“He [Busta Rhymes] says there’s a line called disrespectful, and I’ll run right up to it and urgghhh [screeching] right when I get to it,” Game tells The BoomBox.
Though rough around the edges, peel back a few layers and you might just understand Jayceon Terrell Taylor’s complexities. In his early teens, he lost one of his older brothers. He lost his grandmother at the end of high school, and many childhood friends shortly thereafter. He survived a three-day coma after being shot at five times.
Last year, Game became a Christian, and began looking to understand his newfound faith. He was working on an album called F.I.V.E. (Fear Is Victory’s Evolution), but he scrapped it after Trey Songz released Chapter V. He took a track called “Jesus Piece,” which he recorded with Common and Kanye West, and began to build the project around that title.
The result, Game’s fifth album Jesus Piece, which he calls “a thin line between religion and street,” is an album full of features from heavy hitters, including 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, and Meek Mill.
“I’m 30 years old now, getting a little older, and some days I have trouble trying to find a balance with my life, my family, my music, and religion,” Game reveals. “I love God. I love Jesus.”
The Game that goes to church and reads his Bible regularly admits that he is still his same troublesome self in many ways. “I like smoking weed, I like going to strip clubs, fried chicken. You might see me on Worldstar fighting sometimes. Doesn’t mean that I don’t love Jesus.”
The album artwork adds to the controversy surrounding Jesus Piece. “There’s little small pieces of the makeup of my life put on my album cover,” he says of the original art, which featured a gang-affiliated Jesus in a stained glass window, but has since been replaced with an image of his deceased brother. “I knew it was going to be controversial, so I waited ’til I felt it was the right time, and I put it out on Sunday and pissed people off. My fans were like ‘you can’t change Game’s artistic mind!'”
While his mind was ultimately changed, Game isn’t looking to explain himself. “I’m trying to find my balance between life, religion, streets and my music. You can listen to me do it, or you can just leave the album on iTunes for someone else to download.”
Speaking of Jesus pieces, Game, who claims to own 10 such chains, wears a giant studded ornament with a smaller tinier Jesus piece attached to it, taking up the space of his chest, to this interview. His fascination with chains was inspired by Biggie, the first artist he saw wearing the elaborate over-the-top pieces. However, some rappers take it too far, according to Game.
“It was kind of funny that we as rappers will sometimes take 20, 30, sometimes 50 grand, talking about my chain, and go take it to a jeweler, who 10 times out of 10, not even have a belief in Jesus, making these Jesus pieces and you put it on your neck, but you won’t put a $100 in the offering plate. The same guy who has the Jesus piece that won’t put a $100 in the offering plate, will go around the corner and jack somebody for a Jesus Piece. Like how do you pull out your gun and demand that somebody give you their Jesus piece?”
The Compton rapper has less enthusiasm however, when explaining his VH1 reality show “Marrying The Game,” which focused on his family life. The father of two sons, Harlem and King “Justice” and daughter, California Dream, says that even though he enjoyed filming the show, he could have skipped it.
“If it was up to me, I would have never done a reality show. I just don’t care about it that much. But my kid’s mom, she was steadfast on you know, she just wanted a reality show … The thing about me is that from the beginning of my career up till now, I’ve pretty much always been an open book. You know my kids, you know my life, you know my story.”
Game’s Jesus Piece is in stores today.