The day I realised “The Game” is just a game.

You might have read my previous piece on The Game, which served as a history of his career. This article is a different one, it’s a story about him, and about rappers in general.

Last year (2014) The Game came to Australia on tour. At this time he was one of my favourite rappers ever, so naturally I was heaps excited to see him. However, I couldn’t make it to either of his two shows in Sydney because of footy training, which my life basically revolved around back then (look where that got me *spoilers* the body of an old man). Anyway, back to the story. So during the week, on a Wednesday I’m pretty sure, Game announced on his Instagram that he would be appearing at a club. It happened to coincide with a day off training, so I was heaps keen to go. I’d commented on the Instagram post to a few friends, trying to organise a way into the city– when Game replied (I’ve tried desperately to find the screenshot I took but can’t). It was something like, “Let’s gooooo!” That was it for me– I had to go! If I had to crawl over broken glass I would have, and Game would have probably liked that I was covered in blood anyway– get it? He’s a blood? Do you get it?

Ok, so we keep organising this on his Instagram, when one of my friends tells Game he should come pick us up, and he replied, “Get a cab fool!” 2 replies in one night: we knew it was on. The post advertised that shots would be on him all night, something you’d expect from a huge rapper making a club appearance. What could go wrong?

We sorted it out, and made our way into the city. We probably got there around 10:30pm. Game was expected around 11pm. Of course we didn’t expect him to turn up on time, that would be the least rapper-y thing to do EVER. So we waited and waited, in this club which was so small I can’t even remember its name. It was tiny, wouldn’t have had even 100 people inside. I’d say we waited almost 3 hours before his eventual arrival…

From the second floor we look down and see a white Lamborghini Murcielago pull up outside, and Game hops out. He walks up into the club, and right now me and my friends are going CRAZY. Particularly my boy Kalausa who put me onto Game when we were like 11 or 12. Game finally gets upstairs and walks through the crowd, covered in security of course but which didn’t stop me and Kalausa from touching him (kinda sus we know).

So Game gets into his V.I.P. booth, surrounded by his homies–people like Clyde Carson and Nu Jersey Devil–and sits down. Unrelated, poppy rap music is playing in the background. Me and Kalausa look at each other– what now? We grab a few drinks and don’t really know what to do, as Game sits in his V.I.P. section, covered in attractive (slutty) girls, and stares at his iPhone.

We couldn’t help but wonder– where are the shots? where’s the ‘turn up’ Game promised? This is a guy we’ve worshipped for around 8 years; listened to for countless hours; someone we look up to as a legend in the rap game, and someone who projects himself as a party animal– sitting there and doing nothing.

After about 20 minutes we look over and see a few of his crew walking back from the bar with a few bottles of Patrone… Yes! We think… He’s about to start handing out free shots to everyone like he said on Instagram… Nope. Just for him and his friends. Not. One. Free. Drink. Not even discounted, if anything more expensive than usual.
So we stand around awkwardly for about an hour and a half, just hanging out while Game sits in his little corner, on his iPhone, totally disinterested. Now, I understand that Australia isn’t the hub of hip hop and clubbing in the world, but I’m sure if he took his eyes away from his iPhone he could have had at least a LITTLE fun.
That was it– he got up to leave. Without saying so much as a word to anyone and barely looking up from his phone. As he walked down the stairs he apparently had some random epiphany or something though, and said, “fuck it, let’s turn up.” It was super weird, but I’m not complaining. As a fan I was just happy to be within a metre of The Game. So he danced around for a bit… probably for under 5 mins, and then left.

He hopped in a green Lamborghini this time, speeding away from the curb. As he turned the corner at breakneck speed, we see a cop car with lights on go after him. Me and Kalausa look at each other, and then sprint off after the cars. The cop had pulled over The Games’ lambo, and we were the first on scene. As we get there, Game was getting out of the car and talking to the officer. While I didn’t hear everything that was said between them, it included Game saying, “I’m not from here man”, and, “I love Aussies man c’mon.” It definitely wasn’t a friendly conversation. Whatever the reason though, the cop let Game get back into the car without a ticket– cool no issue. As Game shuts the butterfly door of the lambo he says to the growing crowd, “fuck the police”, and zooms off again.

Now, that’s fine, that’s cool. Gangster rappers survive on the ‘Fuck the police’ mentality. The problem I had was when I headed home, and I saw Game had posted on Instagram – saying that the police had pulled him over because, a) they were fans of his music, and b) they were fans of his ‘Robin Hood Project’ (a charity thing he started on his Instagram). Now that simply wasn’t true. At all. I was there.
So, we’ve got Game lying about the party on Instagram before hand– it sucked. Add to that the pretension about why he got pulled over by the cops and we have a liar on our hands. There’s no escaping it. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that one of my favourite rappers ever was a liar. So many times I’ve heard the argument that rappers are frauds, and I’ve defended him and many others– but there was no defence for this.

What am I saying exactly? While this is only one artist in the game–no pun intended–it makes me question what all of them are saying on social media, interviews and in general. Next time you see an artist on social media flossing, just keep in mind that the music industry, and rap in particular, is a game, and these people are expert players.

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