May 29, 2010 / 2:06 AM / in 7 years

Rapper Game doesn't play by music-promotion rules

NEW YORK (Billboard) - In an age when even the most prominent rappers have to hustle to promote each new album, Game’s approach could be considered refreshingly contrarian -- or just plain suicidal.

The rapper says he believes seniority in music equates with not having to promote upcoming projects, and that’s exactly the approach he’s taking for the release of his fourth studio album.

“I‘m not into promoting. I give you a date, and if you’re a Game fan, then you’ll get the album,” the West Coast rapper says matter-of-factly about his upcoming album, “R.E.D.,” due July 6 on Interscope Records. “I don’t sell myself. This is my fourth album. I don’t think I need to do all that.”

Of course, there are two sides to every story -- and Game’s product manager, Andrew Flad, who recently squared away the final details of an extensive promotional run, says that promoting the album is “imperative.”

Starting this week, Game will spend a few days making radio stops in the southern part of his home state of California before heading to Europe for more radio visits and performances. He then returns to the East Coast, traveling from Boston to Florida and then back up to the Midwest for even more promotion.

“Sending Game out to touch the fans this way is a must and always helps,” Flad says. “He will grind it out, he will do the work, and he will love it.”

Game will appear on BET’s “106 & Park” for the video premiere of first single “It Must Be Me,” which will air June 4. Additionally, an X-Box Live partnership, a Geek Out session with AOL, a MySpace promotion and a Vevo “Day in the Life” episode are all in the works.

Game also recently released a mixtape, “The Red Room,” and is planning a tour, most likely with the group N*E*R*D -- whose frontman/producer, Pharrell Williams, co-executive-produced the new album with Game’s mentor Dr. Dre. Game also has discussed touring with Dre and Snoop Dogg.

But all this might be for naught if Game doesn’t land a hit. Thus far, he has released “It Must Be Me” and mixtape track “Shake,” along with an accompanying video featuring actress Stacey Dash. Neither song has charted yet.

In characteristic fashion, Game says he isn’t worried. “Ain’t No Doubt About It,” which features Williams and Justin Timberlake, will be the next single, he says, adding, “We’ll be good on that end.”

Other songs on the album include “Mama Knows,” featuring Nelly Furtado and dedicated to Game’s mother, and “Infrared,” which Game says finds him “rapping reckless with no hook. This is the first song on the album, and it’s followed by two other songs that have no hook. That’ll set the tone for the rest of the album.”

Until release date, Game says he’s taking it one day at a time, simply because he can. “Generally I just wake up in the morning and I live life and I make my decisions as far as music goes based on how I‘m feeling that day.”

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