselves, and then beyond that, I just do it. Now that being said, don’t you think that’s being reckless, and I don’t mean to call you reckless, but some of the things you say can be construed as reckless if someone chooses to act on it.

Game: It’s just saying it. Yes, but sometimes people cant handle you just saying something.

Game: Like who? I don’t know, I’m just saying ,you could just walk down the street and say “What up blood” to someone wearing blue and that’s just saying something that might spark a reaction.

Game: I’m not necessarily gonna do that. You might not do that, but having a lifestyle in Hip-Hop that can be perceived as kind of reckless, how do you safeguard your children against that?

Game: Harlem’s 7 and still don’t know I’m a rapper. I asked him my name the other day and he said “Jayceon,” and I said “What’s my other name?” And he said “Game,” and I said “Why you think people call me that?” And he said, “Because you play video games a lot,” and I was like “Cool, he’s safeguarded.” And then my oldest son, Wild child, he definitely knows but his days are the same, it’s like Ground Hog Day, he wakes up and they go to school and I go to work, but my kids are in good hands, they’re protected. So what about when they want to follow in daddy’s footsteps be it banging or rapping?

Game: I’ll do whatever I can to keep my kids away from the negative energy that the earth may provide when we come to it, but until then I ain’t focused on that, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but they’ve lived a totally different lifestyle than I did so they gonna be some fake as gang-bangers cause you ain’t from Compton, you from the Valley dude, I’ll tell em right now (laughs) there ain’t even no gangs where my kids are at, but they’ll be good. They’re not even going to be privy to the things that could render them helpless in those situations like Compton, you open the door and it all right there for me.