Believe it or not, entertainment is not at the top of the Game's agenda right now. He isn't on tour, he's not filming a movie, and he hasn't officially started recording his third LP. He says he's concentrating on simpler, more important things: being a dad to his son, Harlem, and anticipating the birth of heir number two, King Justice, at the end of this month.
"I'm taking Harlem to karate class every day and getting ready for the birth of King," Game said from his home in California over the weekend, as Friday night rolled into Saturday morning.
However, when it comes to the profession he's most known for — music — Game finds himself in a familiar position: smack-dab in the middle of a gang of controversy. "How the f--- can I stay off MTV News when n---as asking for beef?" he asks on a new underground record called "The Razor." And Game isn't even the one creating most of the controversy.
Young Buck, during his recent press campaign for Buck the World, said he reached out to Game with the intention of ending the long-running beef between G-Unit and its estranged ex-member. Although Buck said he'd extended the olive branch with the blessing of 50 Cent, 50 said the opposite during a recent on-air interview on New York radio station Hot 97. 50 said that although he has no "beef" with Buck, Buck is now "in the same space as Game," and added that fans shouldn't expect to hear him making featured appearances on G-Unit solo records, or going out of his way to promote them: "At this point, they have to do their thing now."
Meanwhile, the son of Game's manager, Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, claims 50 Cent was present when G-Unit's Tony Yayo allegedly threatened and slapped him during a confrontation on a New York street two weeks ago (see "G-Unit's Tony Yayo Arrested — Reportedly For Slapping Game's Manager's Teen Son"). 50, Yayo and their lawyers have denied the teen's reported accusations.
There's also the matter of Game's estranged brother Big Fase 100, who was recently involved in a street confrontation of his own. He brought G-Unit member Spider-Loc — a Crip — into a neighborhood run by Bloods who happen to be close with Game. Fase was knocked to the ground by a punch to the face from one of his brother's friends named White Boy. The footage promptly surfaced on YouTube.
Yep, there's a lot going on. Game touches on all of these situations on the freestyle "Body Bags," a scathing lyrical display that's also the lead cut from his new mixtape YouKnowWhatItIs Vol. 4: The Murda Game Chronicles, which DJs Nu Jerzey Devil and Skee helped put together.
"The Game is on a whole other level right now," Nu Jerzey Devil said emphatically. "His wordplay is so crazy and the flow is bananas! I think all the pressure he's been under definitely made him a stronger MC." Skee chimed in: "Game wanted to set the streets on fire before he takes a little hiatus from the game, literally. He's as hungry as ever."
"[The mixtape has] a lot of freestyles, some beef joints, some unreleased songs, a few remixes — a little bit of everything," Game said. It also features collaborations with Tyrese and remixes of Akon's "Gangsta Bop" and Diddy's "Last Night."
Game definitely has a lot on his mind these days, and in the following exclusive interview with MTV News, he covers a laundry list of issues.
MTV: Last time we talked, you were saying that you were thinking about falling back from making music for awhile. But you have a new mixtape out.
Game: Last time I talked to you, this mixtape was pretty much already in the can. I wasn't even going to put it out 'cause every now and then I do a couple of songs to, you know, polish my skills. But recently I got re-inspired with the whole sh--. The streets was empty, I shot the "Hustlers" video with Nas. Me and Nas been polying [chatting], I talked to Kool G Rap on the phone. I just been feeling real hip-hopped out. I had a conversation with DMX, he was telling me his thoughts on the East Coast and the West Coast and how it used to be. I've just been wrapped up in a lot of hip-hop issues, so I said, "Let me throw the tape out."
Plus, I'm changing my street name: I'm killing Hurricane and I'm just gonna run with the Murda Game. Like I said, I talked to Nas at the "Hustlers" video shoot, and we was talking about his career and where he's been, talking about [Nas' aliases] Escobar and Nasty Nas. And I said, "I had heard some sh-- from back in the day when you was Nasty Nas. It was so raw, uncut, so street." I was like, "I need one of them aliases." He was like, "Well, if I'm Nasty Nas, then you Murda Game because you murder n---as." That's what it is: Out with the Hurricane, in with Murda Game. I got that from a don, man. A king gave me that, so I had to run with it.
MTV: How was the "Hustlers" video shoot?
Game: The "Hustlers" video shoot was dope. You gonna see it real soon. I ain't even got a lot to say about it except it's dope. To be in the same space, same area, even to be a part of the same song as today's hip-hop king, Nas, is real. That's Mr. Illmatic, everybody knows Illmatic — my grandma knows what Illmatic is! To be in Cali shooting that video with Nas, and for him to be as big a big brother as he has [been] to me in my career, was just dope.
MTV: Are you guys going to do a video for your collaboration from Doctor's Advocate, "Why You Hate the Game"?
Game: Yeah, yeah. "Why You Hate the Game" is not definite, but it's supposed to be my next single. If all goes right, we're gonna shoot that in L.A. too. Me and Nas been talking, doing a lot of polying lately. He's one of the n---as in hip-hop that I really f--- with, that I really have a lot of love for outside of hip-hop.
MTV: The first record to hit the streets from YouKnowWhatItIs Vol. 4: The Murda Game Chronicles was "Body Bags," where you got at 50 Cent and the G-Unit (see "Game Slams Yayo, Jabs At 50 In New Dis Track"). You know we have to speak about that.
Game: Yeah, you know, every now and then I gotta dibble and dabble back on the beef side because I love it so much. When I'm beefing with cats, it's a sport to me. I do it for sport because I can. And as far as the beef goes, I gotta be one of the most potent rappers ever, man. I destroy n---as, man. I had to retouch that, clear up a couple of issues. Like I always do when I put out some sh--, it's of catastrophic proportions. ["Body Bags"] ripped up the Internet — it's got everybody talking, people trying to take it off the Internet and all kind of sh--, man.
MTV: I know you haven't been in New York for a minute, but 50 mentioned you in his latest interview on Hot 97, where he talked about Young Buck making peace with you.
Game: I heard that. When I heard that, I had to throw it on the mixtape. 50 saying he's gonna kick Buck off of G-Unit, he's in the same space as I am. I feel bad for Buck because I knew all this was gonna happen, and I tried to tell Buck this a long time ago.
MTV: It's been years since you guys were on the same team (see "50 Drops Game From G-Unit; Shots Fired At Radio Station"), but out of everybody in the Unit, he was the closest to you.
Game: Me and Buck are still good. A lot of people thought in the "Body Bags" song, when I say that line "F--- the whole G-Unit, who lied to Buck?" that I'm dissing him. I'm not dissin' Buck. I meant, why ain't nobody tell him ... why n---as don't keep it real over there [at G-Unit]? Why you don't tell your artists you're not gonna take care of him, that you're self-motivated? I'm just speaking on 50 Cent. All 50 cares about is himself, he don't care about Buck, he don't care about Yayo, he don't care about Banks. He didn't give a f--- about me. [Former G-Unit Records President] Sha Money — him and Sha Money ain't really talking. 50 says they cool, but they ain't really cool. [Note: 50 has said publicly that Sha Money stepped down as president of G-Unit Records in order to concentrate on other areas of the company, such as management.]
I'm just saying, why n---as over there don't keep it real? If you don't f--- with a n---a, just tell him. Let him know instead of making money off of him. I wasn't dissin' Buck — just shedding light on a situation I'm too familiar with.
MTV: You and Buck recently had a conversation where you guys cleared the air. What was that about?
Game: I talked to him over the phone. I let him know where we stand. We always was 100 and we always gonna be 100. If the waves get crossed and the communication lines get cut, we gotta do what we gotta do to stay eating and keep our families alive. If it's beef, it's beef; if it's all love, it's all love. We talked about our past issues and what we can do in the future to make sure we don't cross paths on no enemy note. I think we pretty much got that figured out and wrapped up. But like I said, ain't no beef with Buck. I was talking about the rest of the G-Unit and finishing off my mission to pretty much nip them in the bud — which I've done. All this whole "50 not wanting to work with G-Unit" and him not feeling Buck and him saying he don't wanna do features [on G-Unit records] anymore, it's all me. That's my campaign. Them dudes is down, G-Unit is a wrap. Don't ever expect to hear anything from them in a collaborative effort in your lifetime.
MTV: Let's take it back to Vegas and the NBA All-Star weekend in February. There was an incident — well documented (see "Mixtape Monday: Young Buck Finds 50/Cam Beef Funny; T.I. Backs DJ Drama" and "Mixtape Monday: Young Buck Spoke With Game And Jada, Followed Jim Jones' Lead") — where you and Buck were both at Young Jeezy's party. Buck was onstage and the DJ started playing your music. Buck gets on the mic and tells you to come down. As we all know, you never made it to the stage because security asked you and your people to leave. What was going to happen if you made it to that stage, Game? From looking at the footage, it's hard to tell what you were thinking.
Game: Nah, man. I was going down there to really make sure we wasn't backed into a corner. I was really going to see what it was. If it was some beef sh--, we was gonna address it. If it was gonna be all love, we was gonna address it. But like I said, me and Buck always been 100. I didn't think nothing of it. And I don't think he felt compromised or threatened by our presence. I think the media and club security made it out to be more than what it was.
MTV: Besides the mixtape, your name has been in the media heavy, this time for a situation you had nothing to do with: The son of your manager, Jimmy Henchman, has reportedly accused Tony Yayo of slapping him. First of all, how are Jimmy and his son doing, and what do you think of the situation? You talked about it in "Body Bags."
Game: I ain't got too much to say about that situation. I hope Jimmy's son is all right and I hope [Yayo] gets whatever he deserves from God and whatever else punishment he deserves. Hitting kids ain't cool. But you know, Jimmy is making all the right decisions. That whole thing they're doing with Reverend Al Sharpton, instead of taking it to the streets, I think that's the right way (see "50 Cent Launches Own Investigation Into Tony Yayo Incident"). You gotta take action against cats like that. You can't let anybody get away with that. It's a travesty that he would belittle himself to do that. It's just not cool.
MTV: And video vixen Vida Guerra, man. What's up with that? You two have been going back and forth in interviews since "Wouldn't Get Far" came out. She just did a freestyle on a radio station dissing you, and you have responded with the "I Love It" freestyle.
Game: I just poked fun at her. I didn't make the song about her, but she can't rap worth sh--. I had to get on my old-school, New York, grimy, grimy flow with that. I had to take it back to '92 with the flow. She don't really wanna [challenge] me. She knows I would destroy her.
MTV: That's not even competition.
Game: [He laughs.] No time for the video girls. I heard her rapping and I was like, "This sh-- sounds horrible. Why would she do that?" It's more comedy than anything.
MTV: About your brother, Big Fase 100 — again, the problems that the two of you have been having for the past year-and-change have been well documented. In some interviews you even claim not to have a brother, but in the "Body Bags" freestyle you spoke up for him against Spider-Loc. What made you take it there?
Game: I seen the whole fight on YouTube. I seen Spider — my brother was defending him with my homie White Boy. My brother got into it with White Boy over Spider, and then Spider turned around and sh-- on my brother on the Internet. Even though me and Fase ain't on speaking terms — I haven't talked to him or seen him in a long time — that's still my older brother. So to turn around and see somebody blatantly sh-- on him, I had to speak on it. I haven't spoken to Fase, I might not talk to him ever again, but whether we're talking or not, I'm not gonna let you disrespect my family. That's just it. I'll tell you "f--- you!" before I let you cross my fam, man.
"This story was originally published on 04.09.07 at 01:42 ET."