DJ Skee is one of two producers who worked on a mix-tape, also called "Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin," that is part of a trilogy of diss mixes aimed at 50 Cent. He said the Game decided to go on the attack after witnessing 50 Cent's verbal assault on another rapper, Ja Rule in 2004.
"50 was on the radio talking about Game and trying to destroy his career," Skee said. "So he thought about what 50 did to Ja Rule. He didn't want to turn out in that same pattern. Ja Rule never responded to 50 and he looked weak. [The Game] did this to save his career."
Apparently his career salvation included renting a billboard on Queens' Jamaica Avenue. In the DVD, the billboard is emblazoned with the slogan "G-Unot" -- a barbed play on the name of 50 Cent's G-Unit crew.
"The DVD is not as serious as it may sound," DJ Skee said. "A lot of it is quite funny."
The film, shot on digital video, functions as a mean-spirited hip-hop travelogue, following the Game from UCLA to locations throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Searching for his nemesis, he conducts man-on-the-street interviews with attractive women and street-savvy men who invariably disparage 50 Cent. And the Game is shown inciting a crowd of protesters to march through New York with signs picketing 50 Cent.
On the hip-hop website PimpWiz.com, a reviewer wrote: "People love soap operas. We have to say it's a pretty brilliant marketing campaign to pull the same moves 50 pulled on Ja Rule but bigger and badder. And, of course, [the Game] had to do it bigger by starting a full-fledged 'movement' against 50."
Leading up to the DVD's cancellation, its viral marketing has been good for sales of the underground CD. As of last week, the "Stop Snitchin" mix-tape was sold out at a number of local hip-hop music shops. (Although not technically legal, hip-hop mix-tapes build street credibility and are tolerated by the recording industry. Sales figures are impossible to verify.) And according to several sales clerks, a steady stream of customers has been in to ask about the DVD.
"I don't know how exactly they get the word that they're coming out," said Johnny Juice, 25, an employee at Hollywood's Fat Beats record store. "This whole series of tapes that the Game has done dissing 50 Cent and G-Unit, [customers] know even before we get them that they're coming."
The mix-tapes also function as dramas, providing fans with intimate details and developments about their favorite rap stars' fractured relationship.
"It's fun because they listen to the things that are said and the funny punch lines," Juice said. "At the same time, they're like, 'How much longer can it go on? Move on. Just make your music.' "