Game talks 'Purp & Patron' and 'The Hangover'
Last week, Game gave away "Purp & Patron," his third mixtape in the last nine months. Today he's offering "The Hangover," comprised of tracks that didn't make the cut of its 29-song predecessor. Presumably, Jayceon Taylor is massively inspired by the editing decisions employed in Olivier Assayas' Carlos the Jackal biopic -- after all, Ilich Sanchez may be the last remaining person who hasn't yet collaborated with the Compton rapper.
The Interscope-signed rapper has claimed in interviews that the tape has been downloaded more than a million times in just one week. Ernst & Young has yet to confirm. At the very least, it's recommended that you at least download Hip Hop Is Read's "Purp & Patron Single Shot," a fine distillation of the sprawling tape's best moments.
In the interest of promoting his new tape and dispelling rumors surrounding his much-delayed "R.E.D." album, Game spoke with Pop & Hiss.
How do you think this mixtape stacks up and stands out compared to the other ones you've released over the last nine months?
I think that this is the best mixtape I've ever put out. Period. It's all positive, no beef, lots of guest appearances from my friends on and off the mike. And even Funkmaster Flex came in and did drops. Everyone's on there.
So what's the deal with "The Hangover" tape? Were these all songs initially intended for "R.E.D.?"
There were songs that didn't make the cut of "Purp & Patron." There were just too many songs and the decision to make it two CDs came at the last minute. We had a conversation about it on Friday and then the changes were made a few hours later and it was released.
What's the status of "R.E.D."? You've been saying in interviews this week that the Interscope brass have given you a green light to pick a date.
Jimmy Iovine is real confident in me and my project. From what they've heard of the new record and the mixtape, the company told me that they're ready to get behind the project. But from my side, it's important to make all the right moves in order to get 100% out of the label -- what I need. I'm trying to make sure that everyone's all systems go, and we're about to gear up to drop the singles.
So, is it a matter of waiting for a single to break onto radio playlists?
It's definitely hard to get a single in the format of the 10 songs in rotation on pop culture, but I'm not worried about that. The radio doesn't necessarily dictate album sales. When I get a song that's big enough and it goes, it will be amazing. But I'm not stressing about getting that massive hit single. I haven't had a No. 1 record since "Hate It or Love It." But I do have the songs -- I have the crossover records and I have the street records. There's no way I can fail.
So what are you waiting on, exactly?
Actually, now what I’m doing is sequencing. I'm trying to get that one full sound from start to finish, and after that we’re good. The singles are in place.
And the finished record is still going to have beats from Dr. Dre, Pharrell and DJ Premier?
Yup. Pharrell's still executive-producing it too, and I'm trying to get a beat from Kanye to finish it out.
You've worked with a lot of producers over the years. Does rhyming over a DJ Premier beat put you in a different headspace when you're writing?
It’s funny you said that. You have to be a real hip-hop head to ask that question. As soon as I got that Premier beat, I knew that I had to rap different to it. I knew that I had to dig into it, and I think the song came out different than anything I've done before.
How does that differ from your writing process when you get a beat from Dre?
When you do a song with Dre, it's whatever Dre wants the writing process to be. You really don’t have a choice in the matter, and you realize it's best to just follow his example.
I'm sure you can't say anything, but journalistic duty requires me to ask a question about "Detox." Any new news on that front?
I've learned to stay away from talking about Dre’s album. It's his album and he'll let the cat out the bag when he wants. I can see that it's definitely coming out, though, and it's going to feature some of the heaviest artists to ever do it.
How did you end up getting on a track with Lil Boosie? Are you a big fan of his stuff?
Oh man, Lil Boosie is a good friend of mine and has been for a very long time -- since the days when he was younger and rapping with C-Loc. I'd always meet him when I was going back and forth throughout the South doing things that I shouldn’t be doing. I was lucky enough to get him to a record a verse before he went to jail.
You're known for being heavily influenced by West Coast artists. Were you pretty influenced by Southern rappers too?
I grew up on N.W.A, Compton's Most Wanted and DJ Quik -- that’s what I'm used to hearing, but my hip-hop mind ventured into the South early on. I listened to Big Mike tapes, Geto Boys, C-Loc, Lil Boosie, Max Minelli. I've always been into the trap.
The RZA sued you this week for using "Heartbreaker" on "Purp & Patron." What happened?
RZA came to the studio and said, "I have this beat for you, it's yours." So I got on the track and he put out a cease and desist. There's no love lost. I have nothing but love for RZA. It had to do with sample clearances that neither of us had control of.
So, last word -- you want to make a prediction about the release date for "R.E.D.," or is it just safest to say summer?
I'll say summertime. I won't put my fans through any more actual dates that fall through. But it's coming soon. A lot of people say that "Documentary" is my best album, and people always have a tendency to say that with all the big artists. Most people usually say that the best Kanye or Jay-Z or Dre album is the first one. Personally, for me, it's "Doctor's Advocate." I did that on my own, no 50, no Dre, just me being raw and honest. But being a realist, none of those albums touches the "R.E.D." album. Everyone I play it for is like, "Wow." No one else is dropping albums of this caliber."
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Game. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times