It’s like 14 degrees and windy right now. A light flurry outside. My ears were freezing.
Now, I grew up in New Jersey, but L.A. weather was my warm blanket for a long time before I returned to the Great East this year. This is my first winter in a long while.
California is definitely on the brain.
L.A. sunshine, all the time. I wish.
**Update: Just caught this Donald Duck short. Funny how he deals with the weather.
Below, another one of my throw-away transcripts from my early days as a rap journalist/blogger. Shouts to John Gotty. This one is from sometime around 11/05/06. I may have posted it before, but this is the raw uncut phone interview I did with the Game. One of those marathon digital marketing promo days for the rapper. He was sitting somewhere waiting to talk to another internet sucker. My only coup was asking him Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets? It was a fan submitted question through the smokingsection.net. Us nerds thought we were being funny. Game answered it as if it was a routine pregunta. The whole thing doesn’t seem as funny any more.
Maybe I’m just hatin because I can’t sit by my pool in Glendale and soak up rays. All until some more of that Dr. Dre money comes rolling in.
Phone Interview with rapper the Game [November 2006]
GAME: What up nigga.
TSS: Hey, what it do, man? This Game?
GAME: Nah…it’s Banks.
TSS: This who?
GAME: Lloyd Banks.
TSS: Ahha..What up Banks? What you did this quarter? You break 400,000 in sales?
GAME: One-hundred and forty thousand, man. You know what I’m saying.
TSS: Yeah, they said that was a good debut. What’s going on with you, man? You think you gonna crack a 1 Million in your first week?
GAME: Yeah, that’s easy. That shit is like jump-roping to a 13-year-old little girl.
TSS: You know who they say was the last cat who broke a million his first week?
TSS: Ya homie.
GAME: Who was that?
TSS: They say Massacre was the last CD to break a million it’s first week.
GAME: Oh yeah, yeah. I’m a top that.
TSS: What went down in the England with the S.L.A.S.H TV crew?
GAME: Them niggas was all on my dick inside the radio station. “Game, you’re the best,” and this and that and this shit. And then I see them try to flip it outside. I don’t know what the fuck they was trying to do. So I just told my niggas to take the camera and when I said that, niggas didn’t want to give up the camera, so my homie went and tried and take the camera. The nigga with the camera ran and the other niggas tried to, you know…a couple of heads had to roll. They tried to do some little shit and put it on Youtube. I already knew that. I felt it in my mind that it was going like that, and they did exactly what I thought they was going to do; but they got they ass whipped for it.
TSS: Seems like you get a lot of pressure from people. Like how Hood Surgeon came at you.
GAME: Man, I just seen that nigga a couple of weeks ago. It’s all good with him, man. That’s Dre son. So, Dre son, Eazy son man them niggas is good with me. I don’t want no war with them niggas, let them do they thang.
TSS: You’ve done a lot of solid tracks with Kanye, can you explain that musical relationship.
GAME: Kanye is a dope nigga. Every Time I get with Kanye, it’s gonna be some catastrophic shit going on, man. It’s always going to be a hit when you put a dope MC in with a dope producer, and he’s also a dope MC, a lot of good insight and a lot of good ideas come through that. It’s gonna always be classic, homie.
TSS: How have you grown as a person and an artist?
GAME: I grow everyday. Everyday I wake up I learn something new. There’s always another life lesson taught to me, man. I keep my eyes wide open so I can learn and also soak in a lot of game from old heads around me, whether it be my homies or legends in the rap game. Every album you’re gonna see growth. Any nigga that ain’t growing there’s something wrong with him.
TSS: So, you produced this last album?
GAME: Executive produced by the Game, man.
TSS: Dre seems to have that effect on people, like Daz for instance.
GAME: I’ve been around Dre for five years and I done soaked up game and I know how to do that shit right. I know how to make classic albums and you gonna see that shit come across on all my albums, as well as the artists I’m working with. Developing artists and all that shit I got from Dre. And that’s just him tutoring me and him being my mentor. And me listening and respecting what he does. I had time to spend with that man.
TSS: Do you prefer sampled beats, or original compositions?
GAME: Originally composed, because those are the ones you ain’t gotta pay for.
TSS: Can you tell me about your artist Ya Boy?
GAME: Yeah, that’s my nigga from San Francisco. Look for that nigga, he’s up-and-coming.
TSS: Is he the next in line from Black Wallstreet?
GAME: Nah, Juice is next.
TSS: Juice outta Arizona?
TSS: Not to be confused with the freestyler Juice, right?
GAME: I don’t know who that is.
TSS: Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets?
GAME: Man, cuz Jada is Yonkers. That nigga is real, man. Jada been puttin it down, man, and always been one of my favorite MCs. That nigga raw gutter. Kept it 100. Still keep it 100. I respect Jadakiss, real recognize real.
TSS: You’ve compared yourself to Malcolm X, MLK and Nelson Mandela in relationship to your commitment to hiphop. Can you explain that?
GAME: Them is niggas that took life by the balls and didn’t care about their own welfare. They was doing it for the people, you know what I’m sayin? They wasn’t thinking about themselves. Them are niggas that put they life on the line to save everybody else, to make a difference in the world. I’d rather be one of them niggas than one of these selfish niggas out here, man. Because at the end of the day, man, can’t live with that coward shit that these niggas is out here doin.
TSS: What kinda coward shit are you talking about?
GAME: Everything under the yellow sun these niggas is out here doing.
TSS: Are you worried about this $10,000-a-piece defamation suit North Carolina cops have against you?
GAME: Man, fuck the police, man. I learned that when I was little from N.W.A. I could pay them niggas cash out my pocket.
TSS: Yeah, it seems like that. What went down that day? You were just trying to clown and they got their feelings hurt?
GAME: Nah, I wasn’t tryin to do nuthin. I don’t want to speak on that. I ain’t into incriminating myself, or no shit like that.
TSS: You have a lyric in one of your songs: ” New rappers Bathing Ape shoe rappers, I’m talking to you rappers.” Was that aimed at Pharrell.
GAME: Nah, it’s aimed at whoever the shoe fit. If the shoe fit wear it. And if they don’t like it, then do something about it.
TSS: What was your earliest mixtape that was fire?
GAME: “You know what it is” (1991)
TSS: How to you stay on top? It’s a hard thing to do in rap.
GAME: The people. You need the people. The people gotta believe you. Remember when Jay-Z said “We don’t believe you, you need more people”? That shit was real. You gotta have the people, man. And the people are 100% behind the Game, they believe in me and what I’m doing because I keep it 100% real. I don’t cut no corners with the people, with my fans. I am who I am.
TSS: And when you asked Jay to push his album back, was that a marketing move?
GAME: Nah, man. Hip-hop is a competition. There’s only one #1 spot and it’s my spot right now. I would ask anybody to push their album back. It wasn’t nothin personal to Jay. His album comes out a week after mine. That don’t mean that me and Jay is beefin like that. I got a lot of love, a lot of respect for Jay. One day it’s gonna be a nigga comin up in the game and he gonna be #1, and I’m gonna have to slide out and play my role as the veteran, the legend, and I’m a do that.
TSS: I read you were extending the olive branch to 50 not to long ago, what happened?
GAME: That was that day. But today is a new day and today is the day I don’t wanna talk about that shit. I ain’t worried about them niggas. I’m just worried about my album dropping in two weeks.
TSS: Ok, so no 50 Cent words. To the heads that’s hatin..why should people buy this album?
GAME: They don’t gotta buy it. Let people ask theyselves that question. I’m here to make music for people that’s gonna buy the album.
TSS: What inspires your music?
GAME: Nuthin. Just my son. Right now, the only inspiration comes from a 3 1/2-year-old. That’s all I need to get it done, homie.
TSS: Any regrets about moves you’ve made in the industry?
GAME: NOPE. That’s not what life’s about. LIfe is about standing up and being a man. Accepting what the fuck you’ve done. I do it time and time again. That’s why I’m successful.
TSS: You gonna write a book?
GAME: No. I’m a do whatever I can do. Whatever hiphop lets me do. Whatever my fans want me to do.
TSS: Alright, last time I spoke to you, you told me to cut a check or suck a dick. I wasn’t down to do either.
GAME: (Laughs) It’s all good, homie.
TSS: Well good luck crackin a million CD’s on soundscan your first week.
GAME: Appreciate you, homie. Stay up. One love.