Gangsta rapper The Game stopped by to promote his new album, 'Jesus Piece,' and reality show, 'Marrying The Game,' telling Howard he was happy to make it out of Compton, where everyone either dies or ends up in jail. He lived there as recently as the release of his 2nd album: "People were like, 'You can't live here anymore.' And I just didn't see it. Until I was on my way to a release party and had a shootout on the way.
Growing Up Gangsta
Growing up, The Game's family was split up by gangs ("My parents were both Crips [and] I was a Blood. Me and my brother.") and eventually, Child Protective Services: "My dad did us the favor of molesting one of my older sisters so we all got split up into these foster homes." And his case isn't unique: "I just assumed it was regular. I didn't know. Not only [that], but this is what my friends' parents did when I was at their house. Like, 'You guys go to bed. We 'bout to go shoot these Bloods.'" Game followed suit, selling most any drug you can name "unless it was invented in 2010," and becoming a committed Blood: "It doesn't matter what occupation you choose after you get jumped in. … F' the police. Still." But rap money stacks higher than drug money--brushing off reports of a $25 million fortune, Game said it was more like $18 million: "I bought a few cars this year."
And Dr. Dre Said, 'Sign Game or Die'
After being shot multiple times during a drug deal gone bad, Game taught himself to rap from his hospital bed, eventually getting a demo into the hands of Dr. Dre: "He sent a guy named Mike Lynn to my block. So Mike Lynn rolled up in a Benz and said, 'I'm looking for Game.' So we all drew guns on him." But Mike returned a month later, waving a white flag: "Dre said if I don't come back with Game, just die here."
Game Vs. 50 Cent
Asked about his feud with 50 Cent, another of Dr. Dre's Aftermath signees, Game said 50 didn't like the competition: "He wanted to keep everybody in the group beneath him." The feud came to gunshots outside of Hot97 in New York, after 50 went on the air with an attack: "He said 'Game wasn't loyal' and he was kicking me out of the group. … I felt he was trying to kill my career." In town with 60 of his boys, Game rolled up on 50 as his crew left the station: "It looked like 'Planet of the Apes' with suits on. … And they all pulled out guns and we all pulled out guns and it was a shootout in the snow." To this day, Game won't record with 50--not even a call from Michael Jackson could bring them back together: "Once [Michael] told me he wanted us both on his album, I hung up."