Game Happy to Sell One ‘R.E.D. Album,’ Talks ‘WTT’ + More
Two years after he announced its release, rapper Game‘s ‘The R.E.D. Album’ has officially made its way to stores. In putting the project together, the West Coast MC found himself involved in one controversy after another, including a very public battle with his label, Interscope Records, which he says remains a “love/hate” relationship. After too many pushbacks, last year, he decided to take matters into his own hands by dropping the ‘Purp & Patron’ mixtape. The release was not only the toast of the ‘Net but helped the label take notice of his popularity, and lock in an official release date for his fourth studio album.
In the weeks leading up to the album’s debut today (Aug. 23), Game has been in the news for everything from allegedly re-igniting his feud with Jay-Z via the track ‘Uncle Otis’ to nearly shutting down the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department phone lines, after a friend used his Twitter account to post their hotline number. While he has cleared up the latter “mishap,” the growth of Game’s career has proven his strength in the social media sector. Back in 2004, when his debut LP, ‘The Documentary’ dropped, the Compton, Calif. native, born Jayceon Taylor, took the music industry by storm, emerging as a rhymer hailing from a region that had been led mostly by the likes of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg.
Throughout his career, Game has been nothing if not out-spoken. His affiliation with both the Crips and Bloods street gangs has remained an unapologetic part of his image, and the cover of ‘The R.E.D. Album’ only pays further homage to his roots. Yet behind closed doors, the father of three is more focused on spending time with his children than promoting gang activity. In the throes of a hectic promotional schedule, The BoomBox grabbed some time with the 31-year-old to talk about his previously leaked songs, Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj’s beef and why he thinks ‘Watch the Throne’ doesn’t live up to the hype.
A lot of the songs off ‘The R.E.D. Album’ have already leaked. How does that make you feel?
It’s cool because all of my albums leak, like two or three weeks before. ‘The Documentary’ was out two weeks ahead, and the ‘Doctor’s Advocate’ two weeks ahead, and ‘LAX’ almost a damn month, which halted its sales but I don’t really care. You can expect the leaks, once it hits the press you know somebody is going to put it out.
Do you think that will help or hinder your sales, and is there a specific sales number that you have in mind that you would be happy with?
I don’t know but I don’t think I care either; I’ll just sell whatever I sell. I won’t know why I did this much, or why I didn’t sell what I sold. I appreciate every album sale that I get, and I don’t really care about leaks. If people got to download it then go ahead and do what you gotta do. I can’t knock on everyone’s door and tell them what not to do. If I sell one album, I’m great, and you know who I’mma sell it to? You [laughs]!
Is there one song that you know will be a hit across the board?
‘Martians vs. Goblins’ featuring Weezy [Lil Wayne] and Tyler, the Creator. I just think that that’s a dope song. Tyler, the Creator is dope as f—, and Weezy, even though he did a small part, it’s so major as far as the song is concerned, it’s crazy. It’s basically me and Weezy used to be martians. Weezy has a line in his song [‘A Milli’] “What’s a goon to a goblin?” so I’m like, damn, Weezy went from being a martian to a goblin. Tyler released an album called ‘Goblin’ so I thought it would be dope to call it ‘Martians vs. Goblins’ to sort of have that little mash-up of us three on the song.
You have a song on the album called ‘Good Girls Go Bad.’ Why did you want to dedicate that track to the father of missing teenager Natalie Holloway?
I say a line in the beginning paying homage to her father and his feelings. When I saw him on CNN one night, it had actually happened to be Father’s Day, so I just started the song off like that. Specifically because that’s a situation that sort of rendered that family helpless. I got a daughter and, at that time my daughter wasn’t born, but if anything like that ever happened I would never come back to sanity.
On that same track you also urge Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj to squash their beef. Why is that?
Because I think that Lil’ Kim was golden in her time and I think that Nicki Minaj is the re-birth of Kim and I don’t think they should be fighting. Kim is a legend and should be respected and Nicki is dope as f— and she’s going to end up being the best female rap vocalist ever. I thought it [the beef] was just nonsense.
You’ve been in the news recently for causing your Twitter followers to jam the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department phone lines. Was there ever a point where you were scared of the repercussions?
I was a little nervous when they said they were going to be pressing charges over a tweet. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if I was going to be doing 25 years or not! I had to get real serious for a minute.
Why did you want to clear the situation with CNN versus, let’s say AOL? And what do you say to people who think it was a publicity stunt?
That’s because you didn’t call! I would’ve spoken to ya’ll first. Next time make sure you’re on your journalism [laughs]. It definitely wasn’t no publicity stunt. If I’m going to do a publicity stunt it definitely doesn’t involve the police.
I thought that I wanted to kill the [‘Otis’] beat but the beat wasn’t out, so I felt like doing ‘Uncle Otis.’ I don’t know what inspired me to do it. Me and my homies were just in the studio and I did it. Once I completed the song, it was funny and I threw it out.
Do you think that ‘Watch the Throne’ was over-hyped, and would you ever consider doing a collaborative album in the same lane?
It’s a good album. It ain’t a classic album. I definitely think it’s overrhyped, that’s why I don’t know what everybody is mad at me for! I definitely don’t look forward to collaborating with anybody on an album, but I mean, who knows, one day in the future I could.
Let’s pretend it’s Wed., Aug. 24, one day after your album drops. What’s the first thing you’re going to do?
I’m going to yawn and stretch out after all this press I’ve had to do! Then I’mma get with my kids, then I’mma go on tour. Right now, I’m just chillin’. I’ll let my management and all that hook it up. My fans are gonna pick my next single. I’ll wait, and once everybody gravitates to a certain track, then weíll shoot a video for it.