With the release of The Doctor’s Advocate, the Game will continue to be featured all over hip-hop media over the next few months, and mostly every interview is bound to ask the same questions: “What’s up with you and 50? What’s up with Dre? How did it feel snuffing Ras Kass in the face?” But The Doctor’s Advocate is one of the best hip-hop albums of the year, worthy of trying to get inside of with help from the man himself. While he was traveling down the barren highways of Nebraska, the Game (born Jayceon Taylor) took some time do discuss Nas’s presence in the studio, Dr. Dre’s thoughts on the album, and his reaction to the passing of Proof.
How do you feel that your album has leaked before the release date?
The Game: I did that shit. I did the same thing with The Documentary. I leaked it two weeks before that one dropped.
Have you been able to talk with Dr. Dre about the album even though he didn’t produce on it? Did he give you his thoughts on it?
The Game: Yeah, I still talk to Dre. I talked to him and he told me he was lovin’ it. It’s another classic album.
On “Da Shit” you refer to yourself as the “West Coast Rakim.” What did you like most about Rakim as an artist?
The Game: Just his work ethic and all the things he’s done for hip-hop.
What was your favorite Rakim song back in the day?
The Game: Probably “Know the Ledge.”
When you go overseas or to the East Coast and there are people that haven’t been to Compton, what are their impressions of it?
The Game: Everybody loves Compton. It’s a lot bigger than me. It’s because of what Eazy-E and N.W.A. did. Compton is worldwide. It’s one of the dopest hip-hop cities in the world because of N.W.A. and motherfuckers like DJ Quik and Cube and Dre — they held it down. I’m just finishing what they started.
On “Remedy” and other songs, you talk about politics a bit. Are you the kind of guy who gets into all of that?
The Game: I watch CNN, but I ain’t trying to run for president.
One of the songs that really stands out is “Wouldn’t Get Far.”
The Game: That’s my shit, man! Everybody loves that shit. How do you like that song?
I think it’s ridiculous.
The Game: It might be the next single right there. That shit is crazy: I love it. I love it even more now that everyone else loves it. It was one of my favorite songs and motherfuckers were telling me all this, “This album is so graphic, so hard, how can your favorite song be a chick song?” I was like, “Yo, this shit is classic homey. It’s never been done before.”
Did you have the vision of the song in your head before Kanye gave you the beat, or did you hear the beat and then think of it?
The Game: I talked to Kanye about what I wanted and he gave it to me. That’s how Kanye is. The same thing happened with “Dreams.”
Did you originally think of Kanye spiting on the track as well?
The Game: Originally I had him doing the hook and me doing three verses, because if you hear the hook, it’s kind of Kanye’s style. But he heard the song and it was so hard that he wanted to spit a verse, and he left me on the hook, so that’s what it turned out to be.
You said it may be the next single. If so, who would you put on the remix?
The Game: Lil’ Kim or Foxy Brown.
On the next joint, “Scream On ‘Em,” did you get in the studio with Swizz Beats?
The Game: He came to my studio and me and Swizz recorded that song in forty-five minutes at like 4 a.m.
On “One Night” you say, “I should’ve taken Dr. Dre’s advice.” What did he tell you about those kinds of situations?
The Game: He was just telling me that I can’t please everybody from the hood and I’m not gonna be able to stay there for long. I thought that my existence is in the hood and I would be able to live there forever, but that shit just wasn’t a reality after a couple of years. People just started turning on me and I started seeing the snakes in the grass, so I wrote a song about it. “One Night” tells the tale.
You got Busta on “Doctor’s Advocate,” can you talk a bit more about the first time you met Busta and some of the things he’s told you when you’ve spoken?
The Game: The first time I met Busta, Dre wanted me to spit for him, and we got into a battle and I beat him. I gave Busta a hundred bars the first time I met him. Ask him: He’ll tell you. He might tell you he beat me, but it’s all good. Busta’s my big brother in this shit. I love him to death.
“Old English” is a good change of pace track, and you also talk about your basketball life. Just how nasty were you on the court growing up in Compton with Baron Davis?
The Game: I had game man. You ask any of those cats and they’ll let you know. I still have game.
And you had a scholarship to Washington State?
The Game: Yeah.
Was college not the right place for you, were there other things you wanted to do at the time?
The Game: Man, I wanted to sell drugs. I was an idiot and it deflated my hoop dreams, so I had to come back home and make the best of my situation.
And Baron Davis is the godfather to your son?
The Game: Correct.
How often do you talk to him during the season?
The Game: I talk to him all the time, but as far as kicking it, he’s playing and I’m moving so it’s hard.
On “California Vacation,” not only do you have Xzibit, but also Snoop Dogg. Back in the ’90s after Doggystyle, people thought that Snoop and Dre weren’t as close, similar to how some people see you and Dre now. Did Snoop talk to you at all about peoples’ perception about relationships with Dre?
The Game: Snoop gives me a lot of advice. It’s never really that specific, but it helps a lot. Snoop’s done a lot of things for me, keeping my mind right through all these beefs, and through all that shit I’ve been going through, he’s been there. Snoop’s like a big brother to me, and I have a lot of love for him.
On “Bang” you touch on it a bit, but what’s your impression of kids in the suburbs wearing colors and not knowing the whole meaning behind it?
The Game: I don’t like it. That’s why I wrote a song about it and got Dogg Pound to co-sign it. I been down with DPG since they made up that name.
When you recorded the last track, “Why You Hate the Game?,” was Nas in the studio with you?
The Game: Yep. That was the first song I recorded off of Doctor’s Advocate.
How long did it take you and Nas to put it down?
The Game: An hour.
What was the vibe like in the studio with Esco?
The Game: Fucking crazy. I couldn’t stop staring at him while he’s writing and laying his verses. I was like, “Yo, this is Nas! The shit is nuts!” I couldn’t believe that I was in there with Nas. He was so cool. He wrote his verse, laid it, and then we talked for hours after that. But it only took us an hour to finish that song.
One of the deepest lyrics you have on there is when you talk about Proof. It’s sad how that went down. Since then, have you talked with any of his family members or anyone in D-12?
The Game: I haven’t talked with anyone except Danaun [Kon Artis] from D-12.
What were your feelings when you first heard about it?
The Game: I was fucked up, man. Anytime you meet somebody and you talk to him and sit down and have conversations with him for hours, and you meet him, and you go in the studio and smoke blunts with him, drink with him, and they pass, it’s fucked up.