The Game: Man or Machine

Game recognized The Game. Dr. Dre signed the Compton neophyte to Aftermath, 50 Cent marketed him as his West Coast G-Unit soldier, and The House That Jimmy Iovine Built, Interscope Records, will distribute his debut album. Not bad company for a fledging rapper. But with all the attention surrounding Game aka Chuck Taylor—whether due to […]

Game recognized The Game. Dr. Dre signed the Compton neophyte to Aftermath, 50 Cent marketed him as his West Coast G-Unit soldier, and The House That Jimmy Iovine Built, Interscope Records, will distribute his debut album. Not bad company for a fledging rapper.

But with all the attention surrounding Game aka Chuck Taylor—whether due to his affiliations or his beefs with other rappers—the former high school basketball star knows his hype will only last as long as the hits score. Never one to bit his tongue, The Game talked to and tacked his old stomping grounds, his Web site, and whether or not he plans to resurrect the West Coast. You’ve been warned. Can you explain the decision to name your album The Documentary rather than n***a Witta Attitude? From my understanding it was due to legal issues, is that true?

The Game: Yeah, we ran into a couple roadblocks trying to clear N.W.A. Eric’s [Easy E] wife, Tomika Wright, and a couple of ownership issues. So pretty much, at the end of the day, I’m not fighting for s**t. It gets to where you lose money and it’s an enduring battle. So it’s like f**k it, let’s change the name. It was real important, but on second thought, I got to get my album out so let’s not let this s**t be the hold up. You have movie coming out with it, too, right?

The Game: Yeah, well, it’s not really a movie. It’s pretty much my life story rolled into about an hour and a half of footage. It’s nothing you’ve seen before. It’s so raw. It’s hood. It’s my life, you know what I’m saying? I walk you through every aspect of my life, basically. We had a listening party at The Hit Factory and we had like writers, DJ’s, artists, a bunch of legal people there. A bunch of people teared up. A lot of people were crying in that motherf**ker. Could you talk about where you grew up, in Cedar Block, Compton? And the gang-culture that permeated within the neighborhood?

The Game: It keeps me grounded, grass rooted. They say never forget where you come from. You can’t never forget where you came from if you never leave. Which is pretty much my mentality. Cedar Block is one of the more bigger blood gangs in Compton. It’s on the West Side. It’s a branch of the West Side Pyrus. Just dealing with that s**t, I went behind my brother and his big homie. When I was younger, my brother, he pretty much was a fixture of the gang s**t. I had different plans. In no way, shape or form, was I trying to follow behind my brother when he was just f**king up. He was like a straight A student, but on the other hand, he would go out and do what he did to get money, but not legally. And that wasn’t my forte.

I pretty much was real athletic. I played basketball. I went to Compton High, which is an all Crip school. ‘Cause I went to Centennial and my basketball s**t didn’t work there, which was the blood school. I got into a bunch of fights and used to get jumped, because they knew I was from the west side of town. But once I started playing basketball, I guess n***as got tired of whupping my ass everyday, and me fighting back, and me bringing my brother in. So I just became regular, like, ‘Yo, there go J.’ And I was outstanding on the basketball court so they pretty much accepted me after the first two years. Eleventh grade, twelfth grade, I was playing ball. Basketball was my s**t. After I graduated high school, I had a scholarship to Washington State. I went there and got kicked out for some drug s**t, some drug violations. Came back and after that I ain’t have nowhere else to run. I pretty much always had a problem with authority—be it teachers, principals, police, whatever—so when I came back I wasn’t going back to school. So I just started running behind my brother. And at that point is when I started banging.

You get a lot of people that say, ‘Oh Game, he wasn’t no banger, I want to high school with him.’ Damn, right. I was trying to get an education, f**king idiot. Until that didn’t work, you know what I’m saying? That’s when I took on gang banging as my new hobby. And then my brother got killed and a whole bunch of other s**t that made me real angry and real rebellious and that’s when I turned into the monster. Do you think, overall, that people have a misperception that you overdo it with your image?

The Game: One of the things about me is that I think is one of my best characteristics is that I don’t give one f**k about what people think about me, man. Which is why I do all the s**t that I do, which people on the outside looking in they think that I’m crazy. They think that I’m crazy, they think that I’m overdoing it. But at the end of the day, who gives a f**k? The only person I care about being a role model to—or doing something right or wrong for—is my son. Anybody outside that box can suck my dick, man. I don’t give a f**k. n***as know me. I’m the mad rapper. I don’t give a s**t about nobody in this whole f**king world except my kid. n***as can suck my dick if they don’t like it. Bottom line. You interact with people on your Web site, right?

The Game: Hell yeah. All the time. What’s your response when someone says that it’s not very gangster to be on the Internet?

The Game: What the f**k? John Gotti had a f**king laptop in his cell before he died. What the f**k does that mean? How many motherf**kers did he kill? Real gangsters, though. That’s all I’m a say about that. I ain’t gangster because I’m on the Internet? When you ask me questions like that it goes back to what I said. I have never ever been jolted or pushed to the side by what people think of me or what people say. I don’t’ give a f**k. I know how the turn the other cheek and do my thing. And obviously it works, because I’m still alive and kicking it. My rap career is about to take off. I’m already a fixture amongst hip-hop artists and I don’t even have an album out. Everybody knows my name, everybody knows my f**king face, I just put my video on BET. My album ain’t even out and I’m on the cover of the next VIBE. So what is it about me? I must be doing something right. So I don’t give a f**k, man. I’m a keep doing me. So what are your plans to bring the West Coast back?

The Game: I never planned to do that. I just set out trying to pursue a rap career that I knew for a fact would work. Because I’m not a rapper, man. My s**t was basketball and gang banging. After I got shot in 2001, I looked for ways to better my life. To better myself. Something that I could do positive so I wouldn’t end up dead or in jail. I tried to do the real estate thing, that didn’t work. I tried to go back to school, but like I said I had a problem with authority, so that didn’t work. And I was just like, Damn, I love hip-hop and I though n***as was wack. So it had to be, like, not that hard. So I tried and s**t worked. What can I say? I recorded a demo and every body liked the s**t. Not only because of my wordplay, because I’m a universal emcee. But before I was an emcee, I was universally inclined to music. I listened to my Doggystyle s**t, I listened to my Chronic, I listened to my Makaveli. And on the same accord, I listened to my Kool G Rap, my Jay, my Big, my Nas and I mix them over here. And that’s why motherf**kers say ‘Well, he sounds like he’s from the East Coast.’ That’s cause I listened to East Coast records. “Well, he spits West Coast s**t.’ That’s cause I f**k with the West. So you mix it all in and you get Game, universal emcee. Let’s talk about Black Wall Street. Did you sign Vita [formerly of Murder Inc.] to your company?

The Game: Yeah, we going through some things with Vita right now and I really won’t speak on it. But she’s a woman that really hasn’t gotten a chance to voice her lyrical skill, because of the downfall of Murder Inc at the time. And as far as Black Wall Street is concerned, that’s my company. Which is black lives America couldn’t kill, we are the street. It’s a company that I founded after I got shot in 2001. And it’s a movement in the early 1900s that was Down South. I did a book report on that when I was in school and I never forgot about it. So when it was time to come up with a name for my company, Black Wall Street was it. What about the rumor going around that you’re gonna sign Charli Baltimore?

The Game: [Laughs] I never heard that one before, man. But f**k it, I’ll sign that b####, too. I’ll sign anybody that I think is pretty decent. What about Vita and her past affiliation with Murder Inc.? The whole G-Unit/Murder Inc. riff?

The Game: That made it more reason to get down with her. She was there. She knows first hand. And she just missed that 50 tongue-lashing. They dropped her off Murder Inc right before 50 ripped a hole in they ass. Which still gave her a lot of life in the rap game. Had she been Charli Baltimore and stuck around for that s**t then she would be dead. And she’s talented, dawg. She write her s**t, that b#### is raw. What’s the status on the beefs you had with Yukmouth, Joe Budden, and Memphis Bleek?

The Game: I answered all them beefs as a new artist. I had beefs with them; they had albums out. I’m a new n***a, suppose to be just a mixtape n***a. I did all those beefs. I deaded them. Ended them n***as’ careers. And who’s the last man standing? Whose albums are the people still waiting for? Mine. They ain’t waiting on no Joe Budden album. They ain’t waiting on no Bleek album. They ain’t waiting on no Yukmouth album. None of them n***as. If I lost those battles, or if motherf**kers thought I wasn’t gangster, then why the f**k is motherf**kers still saying my name? I ain’t beefing with nobody right now. All these n***as out here can suck my dick What makes you such a polarizing figure?

The Game: I don’t give a f**k what nobody thinks. That’s why. It’s whatever with me. And I’m the easiest n***a to get along with. You don’t f**k with me, I don’t f**k with you. If you f**k with me, then I’m a say something. Ain’t no n***a on this planet that I can’t say nothing to if I feel like it. I say what the f**k I feel like. n***as ain’t scaring me. Are you gonna address the Vibe Awards on your album?

The Game: Yeah, me and Doc shed a little light on it. Is that to be sold and not to be told?

The Game: Yeah, that’s to be sold, not to be told.