Compton rapper The Game gets in touch with his spiritual side on his upcoming fifth LP—starting with the album’s title. In light of his baptism a year and a half ago, the ever-controversial rapper has changed the album’s name from F.I.V.E: Fear Is Victory’s Evolution to Jesus Piece.
Inspired by a collaboration with Kanye West—the LP’s title track—Game decided on the switch-up to differentiate his album from similarly named projects by peers.
“Trey Songz came with his album Chapter V, and of course 50 had 5 (Murder by Numbers), I just felt like I should jump off that wagon,” says Game. “So I went back into the studio and started doing songs that leaned more towards the title. I think people gon’ appreciate the concept once they hear the music.”
Game says he feels freer in his newer music, but maintains the street-authentic sound longtime fans have grown to love.
“I’m a Christian but I’m not ‘holier than thou’,” says Game, who samples Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “First of the Month” on his lead single, “Celebration,” which features Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa. “Jesus Piece gives me an opportunity to speak about situations that people like me who love God but are still street and still wanna remain themselves without going the Pastor Mase route. It gives the opportunity to know that it’s somebody out there that feels them.”
He continues: “You can still have swag and be a Christian, you ain’t gotta wear a suit to church, you ain’t gotta take a bath in Holy water. You can still have your Ciroc in the club, it’s just a faith thing and making sure you try to do right. I’m still a father, I still smoke, I still rep Compton, I still might shoot dice or have a fight if I have to defend myself.”
While the man born Jayceon Taylor is making strides in his personal and religious life, the rapper insists that he’s returning to his roots musically, conjuring up his pre-Documentary lyrical rawness.
“I wanted this album to supersede what The Documentary did lyrically,” says Game. He says he’s still recording for Jesus Piece, but has completed a bulk of the project in a month. “Every time someone walks into the studio and listens—from Wayne, to Ross to Khaled—everybody says ‘that’s the Hurricane.’ That makes me feel like I’m the old Game again. I’m just happy because I was able to find that creative space. I’m having fun.”
Jesus Piece enlists an all-star cast of guests that includes Rick Ross, Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj. The album is slated for a late 2012 release. —Jazmine Henley-Brown