Jus Allah and Game are both lyrical cats who came from rough inner city neighborhoods and went on to achieve success in the music industry. Although they share a common background that most artists in the hip-hop culture can identify with, there are a few distinct differences between the two MCs. For instance, one is from the East Coast and the other is from the West Coast. One is a part of a legendary underground rap group, and the other has dominated both the mixtape scene and mainstream urban music. And while one recently cornered a previous winner from The Ultimate Fighter, the other wants to climb into the UFC Octagon to battle a mortal enemy.
Using the Force
As a member of Jedi Mind Tricks, Jus Allah spits the type of hardcore rap music that gets everyone fired up. But in all his years of rhyme slaying, the 31-year-old native of Camden, New Jersey, never thought it would lead to a chance meeting with a mixed martial artist. Though the MC had been a casual fan of the sport since the mid 90s, he got hooked after befriending Mac Danzig at a concert and became one of the lightweight’s three cornermen at UFC 109 when the vegan fought Justin Buchholz.
FM: When did you meet Mac Danzig?
JA: I met him maybe two years ago. He came to one of the shows we did in Vegas, and he was hanging out with us backstage. He was a fan of the music—said he used to train to it—and I was shocked. It was an honor. It’s insane because usually you don’t know who listens, but he was a real down to earth dude. Our music is applied to real life, not just kids who like to smoke weed or whatever.
FM: What was it like being in his corner with Gray Maynard at UFC 109? Did you scream, ‘Go for the takedown,’ or anything like that?
JA: I just did whatever they asked me to do. It was funny because at the end of the fight, we couldn’t find Mac’s shirt, so I had to immediately take my shirt off and give it to him. But I was just there, enjoying myself. I was just screaming, ‘Go Mac!’ I really couldn’t help him as far as where the technical aspect of the fight was going.
FM: How has your fascination with the sport changed?
JA: I was more of a casual fan of the fights, but I knew Mac and knowing someone, it kinda brought me more into their world. It let me see what he’s doing, and I’d check out the fighters he went again stand it brought on a whole web like that, and you’re watching it every weekend or when it’s on Spike or whatever. I’ve always been a casual boxing fan. I guess as a kid I watched wrestling, but watching MMA, you get to see what it is to really be in the ring and learning the skills you have to learn and apply, and that’s different than any other type of fighting because boxing is more just the hands, and this is more like what could happen in the streets.
FM: Have you sparred with Mac yet?
JA: No, no, no! I never sparred or anything like that.
FM: What are you waiting for?
JA: Man, those guys are serious in there! If Mac gets on the mic, then I’ll get in the ring [laughs].
Many within the hip-hop industry have pegged Game as the new poster child for commercialized gangsta rap and the lyrical dynamo to revitalize the once glorious West Coast movement. It’s a wise choice, considering the prolific 30-year-old MC has been embroiled in battles throughout his life—whether it was fighting for survival as an adolescent on the gritty streets of Compton, California, or beefing with rappers like Jay-Z, Joe Budden, and 50 Cent’s entire G-Unit crew. A casual UFC fan, Game wouldn’t mind following in the footsteps of a fighter by entering the Octagon against a bitter rival.
FM: Metal heads feel like their music is a good fit for MMA because the sport’s attitude matches the music’s energy. Can the same be said about hip-hop?
Game: It might be a good fit for fighters like Kimbo Slice and Rampage Jackson because they’re African-American, but some of the other ethnicities … you know, rock music kinda amps the white guys up and all the other guys, so I can dig it. I understand it.
FM: What would your walkout song be if you were a fighter?
Game: Let me see. If I were a fighter, I would come out to some cool, smooth John Mayer, man. The one that goes, [sings] ‘Ooh ooh! By the time I recognize this moment …’
FM: Oh. Clarity?
Game: Yeah. That one.
FM: That’s interesting, because he made some derogatory comments about African-Americans in Playboy.
Game: Aw man, it’s cool. People got the microscope too far in on people like Tiger Woods, you know? People act like mother fuckas ain’t cheating on their wives everyday. Even the President got head in the oval office, so come on! John Mayer says something and everybody talks about him. Man, John Mayer is cool with me. Once you analyze it, he didn’t really mean it, so it’s all good.
FM: You’ve had quite a few beefs with other rappers in the past. If you could take any of them into the Octagon for three five-minute rounds, who would it be?
Game: Man, I’m kickin’ 50’s ass! It’s gonna be a first round knockout like the shit that happened to Kimbo when he fought that one fighter [Seth Petruzelli] on accident! I’m not even gonna need five minutes. You put 50 in there, I’m gonna try to shatter his jaw in about 17 places.
FM: Have past fights in Compton helped prepare you?
Game: I don’t know, man. Fights in Compton that I was involved in growing up never really contained one on one. So if somebody’s getting jumped on both sides in that type of situation, you are trying to be like the two twins from Double Dragon. The UFC shit ain’t gonna happen out here. You got 10 guys kicking your ass. I don’t know how [effective] slams and holds are gonna be.