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Rapper is arrested in threats

Artist called The Game is suspected of pulling a gun on another player at pickup basketball game.

May 13, 2007|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles police arrested the rap artist known as The Game at his Glendale home Friday on suspicion of making criminal threats during a pickup basketball game in February at a park in South Los Angeles.

The artist, born Jayceon Terrell Taylor, 27, is suspected of pulling "out a gun and us[ing] it to threaten another person on the court," an LAPD source said Saturday.

Taylor posted $50,000 bail about 2 a.m. Saturday and was released from the LAPD's 77th Street Division jail.

Officer Monica Garcia said investigators searched Taylor's nearly 5,000-square-foot home in northwest Glendale for three hours.

Taylor's debut album, "The Documentary," produced by rap legend Dr. Dre, sold in excess of 2.4 million copies -- a multi- platinum seller -- and made him a superstar in 2005.

But the Grammy Award-nominated artist is nearly as famous for his feud with fellow Dr. Dre protege 50 Cent -- who has said that he wrote several of the songs on Taylor's best-selling album.

As police took him into custody, Taylor stuck out his tongue at a camera crew and yelled, "I want to say I'm not guilty."

A woman, who identified herself as the rapper's mother, arrived at the Glendale home and was told that Taylor had been arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. She protested, "He's a gangsta rapper."

A spokesman for Universal Music Group, parent of his current label, Geffen Records, said he was unaware of the arrest and would have no comment.

A one-time star basketball shooting guard at Compton High School, Taylor boasts in songs and videos of his past connection to the Cedar Block Piru Bloods gang.

In 2001, while dealing drugs, he was shot multiple times when a group of "clowns" broke into his house, Taylor told The Times in a November 2006 interview.

"They thought they had killed me," Taylor said. "I crawled to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My wife-beater [shirt] was all red. I pulled it back and blood squirted on the glass."

His feud with 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson, began in 2005 when Taylor discovered that the rap artist -- who appeared alongside him on The Game's biggest singles, "How We Do" and "Hate It or Love It" -- had cut ties with him.

Taylor's entourage attempted to enter a New York City radio station where Jackson was conducting an interview when violence flared; one of Taylor's Compton associates was injured by a gunshot from an unidentified assailant, according to published reports.

The Game also distributed a controversial DVD, "Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin," portraying him and his associates traveling to a house in Connecticut they said belonged to 50 Cent. On the DVD, they lurked in the underbrush, then slipped onto the backyard basketball court. While attempting a slam-dunk, Taylor snapped the basketball hoop's metal rim.

He later wore the rim around his neck on a radio show, saying, "This is my new bling-bling!"

richard.winton@latimes.com

Times staff writer Geoff Boucher contributed to this report.

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