Typically, a beef in the world of hip hop needs both sides to participate, yet, Jay-Z’s lack of involvement hasn’t prevented The Game from trying to instigate a rivalry with him on multiple occasions.
It makes sense why The Game would take shots at Jay-Z. After all, there are few bigger names in the world than Shawn Carter. If you want to elevate your career, getting ‘Hov’ to mention you is a surefire way to get trending on social media and gain headlines everywhere.
However, why would Carter get involved in this kind of playground argument when he’s got a billion-dollar business empire he could be running? Despite Jay-Z not being interested in lowering himself to The Game’s level, this hasn’t stopped him from attempting to get ‘Hov’ to crack time and time again.
In 2011, The Game opened up about how it started. He said, “I met Jay-Z a long time ago in the 40/40 Club and he seemed like a cool dude and I asked him something—‘How do you stay relevant?’—and I ain’t really like his answer. So ever since then I just kinda take shots here and shot there.”
Initially, he refused to say precisely what Jay said to him before caving in and writing it down on a piece of paper that read, “Most of you new rappers won’t last long anyway, maybe you should think of another lane.”
Jay’s comment might have been a bit obnoxious, but it wasn’t a personal attack on The Game, and his off the cuff remark certainly didn’t warrant a barrage of insults, as well as the diss track, ‘Uncle Otis’.
However, in 2012, The Game would finally hold his hands up and admit defeat in a dignified manner. Speaking to VIBE, he commented, “Jay never responded. Number one, I think that’s because he’s smart, and knows that I’m reckless, so there’s nothing that I can’t say. He has to be filtered because he’s a businessman, he’s a little bit older, and he’s doing all these business deals, so can’t go as reckless as I can.”
In the same interview, The Game also said how much he’d love to collaborate with Jay, further proving there’s nothing deeply personal about his disses, and instead, it was all about publicity.
Throughout his career, The Game has expertly used beefs to enhance his stature, and Jay wasn’t the only one that he’s swung for. His methods usually work, too, with 50 Cent, Joe Budden, Lil Durk, Chris Brown, Young Thug, and Meek Mill just a sprinkling of the names that fell into his delicately placed trap.
However, Jay-Z isn’t like the rest, and he’s clever enough to know he’s got nothing to gain from embroiling himself in a war of words with The Game.