This first appeared on Complex.com on November 19, 2009.

The Game Talks Jay-Z and Dr. Dre’s Detox

There’s really no sense in trying to figure out what goes on in Jayceon Taylor’s mind. As he puts it, there’s good days and bad days. The good days consist of traveling the world and racking up positive reviews of his new album L.A.X., thanks to his current single “My Life” with Lil Wayne. The bad comes from those pesky suicidal thoughts, dealing with tragedies like Sean Bell’s murder, and figuring out how he fits in to this fickle hip-hop world.

When we spoke with Game yesterday, he seemed more outspoken and at ease than ever. In this exclusive interview with Complex, he welcomes a battle with Jay-Z (relax, there’s no diss record coming…yet), explains why Dr. Dre can’t finish Detox without him, and confesses that Young Buck is one of his best friends…

Complex: After “My Life,” what will the next single off L.A.X. be?

The Game: I don’t know. I usually let the streets pick the third single. The streets, and the radio will dictate what that’s going to be. Once the album drops, we’ll pretty much know what that is. “My Life” just came out so we’re going to give that some time to breathe. It’s doing good, getting rave reviews.

Complex: The video focuses on Sean Bell, and a while back there was another video of you getting emotional over his murder. Do you think it’s easier for rappers to show their human side now?

The Game: I really don’t know about that, man. I just know about myself, and the stuff that I do. The whole situation was really heartfelt. It was a situation gone wrong, all the way down to the police officers getting acquitted, to the loss of Sean Bell. I just wanted to jump in there head first. When I speak, people listen, so I thought I’d just take some time and shed some light on that situation.

Complex: Buck took a lot of flack for the leaked phone call of him crying. Did that surprise you?

The Game: Nah, I don’t care about that. Everybody cries’men, women, children. Whenever you’re emotional about anything in life, you’re going to shed a tear. Buck shed some tears. I already knew what 50 was up to with that, trying to show a way to expose Buck. He was emotional and I understand that. As a man, I get emotional and cry sometimes. Whenever you’re touched by something that much and it’s tearing you up inside, you’re going to shed a tear. For another man to try and expose that, that’s low and despicable.

Complex: Buck was in the “My Life” video. What’s your relationship like with him now?

The Game: Me and Young Buck, it’s always been 100. We’ve been cool the whole time. We just never spoke on our friendship or camaraderie, due to the fact that he was signed to G-Unit. I didn’t want to mess up the situation. I’ve been talking to Buck ever since I got kicked out of G-Unit, that’s my man. One of my best friends in hip-hop today and it’s going to stay that way.

Complex: Did he ever imply that he wasn’t happy in that camp?

The Game: Neither one of us were feeling what 50 was doing at the time we were in G-Unit. I was just the person who couldn’t put up with it anymore, first.

Complex: Are you doing a mixtape together?

The Game: Yeah, people are making a big deal out of that, but it’s just simple. Buck and I are going to do a mixtape, we’re going to put something out in the streets and they’re definitely going to feel it because it’s me and him, and we were the dopest artists in G-Unit anyway. We held that group together. The world feels that me and Buck were the glue’once you’re done with the glue, then the fuckin’ shit falls apart. You saw what happened with their latest release. It’s trash.

Complex: Did the lackluster sales of Terminate On Sight surprise you?

The Game: No, man’they died after “300 Bars.” I went to the funeral and everything, sat in the front row with the family.

Complex: After recent interviews and imagery on covers of magazines, people have been wondering about your mental state…

The Game: Some days are good days, some days are bad days. That just goes for everyone. We have to weather the storm, and as human beings, we’re fitted enough to do that. Today is a good day’I've been grinding in and out of these cities. I’ve got nothing but positive feedback, everyone is feeling the project and they’re saying it’s my strongest effort. Right now, in hip-hop, it’s me and Lil Wayne. Hate it or love it.

Complex: Putting a gun to your head on the cover of the magazine…were you ready for questions about that?

The Game: You already know I don’t give a shit about that stuff. I’m ready for whatever comes to me, any questions. I never duck the truth or anything I’ve done in my life. I have no regrets about anything. I am who I am. On that day, that’s what I was feeling. Today is a little bit of different. I’m an intellect as well as street smart. People don’t understand that. They think I’m some dumb nigga from Compton, they don’t understand I went to college and got straight A’s in school. I’m no joke, in a business meeting, and in the streets on a physical level. You got the best of both worlds in me, that’s why fans gravitate towards my music. My shit is real.

Complex: Dre was in the news a few weeks ago talking about Detox. When was the last time you spoke to him?

The Game: I spoke to Dre a few months ago, and he was just calling to check in. It wasn’t really about nothing. Nothing worth talking about. I wish him well with Detox, but I don’t need Dre or anybody to make my shit come to life.

I don’t really care about being on Detox. I don’t think Dre can finish Detox without having me on it, man. I’m the West Coast’I am the West Coast. You can’t do anything on the West Coast without involving myself, my name, or my brand.

Complex: He mentioned that Jay-Z, Nas, and Wayne might be on the album. Do you think you’d be on there if you and 50 didn’t have your situation?

The Game: I don’t really care about being on Detox. I don’t think Dre can finish Detox without having me on it, man. I’m the West Coast’I am the West Coast. You can’t do anything on the West Coast without involving myself, my name, or my brand. For me not to be a part of Detox, Dre would be doing himself an injustice, not me.

Complex: For the past few years, and especially in recent weeks, there’s been jabs thrown between you and Jay-Z. Where do you think the rift stems from?

The Game: I think that came from somebody that Jay-Z spoke to. [He] said that he ain’t fucking with Game, and he’s going to wait on me to commit suicide. Wherever it came from, it came and I caught it and I responded.

Complex: There’s rumors going around that you have a Jay-Z diss coming out on a new mixtape with DJ Haze. Can you clear that up?

The Game: There’s no Jay-Z disses, that’s crazy. Haze just hit me while I was asleep, when I woke up before I called you, I seen an e-mail from Haze asking for the Jay-Z diss. I explained to him there will be no Jay-Z diss until Jay-Z disses Game. Like I said, I have a lot of love and respect for Jay, musically and in his career, but the relationship between us as grown men is a little bit different. When he bites, I’m going to sink my teeth into him.

Complex: It’s safe to say you’re baiting him though, right?

The Game: I am baiting him and hopefully he bites the bait. If I know Jay-Z like I know Jay-Z, he won’t bite the bait. He’s a smart man, he’s a legend, he’s an icon, I’m a fan of his music straight up. He can use it against me. Who the fuck isn’t a fan of Jay-Z? But, the music is one entity, and the man is something totally different.

Plus I’m way too disrespectful for the likes of a Jay-Z, and I go too hard. Jay-Z is a subliminal rapper, he uses his words and isolates you like that. I go hard, straight for the jugular, with a knife and I’m cutting your throat and you’re going to bleed all over Manhattan when you beef with me.

Complex: Right…

The Game: Now, if the man wants to wage a war of words or get into some type of beef, I’m all for it. It would be an honor to beef with Jay-Z. That’s one of the reasons I try to bait him, but he won’t bite. Jay-Z’s smart and he’s going to sit back and wait for this to simmer down. Plus I’m way too disrespectful for the likes of a Jay-Z, and I go too hard. Jay-Z is a subliminal rapper, he uses his words and isolates you like that. I go hard, straight for the jugular, with a knife and I’m cutting your throat and you’re going to bleed all over Manhattan when you beef with me. It’s that serious. When I beef, it’s relentless. I won’t stop until one of us is dead, period. And that’s lyrically. I don’t have to box or fight, or take it to the streets. We’ll keep it a straight wax-war, that’s what beef is all about. But I’m too reckless for him.

Complex: So you think if you ever got into it with him, you’d be his toughest competition.

The Game: I would be the toughest competition he had…well, Nas was his toughest, he didn’t win the war against Nas. Nas dropped “Ether” and that was it. Everyone knows Nas won that beef. But I’ve never lost a beef. Jay-Zx, he has chinks in his armor still from that Nas beef. Other than that, we can do it. I’ve 100 percent won all my beefs. Me, LL, Nas and probably only a couple of other cats can claim that. I killed the biggest group in hip-hop single-handedly. Four cats against me and I totally fucking annihilated them, so Jay-Z would be a piece of cake. A piece of strawberry shortcake, my favorite.

Complex: You’re the star of this new Belly 2 movie, right?

The Game: Yeah, but it ain’t called Belly 2. Me and Jimmy Henchmen and Baron Davis sold the rights to LionsGate and they own the rights to Belly, so they called it Belly 2 for promotion, to try and sell more DVDs, and the shit worked.

Complex: How do you feel about there being a Belly 2 with no involvement from Hype Williams?

The Game: I don’t care about that no way. We sold it to LionsGate and it’s their film and they can do whatever they want with it. All I’ll do is collect the check. It was my first movie, I did that movie right after The Documentary. I think it made for a good hood flick, just like State Property or Bout It Bout It, the movie Master P did. That shit was dope.

Complex: You said you’d retire after this album. What has to happen for you to come with a 4th album?

The Game: Nothing can happen, I’m gone. I don’t care what happens. It’s a wrap.

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Joe La Puma is currently the Director of Content Strategy at Complex Media, handling big idea generation and execution along with the social networking of Complex's content. He's conducted cover stories with everyone from Katy Perry and Justin Bieber to Rick Ross and Kid Cudi.
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