It’s no secret that every since Game left Aftermath/G-Unit Records (both subsidiaries of Interscope) for Geffen in 2006, he hasn’t been able to achieve the same commercial success as his rookie year. His G-Unit-assisted debut, The Documentary, sold 586,000 units in its first week, was certified double platinum just two months after its release, and went on to sell over five million copies worldwide. His sophomore and junior efforts, Doctor’s Advocate (2006) and L.A.X. (2008), respectively, sold much less.
Some blame the highly publicized disputes with G-Unit general 50 Cent for tarnishing Game’s image. Others say it was the noticeably absent production from Dr. Dre. Either way, in 2010 things have changed and the Compton rapper has hit the reset button.
Getting back in his mentor’s good graces, Game has reunited with Dre to pull together his upcoming release, The R.E.D. Album, which will be executive produced by Pharrell Williams. XXLMag.com got with the West Coast MC to talk about trading bars with Jay Electronica, twitter beef with Jay Rock and getting back with Dre.
XXLMag.com: What’s going to be different about this album?
Game: Well, overall I just feel like it’s my best work to date. I’ve sold millions of albums; I don’t really have anything to prove to anybody or anything so I’m not looking for that. But I think people will listen to The R.E.D. Album and see all of what I put into it.
XXLMag.com: You have a lot of high profile guests lined up. Who were you most excited to work with?
Game: Justin Timberlake. The song I did with him is probably going to be a single. It was amazing to get a chance to work with him. Jay [Electronica] came through and did a verse at the spur of the moment. We missed getting Nicki [Minaj] on there. Things just didn’t come together for that. I wanted her on there, though.
XXLMag.com: How was it working with Dre and Pharrell in the studio together?
Game: It works well. I worked with Dre on a few songs and Pharrell is the executive producer of the project. He did the bulk of the tracks. Cool & Dre is on there, too. They did “Shake.” You’re gonna get [Swizz Beatz], The Hitboyz, and Timbaland, too.
XXLMag.com: How is it different working in the studio with Dre than Pharrell?
Game: You just work and work and work with Dre. You don’t even know what you’re working on. (Laughs) But he’s a perfectionist and I respect his work ethic. He’s a legend. With Pharrell we laid back, ordering pizzas, chillin’, completely different but we still get shit done because he’s a beast, too. With them having my back, I can’t go wrong.
XXLMag.com: How many songs did Dre produce on this album?
Game: I have no idea. I’m not sure which songs will be on [The R.E.D. Album] yet. We just worked on a gang of shit. Altogether there were like a thousand songs recorded for this album. A thousand! I got songs for days.
XXLMag.com: Yeah, like “400 Bars.” You went at a few people on there, too. What happened to having a drama free 2010?
Game: Aw man the shit I said on “400 Bars” about 50 and G-Unit ain’t even like dissin’ to me. That’s nothing. That just is what it is. People too serious and uptight. Those were just jokes. It’s ongoing with them, though.
XXLMag.com: But didn’t you have Twitter beef with Alchemist and Jay Rock, too?
Game: People just hyping shit up. [Al] know what it is though and with Jay Rock, to be honest, I didn’t even know that that was Jay Rock that had even said the Cube thing. So when I said what I said on the track I wasn’t thinking about him specifically.
XXLMag.com: What do you think about what Cube was saying like, basically that it’s not his responsibility to put anyone on?
Game: I mean, do you think it’s his responsibility? Because I don’t think so. People have to pay their dues. I paid my dues and they gotta do the same. —Brooklyne Gipson