It’s a Friday afternoon in Times Square minutes before rush hour begins. People are bustling through the New York City summer streets, but posted up in the Renaissance Hotel lounge, Jayceon Taylor acts like he doesn’t have a care in the world. The 31-year old emcee is seated among a crew of about 10, messing around with his new Android phone. He’s taking 3D pics of his friends eating buffalo wings and then showing them the photographic proof. “Look at this shit, man,” he says about the noticeable difference in 3D quality. Game doesn’t look like the shit-talking rapper who plots the demise of Lil B while simultaneously seducing Erykah Badu on his fourth studio LP, The R.E.D. Album. Rocking a red Nike basketball Jersey, he smiles like he’s in a boy-band (especially when he’s dissing someone) but stands tall and built like their bodyguard. He doesn’t look crazy at all; he just looks like he’s having a great time making you think he is.
DX: Waiting played into your favor; especially with some of the collaborations you have on the album like Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, The Creator. They might have not been around a few years ago had you put out the album then.
Game: I think about that all the time. I think if we would have went with Justin Timberlake and a Pharrell single, just think of how many people wouldn’t have been on the album. So with that being said, everything that happened with the album, it benefited in my favor at the end of the day because I have the best album, period. From Tyler, the Creator to [Lil] Wayne to Drake to Dr. Dre and Pharrell, I think I’m the only Hip Hop artist that could have featured Dr. Dre and Drake on the same album or Pharrell, Wayne, Tyler, the Creator, Nelly Furtado, Beanie [Sigel], Rick Ross, everyone on the album, Wale, Mario. I put together the best possible album in this climate that I possibly could.
DX: How did you go about picking the final tracks for the album?
Game: I didn’t do it alone; I did it with my peers and the label and the A&Rs. It was a long battle, but we worked it out and that’s the craziest part about doing complete albums. Once you get to start picking the tracks out, then you’ve got to sequence them and that shit is like pulling baby teeth, man. Some songs go and you’ve got to wish them farewell. They’ll probably go on the mixtape or go in the vault; you know it’s a sad process. I never want to knock songs off or not put all the songs on that I worked on for the album. You’ve got to get it down to 12, but still every time they tell me they be like, “Game they’re only 12 songs” because they do the 10-for-10, but I don’t know for some reason they love me, so I keep coming in at 17,18.
DX: That’s what it is for this project?
Game: Yeah it was more money, I think, too. Three or four hundred grand for this one.
DX: How did you get Nelly Furtado on the album?
Game: That was Pharrell. Pharrell had a relationship with Nelly and he thought that she would sound crazy on the hook [to “Mama Knows”] so he did that, and it reminds me of Janet Jackson. Like she sounds like Janet Jackson on that song and every time I hear it, nobody can really sing in that cadence and you gotta be real special and who’s better than Nelly Furtado?
DX: Any new concepts for the next album?
Game: I think I got the title for the next album already yesterday from a good friend of mine, Shaheem Reid. We were talking and he said something that stuck in my mind, of course I won’t say what it is, R.E.D. ain’t even in stores yet, but I’m going to play around with the idea. I am going to see if it’s something that I can accomplish, because the title itself is going to be something conceptual and every need is going to have to be met for the music to meet the title.