They said he was dead. The overly critical hip-hop fans had pronounced Jayceon Taylor dead. The man, who delivered classical opuses such as the infectious 2005 smash, "How We Do" featuring friend-turned-foe 50 Cent, and the 2008 soul touching "My Life" featuring the indomitable Weezy F Baby, was being shunned by the fans of hip-hop.
With his long awaited fourth album, entitled The R.E.D. Album, on chill and without a release date, many thought it was safe to say -- with no pun intended -- that was it game over for Jayceon. Then earlier this year, Game promised his fans he would remerge with his new mixtape, titled Purp & Patron. Little did he knew, this mixtape woke up the masses, and also reminded skeptics that he never fell off. That the man who dubbed himself the savior of Cali, was simply on a Gatorade break, testing the grips on his shoes and waiting for his number to be called.
With Purp & Patron -- and The Hangover follow-up, released a day after this interview -- serving as his wake up call to the fans, Game is now lock and loaded, and focused on releasing his album.
Ballerstatus was fortunate to sit down and talk to Game about this latest mixtape, the fair-weathered fans, fatherhood, acting, and his first trip to New York. It's game on.
BallerStatus.com: Describe the overall reception you've been receiving for the Purp & Patron mixtape?
Game: It feels good man. I'm just surprised that everybody has been f***ing with the tape like that man. But I don't know man; I kind of put the sh** together out kind of fast. It took me like two weeks. I got Skee and Funk Flex on board. I mean, Skee was already on board. Funk Flex heard we were doing the tape. He called me like, "Yo Game. I gotta be apart of this man." I didn't expect this to spread like wildfire man, but it did.
BallerStatus.com: You did this in two weeks? So you're telling me you did 29 tracks over a two-week span?
Game: Yeah, I mean, nah. I mean, I did all them tracks the first week. The second week, I started putting things together man. Then I had to contact the producers. Most of them sh**s were like original beats. I got in touch with all of the producers -- who most of them were my homies -- and let them know if they wanted to put the sh** out on tape. Most of these n****s were like "Hell yeah". So we got it in man.
BallerStatus.com: Honestly speaking, did someone get you mad, or just start talking garbage, because you ... with this mixtape ... you definitely woke a lot of people up who had originally thought you fell off?
Game: It's like this man. You heard the tape Carl?
BallerStatus.com: Yeah I heard the tape.
Game: Let's say if I just put out "Children Story" by itself. N****s would say "Ahhh, that sh** is wack. That dude Game fell off." But if I put "RIP" out by itself, n****s gonna be like "Oh, this n**** is rapping different." But when I put out a conglomerate of sh**, when it's all different and it makes sense, n****s gonna be like, "Oh. This sh** is crazy."
What it is is that now, I be at home playing dad. And then, I be in the studio trying to finish The R.E.D Album. Or then, I be at basketball practice, or baseball practice. You know, I just had a daughter man, so, you know, I don't be trippin' off putting a lot of music out. Mostly it's like, "Yo where Game at? Oh he fell off." Man I ain't fall off man. I live in a f***ing mansion. I got Lamborghinis. It's just n****s don't see my life. So sometimes I gotta smack n****s in their f***ing face, and let them know who it is.
I just threw everything together, and made sure my verses were tight on everything. I called on Fab, Weezy, and Birdman. Man, I had everybody on the tape man. I had T-Pain. N****s just came, and gave me sh**.
BallerStatus.com: Funny thing is I remember when you first put out the "I'ma King" record. I was reading the comments, and people said it was wack. Then, when the mixtape dropped, people's frowns turned upside down. How do you deal with the constant hypocrites, and fair weather fans?
Game: Ay man. You know what? I love em'. You know why man? It's because I'm the same way. You're the same way. You know you heard a song, and you're like "I don't know about this one." I was the same way about Drake's "Over". I was like, "Damn. What is this? This ain't what I expect. I thought he was going to come off on like that sh** he had with Timbaland or that sh** he had on the tape." I wasn't really feeling it like that. Then, a week later n****, I'm in the club, and I know all the words and sh**. That's how it goes man. I don't hate anybody for that man. Everybody is entitled to their opinion man. I love it positive or negative.
BallerStatus.com: Let's talk about the features. How are you able be get all these features while in the past -- it's been well documented -- that you were on the opposing end against two of the biggest rappers in the game in Jay-Z and 50 Cent?
Game: Man I ain't tryna sh** on anybody else now. I keep it the most 100 all away around the board, period. This ain't a shot at nobody, but I don't think nobody is as down to earth or as real as me. It's like no holds barred for me man. I'm just like a regular n****, but just not a regular n****. So motherf***er's f*** with me.
BallerStatus.com: What inspired you to round up all the old school legends for the "History" track featuring Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, and KRS-One?
Game: I was in the studio, and I wanna say Doug E. Fresh had a show at the House of Blues. I had just left KRS-One and I think Kane was at the House of Blues too. I had a n**** named Dougie D, who was cool with all them old school n****s, called Doug E and told him I was in the studio. He said he was coming, so I called KRS-One, and told him to come since I knew Doug E was on the way. When Doug E came, he brought Big Daddy Kane. So I'm like, "Sh** can we do some work?" I had my dude make a beat on the spot, and that was history. That's why we called it "History."
BallerStatus.com: Last time I spoke to you, you said you and Nas were going to something together. What happened?
Game: You know what's the funny thing? You know Nas went through the whole Kelis thing, and he been going through some sh**. He was staying low. Then he put the album out that he had with Damien Marley out. He had to tour that. But, when I dropped the tape, I got a f***ing text from a 917 number. I was like, "Who the f*** is this?" I open the text up, and all it says is "N****. It's Esco. The tape is crazy son. 'The Kill' -- crazy son." Then I replied to the n**** like "Yo yo yo yo." Then the n**** disappeared on me (laughs). He's like phantom my n**** (laughs). He just came in to say that "The Kill" and the tape was crazy, then that n**** went on and away.
But I love him for sh** like that man. Then he hit me back the next day, and said he was getting on a plane that's why he ain't respond. Then he hit me back the next day and said he'd be in LA in a week. He said he was going to come and listen to all my songs, give me his whole input on the album, then find a song right for us, and he's going to do it. Hopefully that sees the light of day, because n**** this f***ing album [R.E.D. Album] is nothing short of a miracle man.
BallerStatus.com: I know you've been putting a lot of time to it.
Game: Man, every time the sh** gets pushed back -- I go on tour or the label goes through some sh**, and I get the pushback -- it gives me more time to perfect my sh**. But right now, what I'm sitting on right now -- man, I went to the label and played some sh** the other day. It f***ed everybody's head up. They can't believe it. From the Premo track, to the Dre tracks, to Swizz, to getting it in with Just Blaze, to about to see Kanye in a week, from like the Cool & Dre. This sh** is over with man.
BallerStatus.com: With everything you've been doing, and constantly altering the material, why stay put on The R.E.D. Album as the official name?
Game: Nah man, 'cause people waiting on the R.E.D Album. It's red man. I gotta do it man. Everybody waiting on The R.E.D. Album man. I can't change the sh** now man. It's too late. Plus I wouldn't because The R.E.D. Album is just me rededicating myself to my craft, to my people, to my family. It's just a rededication to who I am man. I'm going to get it all out on this album man. When you get the album man, hit me up man. Just let me know sh** I was right.
BallerStatus.com: Oh yeah definitely. Back to the mixtape, On the "Ferrari Lifestyle" track with Fabolous, I remember you had a line talking about catching a cab with Fab. I'm trying to remember the exact line...
Game: (Raps) Me and Fab was catching cabs. Yeahhh. He was getting off bags off Nostrand Ave. (laughs) Yeah that was back in the day. That was when he first dropped on the Clue tapes, and that's when Lil Mo had the "Superman" sh**. That was them days when I was f***ing with Fab. I used to be everywhere man.
BallerStatus.com: Which rapper from New York showed you the most love when you were coming up?
Game: Capo (Jim Jones) and Fab. The first time I ever been to New York, Jim Jones picked me up from the airport, and took me to the hotel. Then when it was time to go to the studio, Kiss (Jadakiss) picked me up from the hotel and took me to the studio. Then Kiss dropped me off, and took me to Brooklyn to meet up with Fab. Like them is my n****s man.
BallerStatus.com: You know what's crazy. Just the other day I remember watching "Belly 2" on BET. What's going on with you and the acting?
Game: Yeah man that sh** be on all the time. Chicks be on all on my Twitter with that sh** (laughs). But I think after The R.E.D. Album does what it does, I think then I'll return back to the acting sh**. I just haven't really had time to go through the screen test, and read the scripts. I've been real heavy on my daddy sh**. Three kids is crazy man. Especially with them all being in different age groups. Harlem had some shit this week. King goes to a little Christian school. So he always be having chapel. My daughter be needing me. So I be doing that. So after this album, I'm going to have a tighter grip on the acting side.
BallerStatus.com: You just touched on the topic fatherhood. Have your experiences as a father made you want to get even deeper with your audience through your music?
Game: Yeah. I've done a wonderful job of letting people know who I am, and what I'm about as for fatherhood, and my kids. I love them to death man. I think even that there inspires the n****s listening to be better fathers. I know for sure that I've at least touched a couple hundred thousand niggas at one time or another, and helped them make better changes as for being a father. My kids are instrumental in everything I do. They're the key to my motivation, and when I go to the studio. But as far as my bars, I'm just ill right now. I'm in a super zone, and I'm killing shit. When you hear the album, you're going to be like, "How can a n**** from Compton be doing something so colorful?" This album is crazy man.